Learning the National Language is the Basic Key in Every Country as a Foreigner

Me with BEI at Lake Como (2013)
With BEI (my Yorkie Terrier) at Lake Como (2013)

It’s normal in every country that if you’re not born there, grown up there and maybe you’re a foreign expat or you just move there, you must learn the international languages required. Certainly, the basic language everywhere is English.

You can’t survive in other countries with your mother tongue unless by chance, your mother tongue is English. Or, unless for French people who move to the French part of Switzerland, German people who move to the German part of Switzerland, Spanish people who move to Spanish speaking countries and vice versa, they still can use their mother tongue for daily life.

In other cases, it’s even better if you can speak the national language of the country. For example in my case, I had at least learned the basic level of Italian language before I moved to Italy in 2011. It was only the A1 level (European standard). However, it helped for basic conversation in the supermarket or train station.

Nevertheless, in addition to my Italian language course, I also had learned a little bit more by myself. What is quite good is that actually Italian language is not too difficult to pronounce or listen as they pronounce the word the same way they write it. At least for Indonesians as I am, I think it is easier to pronounce and understand since this is also how Indonesians speak their language, pronouncing and writing the words the same way.

In Italian cities like Milan and Rome, or other big tourism destinations like Venice and Florence, Italians speak English more or less without problem, as they also want to communicate well with tourists to promote their cities, cultures, food, hotels and restaurants.

However, in smaller cities that aren’t tourism destinations like the one I’m living in, speaking Italian is actually obligatory since almost nobody speaks English. Maybe I just haven’t found one who speaks English, but, during four years I’m here in this city, I understand that it’s much better and easier for me to improve and communicate in Italian language.

In addition, actually improving Italian language in Italy is helpful not only for daily life but also for professional life and education. No matter you live in the big cities like Milan and Rome, many Italians will appreciate and like foreigners who can speak Italian language.

To be clearer, I’m pretty sure it’s not only Italian people as it’s the basic rule and key in every country for foreigners. Learning the national language of the country is very crucial to survive. We can’t always expect people to understand us.

However, it’s better if we can make ourselves get understood when we communicate. And the best way to get understood is by learning and improving our ability in the local language.

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