A trip can be enhanced a thousand times if you take the time to learn the language spoken at the place where you are travelling beforehand. A language and a culture cannot be isolated one from another, they go hand in hand, and there lies the importance of knowing a foreign language before travelling abroad.
Learn from Native Teachers
There are many advantages to learning from a native teacher over learning with a teacher born elsewhere. Listening to a real native pronunciation will get your ear used to the new sounds, while you will start exercising new muscles in your mouth you probably didn’t use before (this happens when you switch from a language that requires less modulation to one in which it’s more important to articulate words, such as English and Spanish). Qualified native speaking Italian teachers conducting Italian courses Leeds also help convey the cultural nuances behind the language.
Get immersed in the Culture in Advanced
It is always better to study the place you’re about to visit in advance, so that you take more advantage of your time abroad. Travelers always recall reading a book written by a famous author, and visiting the place where certain part of the story is set. It could be fiction, or real history, but those are the little things that add a touch of magic. If you’re visiting Rome, wouldn’t it be a pity not to know the Roman history? Among other things, you’ll be visiting the Colosseum, the Capitoline, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, etc. You can read history books, watch movies set in those places such as: The Da Vinci Code, The Last Legion, Agora, King Arthur, Gladiator, etc.
Be More Practical
As the saying goes, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. You can’t always expect that locals will speak your mother tongue for you. So when asking for directions, advice, or anything else you may need, it’s better to do so in their language. Everybody is nice to a foreign person visiting their country when they see he or she took the time to learn their language, and takes an interest in their culture. Besides, when you learn the language from a native teacher, you also learn the traditions and lifestyle, which is not only polite, but also a great way to truly appreciate the culture. You can do this at www.italianteachers.co.uk.
Picture: thanks to Dave Winer, http://www.flickr.com/people/scriptingnews/