Get to grips with a new language
Brits moving to Europe or a country where the population speaks a different language will benefit from familiarising themselves with the lingo before jetting off.
According to Lindsay de Feliz, marketing manager at Expat Focus, in order to make the most of the experience of living in a foreign country, it is important that expats possess even a modest ability to speak the native language.
It’s not essential for people to be fluent, as this will come over time – just the basics will go a long way.
“Whilst it is true that some people have more aptitude for learning a language than others, the first thing is to discover which way of learning suits you best,” Ms De Feliz noted.
“For some it has to be face to face, others prefer to read and others prefer a television or computer programme. Some are better learning alone and some prefer group learning. Choose the one that suits your way of learning best and your lifestyle, and try and learn some of the language before moving.”
What matters, she added, is that people get a grasp of key phrases, especially the ones they will be using most often when they arrive in a country to begin a new life.
This includes, for example, questions like ‘I am sorry I do not understand’, ‘where is?’ and ‘how do I?’.
On top of popular sayings, learning the present tense of some basics verbs – to be, to have, to come, to go and to want – will help expats explain their actions or wishes.
“Once in your new country, learning the language is one of the best ways to make friends, whether you go to a language school or have a private teacher,” Ms De Feliz went on to say.
“As you learn, make sure to practise the new things you have learned on a daily basis, so that they are remembered and it will also improve your confidence.”
She concluded by saying that one of the things local people most appreciate about foreigners settling in their country is the effort to speak their language.