Debunking Myths

No matter what language you are learning, the time spent learning it is never wasted. Even if you use the language only once, on a visit to your dream country, speaking the language changes your experience. In addition, you change your view of the country and its citizens.

Parisians are snobbish and arrogant

Big lie, Parisians can be nice if you show that you are motivated to speak their language. It’s true they don’t like to be addressed in English, but if you try to speak French, even if your French is bad, they will switch to English and help you.

Image from: http://www.frenchified.com

The whole world speaks English

Although English is in practice the world’s lingua franca, a lot of people still don’t speak English, even in some developed countries. In several countries you’ll have problems communicating with the natives, if you don’t have a basic knowledge of the local language, examples: Italy, Japan, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Colombia, and Thailand.

You will never be able to pronounce like a native

To pronounce a foreign language like a native is difficult, but not impossible, with a lot of training and practice, you can fool a native speaker, even if only for a few seconds. I, for example, can get mistaken as a Spanish native speaker with a Latin American neutral accent. It’s not the pronunciation that reveals me as foreign, but the grammatical errors or the lack of some vocabulary.

Everybody is rich in developed countries

When you speak the local language, you can leave guided tours and obvious sightseeing behind you and instead, you can try to go to different places. That way you get to know the lesser-known side, and perhaps uglier place of a country. But it is an experience worth living is you’re open-minded. Not everyone in a developed country is rich; there are beggars even in the richest countries. But, even the humblest person can help you when you are lost in a foreign country and you can have a totally different experience.

Americans are uninterested in what happens in the world

Since the United States is the most influential country in the world, most of us know a lot about the country, but they don’t know much about other countries, and this is normal. If a country has less influence on the global order or in their region is normal that you won’t have much knowledge of it. How many Latin Americans know about Asia or Africa? How many Europeans have deep knowledge of Latin America? You, who are reading this, what do you know about Congo, Ghana, Laos, Nepal or Ecuador?

Americans also are curious and want to know more about other cultures, you just have to be patience to explain how different the traditions are. Yes, they will make stupid questions, but people from other countries also make stupid questions about your culture, the secret is to have patience if you want you and your country to be well regarded.

About Nathalia

Polyglot Nerd creator, love foreign cultures and learning languages. Speak: English, Portuguese and Spanish. Learning: French
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