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Linguaholic

Moving to new country without knowing the language


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Would you ever move somewhere without being able to properly communicate with locals?

Have you ever put yourself in such a situation?

It sounds silly, but I know plenty of people who did it.

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I think that would be quite a challenge.  I live in the US but when I moved from the midwest to the southwest, I realized that so many people were bilingual.  Even employers offered a premium and preference for bilingual speakers.  I know it is not quite the same, but that is what motivated me to study another language.

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Yes and the first thing I'd do would be to take the language course. I've had relatives who did it and I remember one in particular was very discouraged when he moved to China. He had zero knowledge of the language and he had to take the Mandarin course. He kept sending me emails saying how he couldn't see himself being able to do it at all, it's so hard and that when people talked ,he felt so dumb just standing there not knowing anything. I kept encouraging him and supporting him and one thing I reminded him is to try to think ahead in a year or two, You'd know about the language a lot more and WILL be able to communicate because practice makes better.

He's now graduating from his college and speaks the language fluently. I also worked with a teacher who came to my country to teach English. He's from Ireland and spoke zero of my language. Three years after staying there,he's very fluent with it. He flew back home with another language under his sleeve.

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I did it, and it all worked out! I actually went on a job tryout (sports) in Europe, and had no idea ahead of time if I would get a job, let alone where it would be! It was very stressful, and because of the huge unknowns involved, I could not even prepare to learn a language in advance. Athletes were placed anywhere from Finland to Spain, Montenegro to Germany - all over the place! I ended up thankfully getting a job in French half of Belgium, where I started learning French immediately. So many people speak English around the world now that there is always someone who is going to be able to help you out initially. And if that person doesn't exist, start practicing your charades skills!

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I haven't done anything as adventurous as that! I mean, I've been to distant provinces where they use a different dialect but that's only an experience that's limited in time. It was very difficult when people spoke in an unknown dialect so my sister and I kept mostly to ourselves. I don't think you can really do that if you stay in a place with a different language, but then if you encounter it so much, maybe it's easier to learn the language.

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I would move to a new country, even if I did not know their native language. There is always a chance for you to learn a new language at any point in your life. Moving to a new country and learning a new language there might be easier, because there will be a fluent speaker for sure. Have never done something like that, nor knew anyone who has done so.

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I am, and no, it's NOT silly at all, since sometimes you might need to move out to another country without even planning it.  In my case I happened to meet a nice dutch man, we fell in love, we got in a relationship and now we are thinking of spending the rest of our lives together.  If you had asked me one year ago what my plans were, I'm sure as hell I'd not be saying something like: ''I'll move to the Netherlands''.

This just happened and didn't plan it at all.  We're going to travel to meet his parents in the Netherlands soon, and after a bit we might move there for good :)  Some things just happen!  I'm still struggling with the language, but I'll not start worrying about it until I move there ;)

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I'd be up for the challenge, especially if it were a country I've always dreamt of going to. I think it shouldn't be too hard, as long as the people are friendly and willing to put some effort into communicating with a foreigner. I prefer learning through conversations anyway, and I'm sure I'll be able to get used to simple words and phrases I'll be needing for daily life, and soon enough with some effort, I'll hopefully gradually learn more complex phrases as I go along. I think it's a much better, and in some way a much easier way of learning a new language.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know I can relate to this thread because right now I am currently living to a new country my husband homeland and to think that their language is not that easy the Korean language. Before I came here I had already studied and learned some basic words and phrases that are needed in everyday conversations in my mother country. Because I know it will be hard for me to communicate if I know nothing even a single word of their language. And so by the time I arrived here even though I am still shy to communicate with the people here, I am still motivated to study and to learn more their language so that I will not isolate myself anymore from them.

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If ever I will move to a new country, I will make sure that I know how to speak their language, not necessarily fluent but enough for simple communication. I will not stay there specially if it is not an english speaking country. It will be very hard and challenging moving to a new place without proper knowledge of the language.

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I won't ever move to a country where you cannot communicate with the locals. At least you should know how to convey your thoughts :P if you cannot talk fluently it's okay, you'll learn over time. But if you don't know a thing about their language then what are you going to do there? :P

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  • 5 months later...

To be in a country where the language is different would be a little odd for me. The only way I would put myself in that position is if it is rather important that I do so. Also, maybe if the persons I live along with speak that other language too I would take the chance since I could learn as I go.

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I've been in that situation although it wasn't really by choice. My family migrated to France so I had to learn the language when I was there. It isn't as tough as you'd imagine though. There will always be a willing translator until you learn. It's really more of your chance to make new friends.  :wink:

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I have moved to Middle East before without any knowledge about their language. But I had faith on the people there that they would speak English well and I will not have a problem in terms of communication and going around. Everything went well and I slowly learnt a few words then short sentences after. Now I'm back to my own country without ever being able to speak their language :D but it was such a fun adventure and I would never mind to move somewhere with different language which I can't speak.

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When I immigrated to the U.S. I could not speak ANY English. Since no one from my family speaks English, it was also pretty hard for me to settle in. But I went to a really good school and they were really focused on teaching me English so I assimiliated in like a year.

It's hard to move to a country without knowing the language but it's not impossible.

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