Learning About Language Through Food
Food is one of the best things about travelling abroad. In fact, it’s also your language and cultural instructor if you choose to let it teach you about a particular culture or language.
Unless you’re like some people who think about their next meal in the middle of their current one, food is a great way to be present in the moment. The atmosphere, people, and of course the food, occupy all your attention as most new experiences do. During this time it’s best to let your attention guide you through the sights, sounds, and flavors of your experience. You’ll notice that you pick up on cultural differences much more easily if you’re open, accepting and in the moment.
That was step one. That is, paying attention to the atmosphere, body language, and getting an idea of what locals eat helps understand the context of the language in a restaurant setting. This is when food makes us practice how to ask for recommendations or which wine goes well with which entrée. Now is the time to practice all the basics you’ve learned with waiters who are there to please you. Take this opportunity to ask as many questions as you want! But remember to enjoy your meal.
Lastly, food can introduce you to those who eat it. If you like coffee, visit the local café to make small talk with a coffee connoisseur. These are passionate people who share your love for coffee! You’re at a café, you’re a tourist, and you’re speaking to someone who shares your passion. This is what you call a perfect opportunity to improve your knowledge of the local language and culture.
Food is one of the best things about travelling abroad. So take advantage of it!