Guten Tag and Hallo!
I’m an Asian girl who speaks 3 main languages i.e. English, Malay and Chinese Hakka dialect,though the 3rd language is my weakest one and I still struggle to get the pronunciation right at times and not cause chaos when it gives a different meaning than what I intend to say!. My late grandma says I speak Chinese like a Caucasian speaking Chinese! In other words my pronunciation is not smooth at all even for an Asian with Chinese blood!
Which brings to my first topic with respect to travel : Languages! One of the few things that you would think to yourself before flying off is hmm will I be able to understand them? Can I go around by just reading the signs? Will they be able to understand me? Personally this is one of the excitement I love when exploring a new place, I get to learn a new language! I recommend using Duo lingo app for basic preparations before flying; where you could just download it on your phone via Google play or the Apple Store. It’s user friendly, uses pictorial for the aid of learning and you can even learn how to pronounce words and listen to different phrases too! and it is free! Youtube too is a great source as well and the conventional language books. Though I do struggle when I depend solely on books because I’d be like hmm how do I pronounce this? Why are there dots on the alphabets? Am I combining the words correctly? Before Duo Lingo and Youtube was there, I tried guessing on how words are pronounced and got myself soo confused when it was time to make conversation and then nothingg makes sense! Thank God for technology today! Learning a new language can be made more fun by listening to their songs! You get a song with a beat you love and then you sing along and play it while you shower, when you are in your car or during exercises, oh you are definitely already on a roll!
Another reason why you might want to learn some basics in the language is so you will be able to read their menu to try their delicious food! Or… you could just surprise yourself by pointing anything on the menu and see what comes out from the kitchen to your the table! 😉
Menu at a cat cafe i.e. Cafe Neko in Vienna.
If you love shopping like I do, learning the numbers too can be important when the price tag is not on the item or you need to haggle with the vendor or even just to read the currency notes! Very applicable if you love spending time at the markets and bazaars. I love spending time in these places because you can find local products that are unique and interesting and not the typical franchise items available in malls! and super yummy delicacies too!
So what other basic words should I learn on short notice before flying off? From experience words like : Entrance, Exit, Push,Pull, Yes, No, Taxi, Airport ,Caution, Danger are vital but one of the most important word that usually we tend to miss out while learning languages is the word toilet or washroom! I had gotten myself in a bit of complication when I really needed to use the loo and do not know what the word is in Japanese. I had to deal with some strain and stress of really needing to go while trying to communicate to the person to know where on earth is the washroom! Another thing you’d probably should know as well is the word male and female since doors on the washroom might not show the symbols and only the words.Yes I have been in the opposite gender’s washroom because I confidently thought it was the ladies washroom by guessing ‘ah this word sounds ladylike !’ and boy was I wrong!
Formal and informal languages with jargon exist too and these can’t really be formally learn from books or apps and instead you learn them on the go. You read signs and learn what do they mean, you listen to announcements, to music, to people around you, and learn them when you make conversations during transactions ,random chit chats at cafes or just while sitting on a bench on a street. These are the kind of experiences which makes your money worth spending when exploring to a different country. You learn their language and fill in your knowledge bank on to go 🙂
So how many different languages do we have in the world including dialects?
Will end this post with that question in mind, until next time! 🙂
The featured picture is the beautiful globe made by a universal scholar called Vincenzo Coronelli (1650-1718) and it is owned by emperor Francis I Stephen of Lorraine. I took this picture during my visit to the National Library’s State Hall in Vienna and was astonished by the level of details that were available on the map during that period of time without any satellite technology! Super amazed on the level of accuracy ! You can even see the 3rd largest island in the world clearly on this globe! Now you probably can guess which island I am from 🙂