Let me show you an Infographic from Kaplan illustrating the benefits of learning languages.
Focusing on the Travel Benefits, learning the country’s native language help them save money, safety, order food, get a job, and make friends.
Let’s say for example in saving money. Based from my experience when I traveled in Macau two years ago, about 90% to 95% of their population doesn’t speak English. So it’s either you speak their native language or find someone who knows how to speak English to help you answer your question to get around Macau.
Later on that day, we couldn’t find any person who can help us and we ended up riding a wrong bus. If we only we knew simple Macanese Portuguese of “What bus can we take to bring us to Venetian Hotel”, then, we have ridden the correct bus thus saving money.
However from my point of view, the most favorable advantage of learning the country’s native language is making friends. I experienced this when I traveled in Cebu. Upon arriving at the airport, you will already feel the language barrier, people speaking in vernacular, not aware that you’re not from their city.
When I rode a cab, I informed the taxi driver that I’m from Manila and ask if he can teach me some few vernaculars to help me get around. Our conversation turned out interesting and later on, we became friends. He even became our cab driver when getting around Cebu City as we exchanged numbers before alighting. I was able to see some nice places in Cebu that other tourist don’t usually go, restaurants that he recommended, and the area where awesome nightlife was, and I felt like a local too which made my entire experience a blast.
Traveling is just one great ecstasies of life. It could be expensive so why not we get the most out of it? It would be nice if one make an effort to speak the country’s native language as way to get around easier and at the same time, immersing yourself in their culture which can lead into a wonderful travel experience rather a frustrating trip.