In Swahili soksi means socks but ushuzi means to fart.
I’m gearing up for another trip to Tanzania in two weeks and I’m brushing up on my Swahili.
Languages are important to me for all the reasons I said yesterday. They make me feel safer when I’m traveling… I like the challenge of learning new things… and, as I’m watching one of my parents flirt with the first signs of Alzheimer’s, keeping my mind active is important to me… (Also, speaking more languages just makes me feel and look smarter.)
Our country is having a hard time with this idea right now, but the rest of the world has already figured it out. People in Europe tend to speak three or more languages. Our guides in Africa speak two or three. And even hotel staff in Thailand and other Asian countries speak at least their native language plus English. Many also speak French, Spanish, and German.
It could be because we’re landlocked with only Mexico at our heel. But I find that a hard excuse because lots of Canadians speak French, Mexicans speak Spanish—and still, most Americans struggle with these two languages.
You can let it be you. You can continue to speak just one language and let the world pass you by… ignoring all other cultures and people… continuing to travel and expect everyone around you to speak English.
Or you can do something about it right here and now.
It’s not about bowing down to another culture. Nobody’s going to take your America away.
It’s about knowing you can communicate no matter what situation you’re thrown into. It’s about walking into a room and doubling your chances of meeting new people and getting things done because you can now speak a second language.
It’s about opening your eyes to new things and people and gaining confidence when you travel… even right here at home.
English can get you far. But it’s not about that. It’s about so much more – keeping your mind active, learning new things, communicating with others, safer travel, more unique experiences, and more fun.
We turned the language-learning world on its head when we came out with our new way of learning Spanish and French. I say it’s “new” but actually the concepts inside were all tested and proven to work decades ago. It’s just that no one took on the hard job of rewriting our school code around this new style of learning.
And same with other language programs you find on TV and online. They likely know they’re not teaching it right. They’re just making too much money on teaching it wrong. Why change their system if people keep buying it?
But last year when we came out with these programs I knew there was a better way. We researched and we read and then we researched and we read some more.
Our way is the right way. No verb conjugation. No memorization.
You can find out more about our Spanish and French language programs here.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can fund your travels and make an extra income with photography, travel writing, blogging, and more in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Five Fun Ways To Get Paid To Travel: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]