How do you adjust yourself when you just move to a new country?
Understand the language
It’s important to be able to speak the language of the country as not everyone may be able to speak your language. Why is it important to speak the language?
- A language is like a bridge between two oceans. If you understand the language then you will be able to communicate well with the others.
- It makes it easier to blend in with the local people if you can communicate well.
- You appreciate the local people because at least you try to speak their language.
When I just arrived in Sweden, I attended a local meeting in a restaurant. The people there were nice. We were sitting around the table having lunch. They talked to me in English for 5 minutes and then they talked to each other in Swedish for the rest of the time. I didn’t understand what they said. At that time I felt like an alien.
After that, I was determined to learn Swedish as fast as I could. I finished SFI (Swedish For Immigrants) in about 6 months, then went on to the next level, Swedish as the second language (Svenska som andra språk) for about 2 months. Now I’m studying Swedish as the second language level 2.
I know that it takes time to learn the language. The best thing to do is to practice and practice. My friends suggest me to listen to the radio. I use radio, TV, internet, books, and magazines as my learning tools. When I go out, I try to speak Swedish as much as I can. I even speak Swedish when I visit a dentist. How amazing it is! It can be quite complicated to explain about teeth and debate with your dentist in your fourth language.
If you are in Sweden without being able to speak Swedish, it’s probably the same as if you are in China without being able to speak Mandarin. You may still be able to communicate with each other, but of course the communication will be a lot better if you can speak their language. Being able to speak and understand the language helps you to build a bridge between two different cultures.