Home » Education and Reference

Adjusting To The Cultural Shock Of Moving Abroad

Aug 17, 2007
Whether you're going to move abroad for a fixed amount of time for school education, business issues or simply for a better/new type of lifestyle, you're going to be hit by what most people call the "cultural shock". This involves hitting yourself to a new lifestyle, new ways of handling issues, sometimes a new type of currency, but most importantly, a new language. Actually, the biggest shock will be this language barrier, especially if you're moving to a country where the mother tongue is no where near your own language's lexical foundation. For example, switching from an Anglo-Saxon based language to a Slavic, or Latin one (or vice versa) can be extremely unpleasant, since you won't be able to understand any bits of a conversation. What this article will aim for, is try to give you a few tips and tricks on how to start learning this new language faster and how to adjust to the new culture through language.

Let's say your native language is English and you move to Germany (the German language is of the same lexical foundation as English). Even though you might not know the slightest thing about the German language when you move there, you will still be able to take out bits and pieces out of writings, conversations (well admittedly, maybe less from conversations, at least not until you get used to the local accent, talking speed, etc). The reason for this is that many words are quite common in both German and English. Take "house" for example, which is translated as "haus". Although the spelling is slightly different, the pronunciation and the morphosyntax are almost the same for these particular cognates.

The first thing that you could do in this case is grab a list of English - German cognates off the Internet and give them a read-through so you can recognize them in a text or spot them in a conversation. This will also help in dealing with the so called "false cognates". False cognates are words that look alike and sound alike in both languages, but actually have a different meaning. For example: the German word "eventuell" might seem like the English word "eventually", however the meaning in German is quite the opposite. Eventuell means "possibly" or "perhaps". Another good example of these false cognates is "brave" - "brav". You would thing that the German "brav" means "brave" in English, however its correct meaning is "well behaved". The German word for "brave" is "tapfer".

As you can see, this is a starting point for your cultural shock adjustment in what regards the language of the foreign country. Of course, the example above is very particular, but it applies to many other situations. And since language is such an important step in understanding a new culture and adjusting to it, it is advised that you start learning it even before you move abroad if possible. Even if you don't have time to take some local courses, the Internet can be a good source to start learning. There are several learning websites out there that can help you do so and some of them offer quality free online language courses that can give you a heads up on a language in a matter of days.
About the Author
Increase your foreign language vocabulary at http://www.InternetPolyglot.com by playing online games. The site contains thousands of lessons in different languages from English, Spanish, French, Russian to Hindi, Turkish, Ukrainian and many others.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 215
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources