Travel Correspondent: Vonny, Argentina, Blog 2

Adjusting to Foreign Languages

Coming from Australia, my exposure to foreign languages was solely with high school French as they aren’t considered a terribly important skill to have on our island that’s so far away from everyone else. However, for a year before coming to Argentina, I took Spanish classes with a lovely Chilean woman who prepared me with enough phrases to get myself around and hold a basic conversation. Arriving here, I found truth in the saying that you always think you know more of a language than you actually do. Aside from being overwhelmed with the culture change and how fast everyone spoke, I also had to get used to the Argentine accent and certain grammatical changes that differ from what I learnt back home. For the few weeks I’ve been here now, I’m finding myself adopting the accent and getting used to it, but I still struggle with understanding some people when they talk – particularly with a man I work with who has a lisp and speaks muy rapido! It’s my goal to be able to have a conversation with him by the time I leave my internship.

To try and get in more language practice, my roommates and I have been attending language exchange meet ups this week, which have been extremely beneficial for practice and for getting to know Argentines. The first we attended was Maté Club which put one English speaker with a table of Spanish speakers and alternated between 3 minutes of one language and 3 minutes of the other for the night, before ending on some word games. It was great for both parties to practice their language and on each table there was a variety of skill sets, so we were able to help each other if we didn’t understand something – the free maté and bread was a bonus too!

The second one we attended was MundoLingo which had a bigger social aspect, set up in a bar where you could order drinks and casually mingle with people. A nifty thing about MundoLingo is that they have stickers of each country so you can wear them to let people know what language you speak, and it’s also a great icebreaker to start a conversation with someone. The people we met at both places were super lovely and even volunteered to show us around the city. I’d definitely recommend attending a language exchange meet up no matter what level you speak!

 

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Posted by World Endeavors on    February 20, 2019

Put yourself out there! TM

World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.

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