Language Learning: Travel to Italy Is My Motivation
I am going to learn Italian. Yes, I, the mother of a newborn and toddler, am going to teach myself a new language. I taught myself a little Italian back in 2007 when Mike and I traveled to Italy on our (very) belated honeymoon. I haven’t spoken a word of it since.
Dek, Ty and I are headed back to Europe in October for a month of visiting friends around the continent. We will be in Italy and Sicily for at least half the trip. A little Italian will go a long way for us, especially in Sicily.
Here in the U.S. foreign language study is not stressed nearly enough. Too many of us assume everyone in the world can speak English. Yet learning another language, if even just a few words, can go such a long way when you travel.
With a little local vocabulary you can order a meal, find the nearest toy store and tell a taxi where you want to go. When your children know a few local phrases they can find comfort in their new surroundings, chat with other kids and impress their friends when they get back home.
Start of something new
In an effort to enlighten others and myself to the many ways you can learn a language before you head out on your next trip, whether it be short or long term, I’m starting a new weekly series called Learning Languages. I’ve tapped into a group of fellow travelers and friends who have realized the importance of language in today’s world. They are teaching themselves so they can better communicate while abroad. Parents are giving their children a few tools to add to their travel belt.
One thing I hope to gain from this series, and to pass on to you all, is a broad range of techniques that individuals and families implementing to communicate with the people around them. There is no one way you can absorb a language these days. Flashcards, textbooks, tutors and schools are only the tip of the iceberg.
How’s this going to work?
Every Monday I will be posting about learning a language. Some will be guest posts and personal stories that others have shared about their own struggles and triumphs. I’ll also be looking at simple tips and tricks to get your family involved in the process and excited to get going. Check back on Travel Tips Tuesdays for easy tips, phrases and more.
This is a big project for me. I’m not looking for fluency in the next 5 months. I have two small kids after all. I’m sure it’s possible to learn a language to some degree that quickly, but I also have to live in my reality; dirty diapers, weekly outings and figuring out what the heck to serve for dinner tonight.
If you have a love for language learning, are making language a priority in your family’s travel life or are just not sure where to start, drop me a line in the comments below.
written by Keryn Means