Do you need to learn the language of the country you want to visit? This, of course, depends on the experience you want to seek from your travels.
If you travel with a tour group, quite often you will be surrounded by others who speak your language. However, don’t just interact with those on tour. After all, did you really travel all this way to talk to another Australian (or fellow country person) for a month?
No, you put yourself though the trauma of a long haul flight to experience a new country, culture, food and language. You can only immerse yourself in a country by talking to the people.
The best way to do this is to learn a few words and phrases before you leave home. Don’t worry if you don’t master the language perfectly, you will have enough to start with the basics. I have discovered the locals like it when visitors make an attempt to speak their language.
Whenever I travel to a new country I will enrol in a short language course before I leave. I want to be able to at least know the basics. It demonstrates to the locals you are willing to try and communicate with them in their native tongue.
Later this year I will be travelling to South America, so I am taking Spanish lessons. While I will never be fluent, I have learnt a few useful words and phrases to assist me upon my arrival.
Additionally, learning a language can be fun. It broadens your horizons. It also makes you realise how complex the English language can be for a non-english speaker.
You may think trying to remember if a word is masculine or feminine is hard. English words are more difficult because there are so many which sound the same but will completely change the meaning of your sentences.