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Here, we confess our love for learning new languages, dive in to new cultures, explore industry topics, and sometimes show off our favorite animated .gifs.

The journey is life itself: How travel and language affect us.

I’ve never seen an advertisement more powerful than this Louis Vuitton spot.

In fact, it gave me goose bumps.

Maybe it was the breath-taking images or the thought-provoking copy. Or maybe it was the fact that this ad expresses exactly what I’ve failed at expressing for years: how travel changes you.

What this ad doesn’t address, however, is how knowing another language changes you.

So much of who we are is based on how we express ourselves; what we say and how we say it. So, when we express ourselves in a new language, it’s like creating a whole new version of ourselves. When we can understand others in a new language is when we broaden our perspectives.

Here’s my stance:

Going on a journey is amazing.
Communicating in another language is amazing.
Going on a journey + communicating in the native language = life changing.

What do you think, does the person create the journey or does the journey create the person? Tell us about how a journey or speaking another language has changed you!

Meet the Author

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    • I’ve had the good fortune of studying abroad and traveling extensively in countries where I had to speak the native language. First in Chile, where I lived, but then in Argentina, and then Brazil, and Peru, and Bolivia. I spoke Spanish and Portuguese and connected with people of the land, of the countryside, of the cities. Those moments, those experiences, were truly life-changing. That journey of life in South America was surely made great by virtue of my speaking Spanish – my life unquestionably changed. So the person enters the journey, and shapes it sure, but the journey changes the person at the level of the soul. Great blog post. :)

      • I think that one of the biggest iesuss for English language learners is trying to accurately communicate with those who do not speak their native language. I have never been to another country, so I do not know what it would be like to be surrounded by people who did not speak the same language that I did, but I imagine that it would be really frustrating. Sometimes it is frustrating on my end of the conversation, trying to understand exactly what a foreign person is asking when a question arises, so I can only imagine how they feel. Another issue for them may be trying to figure out how to hold onto their native culture and still adopt some of the ways of the English culture so that they can better adapt to their surroundings. This can be a very confusing and frustrating experience, especially when they are constantly surrounded by the second culture on a day to day basis. It could also be that the English language learners are forced to forget their native culture altogether. Some schools may not be open to other cultures and may try to force students to forget about their native culture and adopt the mainstream culture’s views. This can be very hard for children and can also impede their ability to learn English.There are many ways that one can address these iesuss. It is important to be understanding of other cultures and not become frustrated as they try to communicate with you. It is probably a lot harder for them to try to come up with the words to say than it is for you to try and comprehend what they are saying. It is also important to be open to other cultures and want to learn about them. We cannot just force the English language on them. If we allow them to retain some of their native culture, then they will be able to adopt the English language more quickly. It is easy to look down on others when we are not the ones struggling to learn something new, but what everyone needs to remember is that if the situation were reversed, you could be in the same situation as the English language learners, just in another country learning a different language.

        • I think you’re absolutely right, Dhiny! It’s so important for everyone to not only tolerate but celebrate cultures different from their own! We have so much to learn through the experiences and perspectives of others around us.

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Mango Languages

Mango Languages

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Suite 300
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
1 (855) 466-2646