Is it really possible to learn about other cultures without traveling? The answer is yes. Although most people would rather travel and experience other cultures by living it, not everyone has the bank account to support a wanderlust Instagram-inspired lifestyle.
Traveling and learning about other cultures is something we all crave. We are so exposed to it through media and the internet. With modern technology (and some other means) within our reach, how can we maximize learning without spending so much? It’s probably time for you to learn another language.
As we all know, English is the most used language around the world. Most of us speak English to some extent, or at least understand it, and we become so complacent about it that we are not encouraged to learn another language.
Learning another language is another way of learning a different culture. Every language is unique (I’m not just talking about how it can make another person sound more exotic or sexier when they speak), for it also reveals a certain cultural characteristics.
For example, for us Filipinos, we have this word called “tampo”. It doesn’t have a direct translation, but the closest English equivalent to it is sulking, or holding a grudge. Every time someone who doesn’t speak Filipino asks me what’s the exact meaning of the wordtampo, I also get a headache. This is because for one reason: In Filipino culture, tampo is less frowned upon than sulking is in American culture. This is something that’s really hard to explain, and learning a language like Filipino will help you realize that it’s simply a cultural thing. We are “matampuhin” (prone to sulking), not because we are spoiled brats or grudgeful, but rather it is a way for us to show affection (or other emotions) without the need to be taken too seriously.
Where Will You Get The Motivation?
Just like losing weight, you have to be dedicated to see results when learning a language. Without dedication, you wouldn’t retain everything you learned even if you study it for years.
Learn a language that you are really interested in. I am personally interested in learning Spanish. It is in my bucket list to visit Spain and South America someday, and unfortunately, it will probably take me a while before I reach that. It would require living on a budget for a while, in order to save up travel money. But this is my motivation – I will be able to use it when I travel to Spanish-speaking countries someday. By then, I probably have a personal traveling hashtag (#LuigiTravels) and a new language in my pocket.
Learning a language for sure is no easy task. It can be daunting, and fluency in a different language requires a lot of time, dedication and practice. Starting small and learning a few words or phrases can make you feel more culturally enlightened, but perhaps maybe it’s time for you to master a beginning level of your chosen language. It will make your life a lot easier if you also travel to countries that use that language.
Teach the language you already know! Teach English with us, and you’ll probably meet a student that will inspire you to learn another language! Click this link to apply.