Barred by language.

It doesn’t hurt to learn a new language especially if you love to travel.

Communication is key wherever you go, in my opinion. During my trip to Japan, there was close to no communication with the Japanese people. I guess they either really love their language or they thought I was Japanese and insisted on speaking to me in Japanese. Either way, maybe learning a few words before you head to the country is key but, really learn to pronounce it right or you’ll be a laughing stock. There certainly was a communication barrier in Japan. I speak fluent English both conversational and written, I learnt the Malay Language in school and I understand a little Mandarin and Cantonese. I am still trying to learn Mandarin and picking up a few words every now and then, though I could never survive in China if I were to head over.

Figuring out directions is one thing, but when you aren’t equip with accessible Wi-Fi, you definitely need to start asking around. Upon searching for our first hotel in Tokyo, we were so lost and decided to get off track the JR Train line and headed to one of the subways to get straight to our hotel. At the subway, figuring out how to purchase a ticket was insanely difficult. We stood there blankly trying to figure out the buttons because FYI they were in Japanese. We decided to ask the train conductor, he did explain but we had no idea what he said, so we went back to try again. Lucky for us, a passerby who spoke a little English helped us out. When we reached the destination, which was actually two stops away, we got out the subway and got lost again! This time, we bumped into a few students who tried to help us find the place with their cellular data. After trying to help us, they decided to bring us to the train information counter to seek more help. We ended up reaching the hotel fine, but needless to say, learning a language is quite an important thing to do. But you can’t be learning every single language there is right? My opinion is, learn English. Make sure you’re fluent in English because as the international language, someone is bound to be able to talk you through your questions.

These days, when I travel, I make sure to download a Language App on my iPhone just in case. It could come in handy because most of these apps are created with guides for eating, shopping, transportation, numbers and so on. I am trying to learn new languages. I don’t have anyone to practice it with because I seem to be the only one interested in learning various languages but I guess new languages could come in handy someday.

What I’m trying to learn?

French.

Yes, French.

I’m already finding it quite difficult but I’m trying to self-learn. I downloaded an app called “Duolingo”. Not too sure if it’ll be a good French learning tool but I guess it’s worth a try. I’ll let you know if it did help me learn French! At the moment it’s teaching me Le garcon, L’homme, La fille, La femme. 🙂

Maybe you could help me practice?

Till then, stay tuned for the next update: Day 3: Japan (Lake Kawaguchiko, Mt Fuji.)

XO,
Joanna.

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