Culture influences how people interact with each other. In the business world, culture guides decision-making, behavior, thinking patterns and values. For some cultures, human connection, is more important than business credentials. The best way to fully immerse yourself in a new country and meaningfully connect with the people you meet, is to learn the language of the land.
Many of us simply don’t have the time to pick up a new language by intense studying so, here are some tips on picking up the basics in record time;
You absolutely do not need to learn all of the words of a language to speak it. If you apply the Pareto principle to vocabulary, 20% of the effort you spend on acquiring new words can give you 80% comprehension.
I recommend using the Anki app where you can make customised flashcards based on the things you are most likely to talk about. All that’s required here is a strategic approach to decide what you want to speak to people about in their native tongue and then practice, practice, practice.
“Cognates” are true friends of words from your native language that means the same thing in another language. England’s historic attempts to colonise most of the world, means there are numerous languages that share common words with the English language, a simple Google of these shared words can tremendously boost your vocabulary.
There is nothing more frustrating than forgetting a word you’ve practiced dozens of times. To prevent this memory block associate the word with a memorable or funny story. This method really works, you’ll need to recall the story only a few times before the word becomes a natural part of your ability to use the language quickly.
S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. What are you aiming for? And when do you want to do this by?
There is great stuff available for free online. You do not need to pay to learn a language.
A wonderful and completely free course that keeps getting better is DuoLingo – which I highly recommend for its selection of European languages currently on offer, with more on the way.
Other (good) alternatives include:
Leila is PCA’s Head Editor and Researcher. She holds a 1st class Law with Business degree and became a published author at 25. Former crime investigator turned business journalist. On a mission to show businesses that presenteeism is a thing of the past. Everything seems impossible until it’s done. Typically found working from a white beach in South-East Asia embracing rapidly changing technology.