This is a guest post from Bryan Shelmon of Alllanguageresources.com. He writes about the benefits of learning the local language as a digital nomad, a topic near and dear to our hearts.
While you’ve found your ideal remote working location for the next couple of months, consider challenging yourself with learning the local language! There are a lot of advantages that come with learning the local language as a digital nomad. Even so, the digital nomad lifestyle makes it ideal for increasing your vocabulary in any language you choose.
Whether you’re a seasoned digital nomad or just booked your first one-way ticket, here are some of the reasons why you should learn the local language at your next destination.
Digital Nomad Lifestyle
Did you know that the digital nomad lifestyle is perfect for learning a new language? Digital nomads have the luxury to live and work anywhere in the world. They can stay as long as they want (or as long as their visa permits).
They say that the best way to learn a new language is to live in a country where they speak it. And digital nomads have the flexibility to do exactly that!
Learning the local language becomes a part of the digital nomad lifestyle as you embark on new countries. Maybe you pick a country based on what language you want to learn, or vice-versa by picking up on the language just because you’re living somewhere.
Whatever your motivation for picking destinations as a digital nomad, consider adding a new language to your repertoire while you’re there.
Apps like Duolingo and Babbel can teach you some of a language. But nothing is quite as effective as using the language in a real-life situation.
Benefits of Learning a Local Language
Digital nomads are much different than tourists. We tend to spend extended periods in a location before relocating to the next country.
If you’re going to be living like a local, why not learn to speak like the locals as well? You’ll be surprised at the improved quality of life as a digital nomad. Some unusual quirks may come up because you can “talk the talk.”
Adapting to Local Life
The best way to maintain productivity when abroad is by feeling comfortable and adapting to local life.
Traveling takes you outside of your comfort zone. But once you resettle into your regular work routine after traveling to a new location, you find it much easier to be productive.
Understanding the local language is one of the quickest ways to adapt anywhere. Constant travel is mentally draining when considering constantly changing languages, currencies, transportation systems, and the city overall.
If you can speak the local language, it’s one less thing you have to concern yourself with. You will adjust much quicker to your current work location.
Networking With the Locals
Most digital nomads can relate to feeling lonely at times. Constant travel and living in exotic places has its ups and downs when trying to stay connected to friends and family in different parts of the world.
The best way to combat the lonely feeling is to make new connections wherever you go! Meeting new people is always a great thing to do while traveling. Being a digital nomad gives you a bit more time to develop real friendships that may end up lasting a lifetime.
If you’re planning to stay in a location for a few months, pick up a few of the local words to better connect with the locals. Learning the language is a great way to interact with people from the area to show you the best parts of the city off the beaten tourist track.
Local Job Opportunities
One thing that’s always on the mind of a digital nomad is making enough money to support your travel habits. Some digital nomads have successful online careers, while others may want to step away from the digital world temporarily and find a position locally.
Speaking the local language works wonders for networking with people living in your community to find out about potential job opportunities.
A common job that digital nomads transition into is teaching abroad. Teaching is a great way to interact with locals while making a positive impact on the community. Not only will you be teaching your language to them, but you may end up learning some of the local language yourself.
The better you can communicate in the local language, the more opportunities open up while traveling.
Growth as a Remote Worker
Remote work comes in the form of freelancing, having an online business, or working remotely for your job at home. Either of these are suitable for starting your digital nomad journey around the world.
Don’t think of travel as a way to get away, but as a way to grow. Whether you’re working for yourself or a company, continuing to strive for personal growth is beneficial for everyone.
Learning a local language puts you in an immersive environment to pick up the language much faster than other study methods since you get to use it regularly in real-life situations.
Being able to communicate in a different language is great when working remotely as you could better interact with global teams. Having experience in the local environment can be more relatable when interacting with a native speaker. And if you’re able to work remotely, chances are other people within your team are doing the same.
When you begin to travel outside of the main tourist areas and meet locals, you’ll be surprised at how excited they are to meet a foreigner. The excitement is even more significant when you can speak the local language.
Seasoned digital nomads have all experienced the particular perks that come along with speaking the local language, even if it is just the basics. And since we could all use a bit more savings or complimentary upgrades, why not enjoy them as they come!
For example, if you find yourself eating at a local diner and communicate in the local language, you may be treated to a complimentary dessert. Or a taxi driver might make the extra effort to find your exact location while turning off the meter because he genuinely enjoyed the conversation.
Speaking the local language is about improving your social skills. Digital nomads have a different style of travel in that we tend to adapt like the locals instead of living like tourists.
As humans, we thrive on human interaction. Being able to speak the local language opens you up to an entirely new group of people that you otherwise would never have been able to talk to.
You’ll be surprised at the subtle advantages you have as a digital nomad for learning a new language and using it to continue to thrive outside of your comfort zone.
About the Author
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