Going on holidays? Don’t forget your phrase book

When going on holidays many of you will probably make a check list what to take with you. There’s one thing you shouldn’t leave out making your check list. And that’s the phrase book for the language that is spoken at your travel destiny. Of course people in the Scandinavian countries also speak fluently English. So why is it necessary to learn Swedish or Norwegian?! Well, if you start talking to a native speaker in his native tongue he will see it as a compliment. He won’t see you as an average tourist but as a discoverer. He will show you things a tourist will never get to see. And he will tell you things you won’t read in any guide book. The key to the culture and to unforgettable memories on your trip is the language. I realized that especially in many small Eastern European countries. Once I started talking Croatian on my holidays in Croatia people offered me food, drinks and I had to stay longer in their house than I planned to do. Last year I went to Estonia and visited the lovely city of Tallinn. The main attraction for tourists coming to Tallinn is the famous restaurant Olde Hansa which has a very medieval character. Young ladies dressed in traditional costumes stand outside and invite tourists passing by. They also invited me to have some lunch. I already had some lunch and I wasn’t hungry. I started to talk to her in Estonian. Walking through Tallinn I had to think of my study. Once I visited a Seminar about the perestroika and I wrote a seminar work about the Singing Revolution which I will make subject in one of my following articles. I remembered the words of many Estonian folk songs which are a very essential symbol of national identity for the Estonians. Once I started to sing some phrases of the folk Songs the Young lady stopped her job and took me inside. In an old cellar she offered me some typical Estonian pepper schnapps. She told me the whole story and tradition behind this very drink. There’s even a tradition how you drink it. You stand on one foot. If you are still able to stand on it after you drank it out everything is all right with you. And that’s what I like about language learning. Take your phrase book with you to learn at least the basic vocabulary and soon you will get the reward!

 

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