Hello. When I studied abroad in Italy, I went to Italy after having a certain level of language proficiency (about CILS B2 level). Nevertheless, there were many difficulties in the classes in Italy, and there were many words that I did not understand. In my case, it is a regular study abroad, but in the case of non-language study abroad, basically, if you do not have a certain level of language ability, you will have to struggle extra in the field. Therefore, studying abroad without language skills will dramatically increase the difficulty of studying abroad life, which is already difficult.
I may end the blog post here, but here I will not write about “Why do you have a hard time studying abroad if you do not have language skills?”, but the adverse effects of not having language skills.
1 Causing trouble for local people
Suppose all of a sudden someone comes to your house who doesn’t speak your mother tongue (such as Japanese or Italian) at all. How do you communicate with him?? There are various ways to do this, such as by enlisting the help of Google Translate, or by resorting to non-verbal methods such as body language, but it is clear that at least it will cause a lot of trouble and inconvenience on both sides. For example, if you work at a post office and someone comes to you who doesn’t speak your mother tongue at all, you honestly think it’s annoying. If you’re trying to study abroad without language skills, you’re doing the same. “Is this person really willing to live in this country?” Locals may think so.
Of course, even if you study to a certain extent, you will face such difficulties, but the degree of inconvenience you cause to others is clearly different. For example, if you have a partner you can understand by explaining it in simple Japanese and someone who can only communicate with you using English, the latter is more difficult. That’s how annoying it is.
2 Spouses cannot always be relied on
Some people may think that if you rely on your spouse, you do not need language skills. However, while your spouse is your romantic partner, you are not the person who is in a position to support language troubles in your life from A to Z 24 hours a day. The latter is the realm of the professional work of “interpreting” and is rewarded (although of course it is okay if not everything is financial). should be paid. However, the relationship of forcing unpaid service for convenience will eventually become a burden and some negative side will appear. It is said that one third of people who live with their partners abroad who say “If there is love, it will be solved”, divorce (international divorce of Japan and foreigner couples who married internationally). So, of course, that’s not all, but it can certainly be a small reason for divorce. Moreover, when it comes to things that are not convenient for your spouse for various reasons (things that you don’t want your spouse to know too much, such as personal privacy or work relationships), you have no choice but to manage to get by with your own language skills. Therefore, language ability does not betray it.
3. You lose a solution to a language problem that you can’t rely on Google Translate
Taken to the extreme, suppose an automatic translator translates “a formal and polite sentence of 100 characters” and a “10-character informal and carefree sentence” exactly the same. In that case, you have to write a decent email at work, but your enthusiasm is not transmitted, and people will think that “this person is a person who does not distinguish between work and private life”. Also, as a vulgar example, when someone says “culo (ass)”, you say, “What are you talking about…?? You’re a rude person,” but you actually wanted to say “good luck.” In fact, culo has a slang meaning for “good luck” besides “ass.” With such subtle nuances, giving the other party a little misunderstanding can happen even in the native language, but when it comes to a foreign language, it becomes an unnecessarily complicated problem. Therefore, in the latter example, you may think that “this person is rude” and the friendship may be broken. In order to prevent this from happening, you have to have language skills.
There is an opinion that “it would be good to improve language skills locally”, but in that case, it will be too late with such an example. Especially if you ask your host family or spouse about anything, it will be troublesome. A little bit is fine, of course, but explaining things to people who don’t know anything is very capable. I’m a Japanese teacher, so I know the difficulty of teaching Japanese for beginners. If you don’t carefully convey something that advanced people will understand immediately, you will not be able to convey it. It’s a business relationship, so you can get through it, but if this is unpaid service, you’re going to reach your limit at some point. In order to enjoy studying abroad and moving abroad, which is a good opportunity, we strongly recommend that you improve your language skills as much as possible before traveling.