Jump to content
Linguaholic
Improve your knowledge of any language online

Lived in a Foreign Country


Recommended Posts

Have you lived in a foreign country?  Were you able to speak the language or did you live there to help learn the language?  I lived in Australia for a short time.  While they speak English my native tongue I learned a lot of great Australian words that I incorporate my day to day. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I lived in Saudi Arabia during my elementary school days as well as first year high school.  Unfortunately I never had any desire to learn the Arabic language, as it was more of a school requirement.  We started learning Arabic in Grade 3, but I hated learning something which I had no interest in.  I had to study the language just to pass our year level.  After first year high school, I was glad to have left. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I lived in the UK for 6 years (university and work) and it helps a lot when it comes to learning English. I mean, I was good at English before, but being in an environment where you have to speak English definitely helps with my speaking. And of course the idioms and the slangs are completely different from what I've learnt; getting used to "You alright ?" as a greeting comes to mind.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never lived in a foreign country, but I have been to many countries for a holiday.
Except for Belgium, Poland and the UK, I haven't been able to speak the language of the other countries.
But if I would visit Germany again, I would be able to.

Each time I visited a southern European country, I noticed how important it is to speak the language of that country, although people in Greece usually can speak English really well (which is fortunate, because I wasn't planning to learn Greek any way).

Link to post
Share on other sites
Scribendi: World-Class Editing and Proofreading

I lived briefly in Italy and I made the journey there because I'm in love with all things Italian. I'd gone many years before on a family holiday and never forgot our holiday in Rome. I wanted to go and experience the country as an adult, to pick up some of the language, enjoy the food and culture etc. In the few months I was there, I was able to learn quite a fair amount of Italian, enough that I could converse with non-english speaking Italians. Albeit in not so perfect Italian. ** Sigh** It's a long shot, but I  do hope I get the chance to repeat the experience one day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Envious to the highest level! Haha, I wish I had the same experience as you guys of having lived in another country.

Living in a foreign country is the greatest 'immersion' you can have, and it can definitely improve your language ability. Here in Cebu, I see a lot of Koreans supposedly learning the English language. However, what I noticed is they kept hanging out with fellow Koreans. Thus, instead of them conversing English with the locals, they always end up speaking their local language, and they are truly amazing with their Korean, haha~

Kind of defeat the purpose of why they're even here to study English when they don't immerse themselves and take advantage of speaking with locals. Although, I see that there are other Koreans who do try.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, I have never had a chance to live in another country for enough time to pick up a language, but I lived for 2 months in Bulgaria. We had some language lessons there and I learned a bit about understanding the language. It is after all very close to my own language, and so many words are similar to Serbian, so It was not that hard to understand, certainly with the help of some lessons and a teacher. But, I wish I lived in a country like Iceland, so that I could learn Icelandic. Once I started learning it because I was in love with a boy from there, and it seemed like a great challenge to me! I loved it. Unfortunately, the love was gone, so was the will to learn the language..

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10 December 2015 at 11:11:47 PM, atanas.velikov said:

Living in Bulgaria meant I learnt the language like a native and I am now bi-lingual. If it wasn't for he fact I had no choice but to learn purely because of survival I never would have learnt Bulgarian so yes it's helped. 

That's exactly the situation i'd like to be 'thrown' in and forced to learn the language fast, being thrown in at the deep end so to speak. I'd love to find a job in say Italy, and be based somewhere remote-ish where the locals don't speak much English, which would force me into making more of an effort! There'd obviously be no room for shyness and all that. You definitely learn faster that way, whether or not you like it. Just out of interest, how long did it take you to feel confident speaking Bulgarian? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to admit it took me about two years to be able to feel confident enough to swear and make remarks !! It took me about a year to hold a conversation properly. You are more than welcome here :) I even speak to my son in Bulgarian now more than I do English .

1 hour ago, lushlala said:

That's exactly the situation i'd like to be 'thrown' in and forced to learn the language fast, being thrown in at the deep end so to speak. I'd love to find a job in say Italy, and be based somewhere remote-ish where the locals don't speak much English, which would force me into making more of an effort! There'd obviously be no room for shyness and all that. You definitely learn faster that way, whether or not you like it. Just out of interest, how long did it take you to feel confident speaking Bulgarian? 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I live in a foreign country now. I can speak a little bit of the language, but I'm far from fluent. My listening skills are excellent though. I can understand most of what is said to me. I'm learning everyday :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have lived in Germany and Austria for a long time. That is why I was able to learn German well, because I went to school there and also had the German language all around me, through people and media. But I had the bonus that I was basically brought up with German since I was really young.

Link to post
Share on other sites

   I have lived and worked on Malta for almost two years. It is a micro country as you probably know but it is also bilingual one. Their official languages are Maltese and English. It is rather shady, in my opinion, that English is considered to be an official language of Malta because to be honest with you their English is mostly bad. They just mix a lot of words from Maltese and sequence of tenses does not exist. There are people who you use it properly and mostly young ones but still, even they do not qualify as native speakers and I believe when you have English to be your official language there is a level you need to reach. I met a lot of Maltese people and I spoke and used English better than 100 percent of them. Not most of them, all of them. People from England who came to live and work on Malta do not fall in that group. Nevertheless, I learned a lot about their culture and had a chance to speak English and therefore practice my communication skills.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

I went to Australia to visit my aunt for a vacation. I am already fluent with the English language so I did not have a difficulty when it comes to that. However, the accent would be really difficult to understand at first. After about a month, you'll get used to their accent.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently living in Mexico. I didn't know any Spanish before I moved here. I wouldn't recommend living in a foreign country without knowing the basics of the language. It was very difficult for me at first and very overwhelming. I have learned a lot though in the 2 years I have been here and I can speak Spanish at a conversational level now, although my grammar is horrible. I always wanted to learn Spanish so I thought moving here would help, it wasn't a horrible idea but I could have been more prepared.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am living in a foreign country right now, but still mainly speaking my native language. And to tell you the truth it is not helping me learning the country's language. There are a really big hungarian minority in Romania, and as a hungarian I came to do my MA degree. 

I am mainly with hungarians, in hungarian pubs, studying in a hungarian university, so sadly not a big culture shock for me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I lived in South Africa for two months only... I tried to learn Afrikaans but it is a terribly hard language! Also, everyone speaks English there (my native language) so it was hard to force myself to try to learn Afrikaans when English was readily available! 

We also stayed in France for a month and no one chose to speak English (which I prefer) and I left France with a fair understanding of the language! I find that immersing yourself into a culture and fully experiencing it is the best way to learn the language.  You are able to observe people which should offer a greater understanding of what they are saying.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

I lived in South Korea for 3 years, I only learned a few phrases becasue they speak a lot of English there.  I did try to learn the language but I have never been very successful in learning language, it is my one learning downfall.  I am hoping by joining this site that I will be able to learn new ways to learn language that will be beneficial to my learning.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a similar experience to you, @KimmyMarkks in that I lived in England for a few years. I was there to study, but not to study a foreign language. They also, naturally, speak English there! However, as with the language of Australia, their English is oftentimes very different to American English. I certainly got a mental workout learning slang, colloquial terms, etc. It was a really fun experience, although also somewhat stressful at times due to culture shock and isolation from family and friends.

I dream of living in Paris for a year or two. That would be wonderful! I feel that I would pick up the language so much more quickly that way.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never lived in a foreign country, although I would love to move to France and become fluent in French. I love french women, and I'd like to marry one as well. It would be really nice to have that happen because I don't want to stay where I live now.

It's only a matter of time though, I'm working towards that goal now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't lived in any other country aside from where I was born but I have travelled for vacation to countries where I expected I could get to use what little I know of Chinese but unfortunately most of the time I can't really keep up or comprehend the local accents since I was trained in my country and even then I was mostly only trained academically and didn't get to use it much for conversations. Thankfully I also do know enough about the written words so I at least was able to use that since it's much easier to keep up with and also similar enough even between multiple dialects. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I lived two years in Brazil because my parents were doing a contract job there. I was a child and learned some basic insights of Portuguese, but I was a classical example of someone who pretty much narrowed interactions to family members. So, I ended up learning nothing of portuguese since: a.) My father handled everything related to the language. b.) I was at international school, they used english. c.) Not interested in portuguese at all.

In a nutshell, live in a  foreign country and pretty much learn nothing about anything. As long as you don't get outside of your own safe bubble, and know English, you will not feel pressured to learn the local language. A typical example are foreign people that moved to Japan with their Japanese spouses.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The longest time I've spent in a foreign country is 13 years in England. While obviously there was no language barrier as Botswana's official language is English, when I moved to live up North (after spending a year in London) it did feel a little bit like I was learning new languages because there are just so many regional dialects there, such as Liverpudlian, Scouser, Brummie and Geordie which can themselves sound like totally different languages LOL It didn't help matters that I started working in contact centres, because I had to learn FAST to understand all these different types of regional dialects, including very broad Irish and Scottish accents. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I lived in China for a year, and I did live there to learn the language. It was really fun and a big help to learn the language faster. Currently I live in the states but luckily I am already a fluent English speaker, even though I never live in an English speaking country before.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...