Common problems when facing a country with a different language.
You may have studied a language for many years, but facing a place where you must communicate in that language all the time can become very exhausting and frustrating at the same time.
Some problems related to this may have to do with the differences between accents. Because if you studied English from the US and you go to England, the pronunciation can be difficult to understand. There are countries like Australia, where most people shorten words and have quite different pronunciations, so it can be traumatizing for someone who thinks he/she speaks the language and then they don’t understand anything. If this is the case, you have to stay calm, as you will see that after a few weeks your ear will get used to it and you will begin to understand everything. Sometimes the accents can change a lot from one city to another in the same country, so you have to be open to this discomfort. There will always be idioms and slangs that change from country to country, so asking if you don’t understand is essential to improve.
The opposite may also happen, the case when the people from the country you are doesn’t understand you by your pronunciation or even the words you use. When you have heard a foreigner speak in your language, doesn’t it sound strange? The same goes for you when you speak another language, so be patient to repeat in case you are not understood, speak slowly and make more efforts to speak at a correct volume and modulation. Forgetting shyness is essential to speak as much as possible and thus improve.
Even though you can speak the same language very well, there are cultural differences that are important to consider. One of them is humor, because although it may seem normal that we all laugh at the same things, sometimes it is not. I remember a time in New Zealand when in a moment of great spark, I made several jokes using sarcasm, but I was shocked that no one was laughing. That day I went to sleep very disappointed thinking I was boring, but days later I realized that it was because they did not understand sarcasm and that my jokes simply did not make them laugh because of a cultural issue. They probably thought I was very weird.
Sometimes those differences have to do with the tone of the conversation, with the manners, your posture or even the way of being. But it is precisely this type of thing that you should value in a multicultural experience.
Take time to live these situations calmly, to understand that you are in a different place and that these differences are going to manifest themselves moment by moment. Forget shyness and take advantage of this opportunity to speak other languages, to be able to interact with minds that have a completely different past from yours and therefore they probably have different ways of thinking too.
Ask when you don’t understand, ask them to repeat or speak more slowly when necessary. In case the language is not well managed, a good pocket dictionary can be a good option to communicate and also to learn new vocabulary. Remember that making mistakes is part of the learning process and that therefore you should not be frustrated by them.
In case you do not speak anything of the language, it is always advisable to learn some basic words such as hello, how much is it, thank you, sorry, goodbye, and other words of the local country since even if you do not really know how to speak, the fact that you know some words It will make local people feel closer to you.
Even so, in these times it is only necessary to have the google translate application to be able to communicate in practically any language, one of the benefits of today’s times.
As a piece of advice if you are learning a new language, is to think in that language. I remember when I studied English, I was thinking all the time in english, every thought I was doing it in english so every time there was a word I didn’t know how to say I looked it up in the dictionary and started using it. If the word comes in your mind when thinking is because you need it, so you will realize your English improves very fast.