Why You Should Bother Learning Your Local Language
So, you decided to live in a new country. You your stuff has been packed up and shipped over here. You’ve found a great new apartment and have started your new job.
All the pieces are falling into place and it’s time to start living your life. So how do you do that exactly?
At first it’s very exciting. Everything is new and during all the experiences you feel fresh and alive.
But you need to know how to keep that feeling at time progresses. How do you keep things from stagnating?
The most important things you can do when moving to a new location is to start integrating yourself into the local community.
During the research in developing our language coaching program, we found that learning the local language is vital to feeling a part of your new city.
It’s not enough to go for a few drinks with your work colleges and attend the odd expat event around Zurich.
You have to be able to understand the world around you, interact with those you come into contact with in your everyday life and communicate with the people you want to get to know more.
Don’t believe me?
Think about the last place you called home.
When a bartender spoke to you or you heard an announcement on the train… you understood what they were saying.
If somebody came up to you to ask for directions you’d (probably) be able to tell them how to get there.
At party or a Sunday barbecue you could listen to and take part in conversations that were going on around you.
But what happens now?
You might catch a word or two in every sentence that you understand, you could work out the gist of what someone is asking from the context or hand gestures and you’ll probably find a few people that are happy to chat to you in English, but every other conversation is foreign to you and you feel disconnected from the group.
All these problems are going to hinder your ability to integrate into your new home and will stop you from feeling like you belong.
Your best solution is to learn the language.
I won’t promise it will be easy. It will take a small commitment on your part, and a small measure of consistency.
But I can promise it will definitely be worth it.