Learning a Language Can Open Up Foreign Doors; A Little Can Go a Long Way When Using Local Tongue While Travelling Overseas

Article excerpt

Byline: LIAM BUTTERWORTH liam.butterworth @gladstoneobserver.com.au

FOREIGN language study can be rewarding. More than just a way of making your holiday a little easier.

Although around half of Australians learned a foreign language sometime during their schooling lives, for many their studies remain back in the classroom.

Language study for many instead is flicking through a guide book to try and memorise a phrase to find the nearest hotel or post office.

But it does have a few more benefits than simply getting around or ordering a beer.

Learning a language can improve literary skills, increase cultural understanding as well as making friends from other countries.

I've used my language skills in my work in both retail and as a journalist.

It's allowed me the opportunity to speak to more people and hear about things from different perspectives.

My love of language study started like most Australians, in primary school with Indonesian classes.

I then started learning Japanese in high school and then was lucky to have the chance to travel to Japan on exchange.

My studies in languages continued into university, where I furthered my Japanese study and started French.

But the first time I was truly thankful to have studied a foreign language was in Tokyo in September. …