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How to overcome the language barrier

  • January 24, 2013

How to overcome the language barrier

Many Americans are dissatisfied with their current places of residence and are moving abroad. The Business Insider recently reported on an industry survey that revealed that more people are making international relocation plans every year than ever before. 

The language barrier is the most significant challenge expatriates face when they leave their home country. It's difficult for new residents to connect with their new neighbors when they can't verbally communicate. In some cases, the problem is so severe that people hire an international moving company like Stevens Worldwide Van Lines to help them return home. 

Consider the following tips to help you overcome the language barrier after your relocation movers have finished unloading all of your luggage. 

Start small
Rome wasn't built in a day, and it's impossible to learn a whole language in that same span of time. It can take years to master a new tongue. Take small steps so you don't become frustrated with your perceived lack of progress. 

Focus on key phrases before tackling complicated grammar points. Learn how to communicate basic needs and ask simple questions. As you start to feel more comfortable with using common phrases and responding to native speakers you can gradually expand your vocabulary. 

Work with someone
It's easier to master a new subject by working with a partner, rather than keeping to yourself. Find a friend who speaks multiple languages and ask for a few lessons. A tutor can be a valuable asset as you delve into the more complicated aspects of a new language. 

If you're having trouble making friends abroad, sign up for classes at a school. Professional teachers explain the nuances of a language so you understand how to communicate complicated ideas. Additionally, a class is a great place to find other expatriates you can socialize with as you adapt to your surroundings. 

Focus on the dialect
Every region has its own dialect. Residents of different towns use unique slang terms and colloquial phrases. It may seem confusing at first, but you should focus on this particular aspect of a language before learning the finer points. 

It's more important to be able to communicate with your neighbors than it is to fluently speak a language during the early stages of your move. Once you can safely talk to people who live in your local area, expand your vocabulary so you can explore beyond neighborhood. That said, remember that the dialect might be useful in other regions. 


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