Learning is language is...well, it’s hard. It takes a number of different skills to really get comfortable in a language different from your own. Patience, dedication, practice, and confidence to name a few. Therefore, whether you’re going abroad to learn a new language or are just wanting to gain some basic linguistic knowledge, we want to share some important facts about language immersion programs as well as the most common languages to learn abroad.
Whether you’re saying “Hola!” in Argentina, “Bonjour!” in France, or “Hallo!” in the Netherlands or Germany, the following facts will no doubt come in handy one day. Any one of the language immersion programs below is an open door into the vast language-learning world. Before you know it, you may be speaking like a native yourself.
Explore your dream destination abroad, learn some essential key phrases, and consider signing up for one of the top-rated language immersion programs listed below:
Derived from a branch of Latin in the fifth century, this romance language spread across the world and is now the official language spoken in 21 countries.
Key Phrase: “¿Dónde está la parada de autobús más cercana?” – “Where is the nearest bus stop?”
Fun Fact About Spanish: About 70 percent of the Spanish language is of Latin origin.
Spanish Language Immersion Programs:
- Learn Spanish in Mexico with don Quijote
- Spanish Immersion Homestay in Spain
- Spanish Study in Santiago, Chile
This romance language has 80 million native speakers and over 230 million speakers worldwide. Like Spanish, it descended from Latin and came from the Roman Empire.
Key Phrase: “Je voudrais un café, s'il vous plaît.” – “I’d like a coffee, please.”
Fun Fact About French: At the time of the French Revolution in 1793, 75 percent of French citizens did not speak French as a mother tongue. Each region had its own dialect and patois.
French Language Immersion Programs:
One of the major European languages, Italian is the third most spoken language in the European Union and serves as the main language for the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
Key Phrase: “Sono pronto a ordinare il mio cibo ora.” – “I’m ready to order my food.”
Fun Fact about Italian: The Italian alphabet only has 21 letters – Letters “j,” “k,” “w,” “x,” and “y” do not exist in Italian.
Italian Language Immersion Programs:
- Eurocentres: Study Italian in Florence
- Italian Summer Immersion in Ascona, Switzerland
- Centre for Italian Studies - Taormina, Sicily
Dutch is a language derived from the Indo-European family. It is a Germanic language like English, German, and Norwegian, and is spoken by about 23 million people.
Key Phrase: “Ik ben allergisch voor...(zuivelfabriek, schelpdier, noten).” – “I am allergic to...(dairy, shellfish, nuts).”
Fun Fact about Dutch: The longest Dutch word in the dictionary is 35 letters long! – The word is “Meervoudigepersoonlijkheidsstoornis,” which translates to “multiple personality disorder” in English.
Dutch Language Immersion Programs:
- LanguagesAbroad: Live and Learn Dutch
- LanguageVacation: Live and Study in the Home of a Private Dutch Teacher
- LanguagesAbroad: Live and Learn Dutch in Flanders Region
Key Phrase: “Jeg er klar til å bestille meg mat nå.” – “I'm ready to order my food now.”
Fun Fact about Norwegian: Norwegian has the same word order as English, making it much easier to translate sentences if you’re an English speaker!
Top Places to Learn the Language: Norway
Norwegian Language Immersion Programs:
- Norwegian Language Study in Oslo
- LanguageVacations: Live and Study in the Home of a Private Norwegian Teacher
- LanguagesAbroad: Live with a Norwegian Teacher
A great portion of German words are derived from the Indo-European language family, and a smaller portion is derived from Latin and Greek. An impressive 95 million people are estimated to speak German as a first language.
Key Phrase: “Wo ist die Toilette?” – “Where is the bathroom?”
Fun Fact about German: German words have three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter (words classified as neither masculine or feminine). Learning a language abroad has its challenges!
German Language Immersion Programs:
- Eurocentres: German Language School in Berlin
- Live/Study with Private German Teacher in Vienna
- Apple Languages: Learn German in Zurich
The beauty of the world resides in its differences, and the same goes for the world’s languages.
While many of these languages are derived from the same roots, they have evolved over time and have taken on their own dialects, meanings, speakers, and more. If you’re looking into traveling around the world and are interested in learning a language abroad, get ready for the interactive experience of a lifetime. No matter how you choose to learn a language abroad, the end result is always the same. Universally known, languages are exquisite, unusual, difficult, interesting, unique, and shared by people across the world.