Connecting with people from other parts of the world is much easier than before since technology has made it possible for each of us, from the comfort of our homes, to be just one click away from connecting with anyone who is miles away. The need to learn a new language is much more than before. If until a few years ago learning a new language was part of a hobby which only a few shared, today it has become a necessity to find a new job, to connect with families, to understand stories, news and many more things on the other side of the world.
Moments in which you may notice language barriers
It is very likely that when you were applying for a job, your boss and colleagues told you that it was not really necessary to learn the language of the country you were in since the office spoke the universal language: English. However, at break time or in hallway conversations, or even when you meet for lunch, some of them started speaking Spanish and you, who do not know any Spanish at all, had a hard time interacting and being friends with your co-workers. Maybe one of them will try to incorporate you into the conversation, but let’s be honest, doing this all the time is boring and it’s not that helpful to be translating what others are saying all the time.
That’s right, it has happened to all of us and arriving in a country without knowing the language spoken could be a bad idea.
You are introduced to a girl or guy, you like it, you go out and manage to communicate very well, she or he knows a little of your language and you can talk, exchange experiences, some ideas and why not, opinions on some contingency topic. Anyway, if you have been there, then you know that by staying in this relationship, there will come a time when you will not be able to express everything you think, especially when you are upset or something bothers you and you need to say it just as fast and without thinking too much. Those moments come and you might have to know how to express what you really feel or think and without making a mistake, without your words being misunderstood, just as you would say it in your native language, what has happened to you? And not to mention meeting the family, because surely he or she has learned your native language, but chances are that the family is not as expert as your partner.
On a trip
We have all dreamed of traveling to the other side of the world, getting to know cultures we have always seen in books, talking and sharing with local people, and having friends in different parts of the world. Yes, you guessed it, you have to learn the language or at least some phrases to survive before traveling, not only so people understand you but this is a great way to show yourself as the «non-tourist». We all hate that typical tourist who arrives without knowing anything about the local people, the only thing they do is take pictures to upload to their social networks and don’t integrate into the culture or try to participate in the typical activities of the place they are visiting. Surely speaking a little Spanish or at least trying to do it, will earn you more than a smile from a local and nothing better than being welcomed to the country in this way.
On the Internet
Did you know that the second most spoken language on the Internet is Spanish? Yes, Spanish websites and blogs are expanding rapidly and you will find a lot of important and interesting information in this language. Overcoming this barrier can be one of the easiest, so keep reading to keep in mind these ten super tips that will help you overcome some of these four barriers.
10 super tips that will help you leave those barriers in the past.
1. Learn colloquial phrases for key moments
If you are in a business meeting or traveling around Latin America, learning a few phrases for communicating at key moments never hurts. Check here the most used travel phrases and also the phrases you would use in a restaurant.
2. Find an all-inclusive dictionary
Spanishdict is my all-time recommendation, this dictionary not only has translations of Spanish and English words, but it also has usage examples, verb conjugations, pronunciations, expressions, grammar lessons, games, and endless things to help you a lot if you are learning Spanish. Just download it to your phone and start using your all-inclusive dictionary.
Don’t let language barriers get the better of you, frustrate you, or even embarrass you. Plan ahead, prepare phrases you can use, prepare questions, practice the pronunciation of some words by looking in the mirror or record yourself saying them with your phone, anything is worth it in this process of learning a new language.
4.Online one-to-one tuition
Look for a tutor to correct you when you speak and better if it’s an online teacher. Exactly, a teacher can help you understand and correct mistakes when you are speaking, words that others hesitate to correct or simply don’t know-how. The teacher will be there 100% focused on listening to you and correcting your mistakes as well as explaining the correct way to say the words. Make sure to check out the different lesson plans I have for you at this link.
5.Find an exchange partner
If teachers aren’t your cup of tea, then look for something more informal. An exchange partner could help you a lot at this point, especially since both of you are eager to learn another language and it’s a win-win for both of you.
6.Find an interpreter
If you don’t have time to study, you just need a person who can explain something specific to you and translate what others are saying. The service of interpreters is becoming more and more common and there are many people who charge per hour to help you do paperwork or translate papers or talk to other people in the language you want to communicate. Look for people who are interpreters in the area where you live here.
7.Try to be as simple and clear as possible
less is more, especially when you are learning another language. Always be simple, clear, try to use generic and general words to communicate, and surely the people next to you will understand you better. And in case you don’t understand something because a native person is saying something too fast, never be ashamed to say please, can you repeat it slower?
8.Use non-verbal language
What an important thing our hands and gestures are when we are communicating, sometimes they even say more than our words, so don’t be afraid to use them. One piece of advice before! Always look for non-verbal gestures that could be offensive according to each country, don’t make a mistake unintentionally. Check here some typical Latino gestures (en Chile!)
9.Pay attention to body language
Just like gestures, body language tells you a lot about people, whether they are comfortable, angry, happy, etc. Paying attention to these details can help you to communicate in a successful way.
If I were given a coin for every student who has come to my classes saying: «Teacher, when I arrived in Chile my friends told me: don’t worry, you will learn Spanish in the street, it is not necessary to Study it but I’ ‘ve been here for a year and I still can’t speak it.
Spanish or any other language is not learned by magic, unless you have many talents and incredible abilities to learn languages, you will not do it just because you hear it in the street. To learn a language you have to study, you have to learn words, use them, practice, make mistakes, read, and repeat this sequence many more times to achieve an acquisition in long-term memory.
So whether you do it on your own or with the help of a tutor, friend, or partner, my advice is to study and organize yourself to achieve your goals in a short period of time.
Do you need the help of a teacher? Write to me
What do you think? Will you try some of these tips?
I will love to read your comments
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Abrazos y hasta pronto