If you’re going to be living in a whole new country, there’s going to be lots of paperwork to fill out and different factors to consider. With all that going on, you might not give a thought to actually learning your new local language. You might pick up the odd word or two once you arrive, but it’s surprisingly easy to resist going beyond that, especially when your colleagues or all the people in your community speak English.
But even if you don’t really need to learn the local language, there are several important reasons why you should, and here are just four.
- Differentiate Yourself from the Tourists
Expats don’t generally like to get mistaken for tourists. That’s partly down to wanting to feel more accepted by locals, but it’s also simply useful to avoid getting scammed or overcharged. Tourists are often charged more than locals, and anyone who cannot speak the local language is going to be seen as an easy mark since people will assume you won’t be staying long.
- Help with Urgent Issues
If you seek out a proper expat health insurance provider, you should have access to an international hotline and be able to visit hospitals where all the doctors speak English just as well as people born and raised in the UK. That said, speaking the local language can be very useful if you ever suffer a serious injury since the first medical professionals you see may not be fluent in English.
- Immerse Yourself in the Culture
One of the great joys that comes with becoming an expat is immersing yourself in a new culture. It can be a wonderful experience that most people never have the opportunity to enjoy, but you’re not going to be able to take full advantage if you don’t speak the local language.
- Find New Friends
Sometimes it’s easy to make new friends with nothing but your native tongue, especially if you move somewhere with a well-established expat community. However, this isn’t always the case, and you might start to find yourself feeling a little lonely. Learning the local language will help you make local friends, which is great since making local friends will provide you with greater opportunities to learn the local language!