Last week I read this article on Fluent in 3 Months about how the author communicated on a train in India when he didn’t speak the language at all.
It really reminded me of the time I spent in Albania. I knew zero Albanian (although by the end of the week I could say hello, bye, please, thank you – the basics). But I was there on a week long youth leadership training course, trying to communicate and connect with the teens who were on the course.
|Albania has amazing mountains! Photo Source: Arteida Mjeshtri (Unsplash)
They spoke a tiny bit of English, but most of them knew Italian as their second language…which of course didn’t help me at all!
We had to be creative about how to connect. I knew a couple of 2 person foot dances/challenges/games which were a lot of fun – it involved a lot of pointing and coordination to get the point across, but we were able to laugh a lot! Playing “hackysack” also became a good favourite.
So be encouraged that, even if like me, you struggle with commitment to keep learning a language, know there are still ways that you can connect with people without words 😊