Language & Travel

Language & Travel

One thing that traveling and meeting people from all over the world has done for me is shown me the importance of language and communication. Out of all the volunteers at the hostel in Genova, I’m the only one who speaks one language fluently. Yes, granted I am studying Italian and I’m knowledgeable about the language, but I’m surely not fluent yet.

There is almost a passion about learning languages from everyone that I meet; it’s very inspiring to me. In reality, I know so little and want to learn so much. To communicate with someone in their mother tongue is a special thing. It can open doors to conversations and opportunities that wouldn’t happen otherwise. I already see it here when I try my Italian.

The other volunteers even encourage me to get out of my comfort zone of the English language. One day I was at a small bookshop in Savona and Jasmin encouraged me to buy a book in Italian rather than English, as a way to improve my understanding of the language. I took her advice and bought an old book by my favorite author, Ernest Hemingway; Storie della Guerra di Spagna. La Quinta Colonna. Of course as it’s in Italian, it’s a very slow read for me. But I can already see an improvement!

I mean, it makes sense as to why most people I meet here speak many languages and have a desire to learn more. In theory, in the States you don’t really need any other language other than English. But right when you step outside into the rest of the world, you begin to understand just how important and beautiful it is to communicate with others in their tongue.

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