Studying in a country where your home country’s official language is not spoken can be daunting – read through some of the ways you can deal with language barriers
LEARN THE LANGUAGE
The first step towards making any significant progress in communicating with people in your host community is to decide to learn the language. You can start by downloading a Language App and learn on the go. Even as you learn, you should practice and continually practice by engaging in conversations with peers or locals.
As a beginner, be aware that you will mispronounce, misidentify, mislabel, misunderstand, and misspell (in applicable cases) words. Embrace your inadequacy for what it is, and endeavor to try regardless.
Another resource that could be helpful is a Language Dictionary – helps with your vocabulary, it offers the English definitions of words from the language of your choice on one side, and the inverse on the other side. You should invest in this if you’re looking at learning the language at a faster pace.
In the case that you successfully learn the language to an extent, you will significantly enhance your cultural, educational and personal study abroad experiences.
MAKE ROOM FOR EXCESSES
Even though you’ve made the decision to learn the language and taken steps towards that, it would still take quite a while before you get a hang of it.
Not being able to communicate properly with people around you can be mentally exhausting. You may find that even the simplest of things, like going to the mall or looking for a particular place is a hurdle when you cannot speak the specific language. Moving around with friends or people that speak the local language would help a great deal. From time to time try to speak and learn from any possible mistakes made.
In cases where you wander off alone and probably get lost, if no one around you is understanding what you’re saying, you could try alternate methods – try to explain it, where you cannot explain, try to articulate it using your body, nearby props, or even resort to secondary languages to see if it rings any bells for anyone.
You might be embarrassed a few times or so, probably due to some mistakes made while speaking, that comes with learning a new language. Keep trying and practicing, don’t let perfection get the best of you.