The Beauty of Learning Local Languages

When people ask me what steps they should take before they move abroad I usually tell them to start the process by learning the languages where they plan to move.

For Morocco, I learned french before I arrived, and doing so helped me feel more confident with my communication skills. When I moved to India, I did not know any local languages and I found it hard to adjust at first (even though many people speak English).

There is something to be said about learning local languages that have nothing to do with you as the future expat or traveler. Not only does learning the language of your adoptive country help you communicate with locals, having language skills also show people how much you appreciate their culture and customs.

Key Phrases Are Key!

I don’t believe you have to engage in a fully immersive language program before you move abroad or even travel. I do, however, recommend that you learn key phrases that will help you with everyday tasks like grocery shopping, negotiating taxi fares, and exchanging pleasantries. If you are lucky to learn enough of a language to have full conversations, that is even better.

  • Although this post is updating you about how I am learning the Spanish language, I want to share some key phrases I used for Moroccan Arabic & French. I plan to update the document with Spanish phrases as well once I get comfortable with the language!

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    My Current Language Learning Situation

    I am currently learning Spanish (or ‘re-learning). It’s been a fun experience so far even though I have had to find ways to keep myself disciplined while learning at home. Although I do not know where I am moving to next, I want to be prepared with a language skill so I can easily communicate if I do decide to move to a Spanish-speaking country.

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    Three Ways to Learn Local Languages

    As discussed in the video, I am using three main methods to learn Spanish. Note, these are applicable to any language you want to learn, especially for beginners.

    1. Apps
      • Duolingo (app and web platform- interactive short lessons)
      • Quizlet (app and web platform- flashcards)
      • Quizizz (app and web platform- gamified quizzes and interactive lessons)
    2. Books and workbooks. The ones I shared in this video are:
      • Punto y Aparte (you can search for this reference on Amazon)
      • Easy Guide to Spanish (I found this at a thrift store)
    3. Rosetta Stone
      • This is my main method for learning Spanish right now. So far, Rosetta Stone is my favorite web-based service for language learning. I’ve tried Mango in the past for learning french, but I prefer Rosetta Stone.
      • There are also has tons of other languages to choose from.
      • It costs $199 but it is currently on sale for $179!!! (not sponsored, I just love a good deal)

    More Topics to Guide You!

    My Life Living in Morocco
    Travel the World With Me
    My Life As An Expat Living in India
    Day in My Life
    Spring in DC: Where to See Cherry Blossoms and Take Photos!

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