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Talk the Talk: Why learning the language is essential when moving abroad

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

If you're planning to live in a foreign country for an extended period of time, it's essential to determine if you need to learn the language of that country. Here are some tips to help you figure it out:

  1. Research the country's official language: Check the official language(s) of the country you plan to live in. If it is not your native language or you do not speak it fluently, it is likely you will need to learn it to be able to communicate with locals, understand important information such as news, road signs, and more.

  2. Consider the region where you'll be living: Some countries have multiple official languages or have regions where different languages are spoken. Research the region you plan to live in and determine which languages are commonly spoken there. You may need to learn a regional language in addition to the official language of the country.

  3. Think about your daily needs: Consider what your daily needs will be and whether you will need to communicate with locals to fulfill those needs. For example, if you plan to work, you will need to communicate with colleagues and customers. Similarly, if you plan to shop, you will need to interact with local merchants. If you cannot speak the local language, it may be difficult to handle daily life.

  4. Evaluate your personal goals: Think about your personal goals while living abroad. Do you want to immerse yourself in the local culture and connect with locals? If so, learning the language may be essential to make meaningful connections with people.

  5. Assess your budget and time: Learning a language takes time and resources. Consider your budget and available time to invest in language classes or resources. If you have limited time or resources, you may need to rely on language translation apps or hire a translator to communicate effectively.

Ultimately, if you plan to live abroad for an extended period, learning the local language can help you integrate more effectively into the community and enjoy a richer experience.

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