Everyone smiles in the same language. -Unknown
Hello world travelers, I wanted to share with you some knowledge that I have gained on the expected language barrier you might face through your travels. I will soon be graduating with a degree in ESL education so I am licensed to work with students in the classroom who are still learning English. Through my career, volunteer work, and travel experiences I have two pieces of advice I would like to share:
1. When engaging in a conversation be POSITIVE. Do not get frustrated or discouraged. Be thankful that you are gaining this worldly experience, talking to someone with all of this knowledge that you can learn from.
2. Develop the mindset that the English language is not THE language, it is YOUR language and there are many who do not speak it. Do not expect others around you to try and speak English so you can understand them. As a world traveler, YOU try to speak another language, try something new! Do some research before you go and learn a few words. I keep a journal and I write down words I learn from the community and the students I work with so I can communicate better in the future…just a thought!
Interacting with others that communicate using a differing language than my own has, at times, been difficult but it is part of the adventure. I have never learned more or been more intrigued than engaging with humans that can teach me so much about a life that I have never been exposed to. APPRECIATE every conversation that you have. The memory of that conversation will stay with you for the rest of your life, I promise.
Comment any experiences you have had with communicating with others who speak a different language than you. I would love to hear any thoughts, questions, or stories from fellow travelers!