We learn about new cultures, foods, history, and inevitably about language by just immersing ourselves within a country.
When I was at school, the prospect of learning a new language never really fascinated me. My mum gave me the chance when I was very young and to be honest..I hated it! I wanted to be normal, and just speak English just like everyone else. Now I look back
and see how stubborn I was, I could have had that second language. I’ve chosen to learn Vietnamese and Spanish, both chosen as I have had a head-start in both, although I can understand some, I definitely can’t speak them by any means.
I feel I’ve missed out and now I want that chance to learn. I’m planning on learning through various internet based methods throughout the next few months so that when we do travel, I’ll hopefully get to use the new languages I’ve learnt.
Vietnamese is a chosen language as its my Mum’s native tongue, I hope to be able to speak with the locals about where to travel and stay and what to eat and buy. I also want to be able to speak with my family in Saigon as only a few of my cousins speak English, which makes it very difficult to communicate. I’ve looked up a few sites which may help. this will be the first of my languages to learn as it’s closer to the top of our travel plans.
Spanish I chose as I had to do a language for GCSE, it was the only language that interested me back then, and it still does now. The second most spoken language after Mandarin, it is widely used world-wide. When we eventually travel down to South America I also hope to do the same as in Vietnam, but in South America I also hope to use my language skills to volunteer with local charities, in areas working within conservation or working with animals.
My aim – to learn Vietnamese and Spanish to an intermediate level by the end of my trip. I understand it takes a lot longer than a year to be fluent in any language, but hopefully I will at least be able to understand the majority of what people are saying!