Hello Going Expat people,

How many times have you heard/read me saying how important is to learn the local language when moving abroad? Yes, thousand or more!

Why is it important to learn the local language?

Moving to a new country is an exciting adventure filled with opportunities for personal and professional growth. However, one aspect that should not be overlooked is the importance of learning the local language.

While English might be widely spoken in many parts of the world, taking the time to immerse oneself in the local language can significantly enhance the overall experience of living abroad.

It also can create more and better job opportunities and help you in understanding the environment you are living in.

Let’s see one by one the main important reasons to learn the local language:

  • Cultural Integration: Learning the local language is a key factor in cultural integration. It goes beyond merely communicating; it enables you to understand the nuances of the culture, traditions, and customs. By speaking the language, you gain insights into the local way of life, forming connections with people and becoming an active participant in the community.
  • Building Relationships: Language is a powerful tool for building relationships. When you speak the  local language, you bridge the gap between yourself and the locals. It shows respect for their culture and efforts to assimilate, making it easier to connect with colleagues, neighbors, and new friends. Genuine relationships are often built on effective communication, and language is the foundation of that connection.
  • Professional Opportunities: In a globalized world, many businesses operate internationally. Learning the local language gives you a competitive edge in the job market. It demonstrates adaptability and a commitment to understanding the local market, which can open doors to various professional opportunities. Employers often value language skills as they contribute to effective communication and collaboration within a diverse workplace. Also, having the chance to work for local companies, and not only big international ones, might be a better fit with your values.
  • Navigating Daily Life: Mastering the local language is practical for navigating daily life. It empowers you to handle routine tasks like grocery shopping, taking public transportation, or seeking medical assistance independently. Can you imagine to be there when an emergency happens in the train and they explain only in Dutch what to do… how difficult would it be to have someone who stops there and translate everything for you? How lost would you feel in seeing people take action and you have no clue of what it is going on? Believe me this example is one of the most common events in the Netherlands and one of the reasons I decided to study Dutch.
  • Enhanced Travel Experience: Learning the local language enriches your travel experience within the country. Whether exploring historical sites, enjoying local cuisine, or interacting with people in rural areas, speaking the language allows for a deeper and more authentic experience. It opens doors to hidden gems that might be off the beaten path and fosters a greater appreciation for the country’s diversity.
  • Cognitive Benefits: Beyond the practical advantages, language acquisition has cognitive benefits. Studies have shown that learning a new language improves cognitive functions such as problem-solving, multitasking, and memory. It keeps the brain active and adaptable, contributing to a healthier and more resilient mind.

How to learn?

There are many ways to learn languages nowadays, and it can be overwhelming navigate the internet and choose a school (online or not).

What I can advise is to pick the one that looks more appropriate to you; If you lack attention while learning, go for a in-person class, if you need flexibility, on the contrary, pick an online option.

Among the many options online, take the time to have a look at 17 Minutes Languages website and start your language journey.

Let me remind you that learning the local language when moving abroad is not just a skill; it’s an investment in personal growth, cultural understanding, and a smoother transition into a new chapter of life.

Embracing the language of your new home enhances every aspect of the expatriate experience, fostering connections, opening doors to opportunities, and enriching your overall journey. So, as you embark on the adventure of living in a new country, remember that speaking the local language is a key that unlocks the doors to a truly immersive and rewarding experience.

Do you speak the local language of the country where you have moved or you are moving to?

Would you like to learn more about how to choose the right course for you? Let’s have a free call!

Talk to you soon