It happened to all of us, at least once. You are in a foreign country, traveling, or you are in a group of people who speak other languages, and all of a sudden, from a chatter, you turn into a tight-lipped person. Breaking the language barrier is one of the toughest things because we are all afraid of making mistakes, pronouncing the words wrong, or saying something that does not make much sense, whether in English or French. So today, we are going to help you break the ice and get more confident about using and learning a second language.
Breaking the Language Barrier in Communication Will Improve Your Social Life
Simply said, a language barrier in communication is nothing but fear. Fear of being embarrassed and laughed at. But it does not matter how proficient or fluent you are, you have to start speaking and learning through practice, especially if you moved to another country.
Use all available resources to learn new words, watch movies, listen to foreign music, try reading articles or blogs, it is all a part of the learning process. You need to hear and see new words, but you also have to use them. Otherwise, you are going to forget them. People who are native English speakers are lucky enough because English is a global language, and pretty much everyone can say at least something in English.
If you are relocating somewhere abroad, we know that it is all very stressful, you are leaving your comfort zone, family, friends, job, etc. At the same time, it is a perfect occasion for learning and meeting new people. Don’t be afraid to ask, start from simple things. Ask some neighbors to help you around boxes and moving supplies, (un)packing, storage space, etc. Once you start speaking, you will realize that it is not so terrifying and that you are making new friends at the same time.
How Can Language Barriers be Removed From Communication?
Some people are just natural with languages, for example, the youngest hyperpolyglot Tim Doner. And, do you know what languages does Tim Doner speak? Well, the list is long, and currently, it counts 20 of them. Amazing. But that is just proof of what we and our brains can do. When comparing yourself to someone, do that only to get inspired, comparisons should not make you feel bad. You do not have to become the next Tim, but you can certainly start improving by removing those barriers with the help of our tips.
Use Simple Phrases and Words
No one expects you to speak like a native overnight, so do not put too much pressure on yourself to use complex constructions and long sentences. Start from shorter and simple phrases, keywords, idioms – others will gladly help you if they notice you are struggling. If you are using international moving services, you can start practicing while your belongings are still en route.
Do not hesitate to participate in your new local community, do some voluntary work, join some public events, cooking classes, or simply start talking more to your coworkers. Also, a school of languages is a good option, as you’ll meet more people who are in a similar situation and with the same level of knowledge – you will be more comfortable talking around them.
Practice at Home
Try recording yourself and then listening, or reading out loud, look to improve your strong accent because only practice makes it perfect. Play some music and read lyrics along. You can also practice some phrases, frequent questions, or some conversation-starting tricks.
Jump Over Obstacles
If there is always that one word you cannot remember, or suddenly you forgot how to ask something, do not give up or standstill. Try explaining your thoughts by using hand gestures, synonyms, noises, whatever you can think of. Instead of standing there staring at someone in awkward silence, try explaining it the other way around – your conversation partner will also help.
Do Not Refuse Drinks After Work
Fridays are usually the days when colleagues like to go out for a few drinks after work. Do not be afraid to go and mingle, because, after a beer or two, you will start chatting and forget about being shy or afraid of looking stupid. We are sure you have a lot of fun moving experiences to tell, for example, how you managed to ship a vehicle overseas.
Learning new languages takes some time. So don’t be too harsh on yourself, it’s perfectly normal to make mistakes, and to learn from them. There are so many hard languages, and some people learn them for years, and they still cannot master the accent or grammar. So it is all normal.
Why Are Language Barriers a Problem?
We humans sometimes like to sabotage ourselves, we exaggerate and see things far worse than they actually are. The same is with a language barrier. It is all in our heads, and we are the only ones who can set ourselves free from that fear of being ashamed. One day you will laugh about it. But before that day comes, do not let a barrier like this stop you from getting a job, meeting new friends, or having a social life in a new community.