Travel Question: Do You Need To Learn A Language?
One of the most important things to many travelers or expats is what language do the people speak in the country they will be heading to. Also, how much is English understood there.
In some countries the people are good enough with English that you really have no reason to learn the language. It may end up helping you out of a few situations or saving you a few dollars over the long haul, but putting in lots of time and energy to save so little isn’t worth it.
If you are on a short trip you really don’t need to try and learn a new language anyways. You will likely stay in the main tourist areas where English will be somewhat prevalent. At most you could go ahead and learn a few key phrases but even that won’t be necessary.
However, for any expats and digital nomads that are moving to a new country that is different. If you are going to be spending months or years somewhere then knowing their language could be very beneficial.
Figuring Out If Learning A Language is Worth it
There are some main things to consider before you decide whether you should do it or not. First off you need to be honest with yourself about how good you are at learning new languages.
Some people are great at it and can pick up on a new one very easily, while for others it may be a huge time commitment. If language comes easy to you then you might as well, if not then do you really want to do all that work?
Then you have to ask yourself how long will you be staying there, and how useful is the language going to be once you leave. Lets use Vietnam as the example here. If you learn Vietnamese it will pretty much only be of any use for you in Vietnam.
Once you leave the country you will never have the need for it again. If you are not fully committed to spending a long time living in Vietnam is it really worth it? Most would say no.
However learning something like Spanish could be very worthwhile because it is spoken in so many countries and if you are in the US you are probably around Spanish speakers every day. It may not help you that much once you leave the country, but it isn’t a completely sunk cost like Vietnamese.
Then there are other countries like the Philippines where English is so widespread that learning the local language wouldn’t be worth your time . It would make a slight improvement during your stay, but not drastic enough to putting in tens of hours to kind of sort of know the language.
Why Learning A Language Will Be Useful
In your day to day life knowing the language will make things a little easier but not much. If you are at a store and need to find something you will have an easier time asking for assistance.
If you are going to immigration or trying to get the internet set up those will go smoother, but how often do those things come up? If you are going to try and get a job in one of these countries that would help, but who wants to have a job when you can make money online at home in your boxers?
The main way that learning the language will be useful for a single guy is with girls. How useful this will be is up for debate and depends where you are.
For instance, in Southeast Asia you don’t really need to ‘game’ women at all so knowing how to sweet talk them isn’t important. You can still get them into bed just by being a nice guy, smiling, and making them comfortable.
You might lose out on 5% of girls here by not knowing the local language, but there are so many around that 5% less isn’t a big deal. However in Latin America knowing Spanish is paramount to having more success.
Latinas will have some interest in you because you are a foreigner, but they aren’t going to just drop the panties because you smile and say hola. That may work for some, but the hot ones will take a whole lot more then that.
Of course you can just go dancing and pick up drunk ones, or pay hookers, but even then knowing Spanish will make things easier and cheaper for you.
For a digital nomad in SEA the language is a nice addition but not all that important. For a digital nomad in Latin America learning Spanish is essential.
The Best Way To Learn Spanish
Living in the country and being around the people is the best way to go from an ‘ok’ Spanish speaker to a good one. But you can’t go from bad to ok just by living there.
Rosetta Stone is widely considered the best and easiest way to learn a new language. Millions of people have used it over the years and there is a reason that it is so popular.
If you are planning your trip to Latin America then don’t forget to buy Rosetta Stone and start practicing now. That way by the time you make your trip you will be at that ‘ok’ level and it won’t take long until you are speaking very well.
If you are going to go to Brazil remember that they speak Portuguese.
If you just want to know the important words and have something handy on you at all times this great Spanish Phrase Book is the one to go with. It is their best seller with hundreds of reviews on Amazon and is 4.5 stars.
Have Fun Learning A New Language
Some people really find pleasure in learning a language. They say once you learn one it becomes easier to learn many more. If you plan on being a digital nomad and seeing the world you may know 5 or 10 new ones in a few years.
There are plenty of products on Amazon that will help you learn them, so whether you are going to Latin America, Asia, Africa or anywhere click here and get the best products for learning a new language.