Parlez-vous français? Hablas español? It won’t be long before you hear these words, or similarly foreign-sounding words, when you move to a new country. And what will you reply? Do you plan to emigrate without learning a new language first, or would you like to fully prepare yourself to communicate with different language groups in your new country? Learning a new language will be most beneficial to the experience for you (and your family). The benefits of learning a new language are undeniable and it is highly recommended if you plan to emigrate from SA. Don’t worry though – SA has 11 official languages and you have undoubtedly picked up a few tips on how to learn a new language along the way. You’ve got this!
While there are over 6,500 languages spoken in the world today, we all know that English is the most spoken language in the world. However, it might not be enough to help you settle into your new country. Yes, English is the main language spoken in countries such as the United Kingdom and USA but then again, Spanish and French are widely spoken languages in those countries too! Much the same as Te Reo Māori is spoken in New Zealand and Mandarin is widely spoken in Australia.
Benefits of Learning a New Language
The good news is that learning a new language will have far-reaching benefits in your life, over and above being able to communicate with different language groups. Below are just 5 of the top of benefits of learning a new language:
- Boosts brain power.
- Improves memory function.
- Boosts multi-tasking abilities.
- Improves networking skills.
- Keeps the mind sharp, fit, and active (which is great for fending off the symptoms of diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s).
Most Spoken Language In The World
If you are interested in learning a new language (or a few new languages), you might want to pick from a list of the top languages spoken by global citizens. According to BUSUU, an online portal dedicated to helping people learn a foreign language, the world’s top 10 languages spoken are:
- English (1,132 million speakers)
- Mandarin (1,117 million speakers)
- Hindi (615 million speakers)
- Spanish (534 million speakers)
- French (280 million speakers)
- Arabic (274 million speakers)
- Bengali (264 million speakers)
- Russian (258 million speakers)
- Portuguese (199 million speakers)
- Indonesian (170 million speakers)
Best Way To Learn A Language
Those who already speak a plethora of languages will tell you that the best way to learn a new language is to speak it. If you want to learn a foreign language in the quickest and most effective way possible, here are a few tips:
- Opt for mobile learning: How, you ask? Download a language learning app to your phone and make use of it when you are commuting, cooking dinner, sharing a meal with a partner, or lying in bed. Duolingo is a particularly good app for learning a new language and it is absolutely free.
- Learn with a buddy: When you learn something new with a partner or friend, the chances are that you will practice it more often. Try to keep the same pace as your language study buddy.
- Translate every text and email: Let your friends and colleagues know that you are trying to learn a new language. When texting or emailing them, make sure that you also include the translation of the message below, in the language you are trying to learn. This will give you a lot of real-time and real-life practice of communicating in that particular language.
- Post-it note it: Write down the translated words of everyday items on post-it notes and stick them around your house. The more you read these words, repeat them to yourself, and memorize them, the greater chance you will have of picking them up and being able to use them in future.
- Set foreign language days in place: Set certain days of the week aside to only speak the language that you want to learn. You will need to make sure that you have the Google Translate app on your mobile phone, so that you can look up the correct way to say things. This app has both a written and verbal feature so you can choose which way you would like to use it, depending on the time you have available and your preferences.
- Give your brain a real workout: Media is the best way to get the brain to pick up on a new language in a community setting. Before you jet off to your new country, you should have plenty of time to watch local shows, read local newspapers, and listen to local radio stations. This can all be done online. You can’t just listen or read the content though. You need to actively translate what you are listening to and reading and make sure that you practice saying those very sentences a few times. Prepare for a lot of pausing of shows and looking sentences up online and prepare to spend a lot more than just a few minutes reading a newspaper article.
- Just do it: When you get to the other side, you are going to just have to wing it. Speak the language as you know it and ask people for help. Ask questions, prepare to be laughed at for saying silly things – this is normal. One of the best things you can say to people when trying to learn their language is “how do you say X?” – don’t be afraid to ask!
FinGlobal: Financial and Tax Emigration specialists
When moving to a new country, the concept of speaking a new language might be daunting – almost as daunting as tax emigration and financial emigration processes. At FinGlobal, we speak your language and we can quite effectively translate the intricacies of tax and financial emigration for you. Why struggle with the red tape and challenges of getting these processes sorted out when we can handle it for you? For more information and advice, Contact FinGlobal today!