Returning from Japan, there was much to reflect on. It was a memorable trip. There were indescribable moments that I will forever hold close, moments that left an imprint of why travel is important to me. Getting an opportunity to connect with locals through language was one highlight that stood out.
Throughout the trip, I kept thinking how there is such a large difference between my culture and the Japanese culture. But no matter how wide the gap was in culture, there were still so many ways to connect. Whether it was small gestures, like a small bow in passing or a warm smile, it was evident that we could still connect as human beings. One way that I was able to connect even more in Japan was through language.
It was day two of the trip and I was in a small moment of needing to ask for a clarification on a price that I was thankful for the past months of learning how to speak Japanese with Rosetta Stone. This first opportunity to use what I had learned opened the door to the rest of the trip, using conversational Japanese I had practiced prior.
There was an evident difference in practicing and learning Japanese from the safety of my home and then using it in real person. Walking into the trip, I had my anxieties in using the language. I think the biggest factor that helped me speak confidently (even when the accent or pronunciation was off) was the months of practice. With Rosetta Stone, the activities that helped repeat phrases and words imprinted on my mind and made it easier to find the words I was looking for in the heat of a moment.
I started seeking small ways to use the language. My favorites were things like ordering at a restaurant, asking for directions or time, and greeting locals. It was basic, but helped grow strength in using this new language. My husband and I joked that ordering coffee was my go-to phrase. What I had learned through Rosetta Stone also came in handy for explaining my shrimp allergy — most thought it was a shellfish allergy, but it is just shrimp. With a few sentences, I could ask if there was any shrimp in the dish and be sure that it was safe to go!
During the trip, one thing I found with using the Japanese I had learned was the reaction from the locals. Most were completely surprised that I knew enough to have a conversation. I could tell through a few experiences that knowing their language and culture meant the world — something I think is uber important when visiting a new country. Their appreciation was endearing and I loved when they would help correct me. This opportunity to connect through language in Japan was something I had never experienced before, and without the lessons on Rosetta Stone, I would not have been able to do it.
I am excited to continue my lessons in Japanese, as I love the challenge of learning this foreign language, and look forward to the next time I get to use it. Thank you for following along through this journey of learning Japanese with Rosetta Stone. It’s been fun to get to share the process with you, and as a huge thanks for the support, I am giving away three 12-month online subscriptions to Rosetta Stone on Instagram today! Head to Instagram and be sure to enter for your chance to win!
*Thank you to Rosetta Stone for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own