The Benefits of Group Travel: Learning Lingos

I confess that I love speaking different languages. It’s one of those great benefits of group travel.

I love learning other lingos and going out there into the streets and shops to give it my everything.  I am not brilliant at follow-through, my grammar is fairly basic, and my use of tenses regularly confused, but I just love it anyway.  It helps me travel and it makes me less intimidated.

I dare myself to take chances and get things wrong.  It is that point of contact that actually serves like a key in a door: It opens up an entire culture and all you need is some fairly basic vocabulary.


I was reading an article not long ago about the abundance of languages in hockey.

In the Boston Bruins locker room, nine languages are spoken.  The captain of the team, who speaks six languages, is learning Italian on the side using Rosetta Stone. It is incredible to think about these guys racing along the ice, communicating in any number of different languages and understanding each and linking up with each other as a unit.

More and more in team sports you see a multicultural locker room.  In my favorite sportsoccerSpanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, German and English, are pretty much the norm on one team on any given Saturday in the leagues in Italy, Spain, France, Germany and England.

The other day an English soccer player at an interview in Marseilles, couldn’t speak French but gave it his all with a French accent using his native English!  Better than nothing I suppose!

It is not just a good idea or a fun idea to learn languages, it is pretty essential to have a working knowledge of at least one language other than your own in your back pocket.  It may not get you a job, but if I am interviewing someone for a position, I definitely look at an applicant differently if they have travelled and have a decent amount of conversational skill with another language.

I can tell you that my Spanish has greatly improved because every night for at least 10 minutes I chat with a native Spanish speaker who comes through our office.  You know what?  I am starting to pick up an El Salvadorian slang!

{photo credit: Language Scramble}



Leave a Reply