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Culture Shock and New Languages

Are you prepared? Having a open mind usually help when you visit other cultures and countries. Complaining about things doesn't help anything. So if you're in a country where you don't understand ANYTHING, ZERO, NADA then take time to learn a word or two each day. Trust me it helps.

When I went to Finland for my first season overseas I had never even heard of the country or the language Finnish. It was very different from the other languages that I studied and heard before. It took time to get adjusted. Thank goodness I had a great roommate who started to ask and learn a word a day. I caught on and borrowed books from the library to get a better understanding of the language. I learned enough to understand but speaking Finnish was/is a different story. It is a difficult language. After three years of visiting and playing in Finland I still can't speak fluently. Only bits and pieces here and there but my understanding is average. Enough to know what the team and coach were talking about most of the time :)

So the key is to try to your best to acquaint yourself with the culture if you wish you make your stay worthwhile and fun. Visit the library when you're there for language books and tapes or plan and study before you leave your country. That is the best advice I have. Planning before you leave is better and you can find the translation dictionary that you need in your home country.

Amazon is a great place to buy cheap books online. Amazon in many languages and countries:

Amazon - USA
Amazon - United Kingdom
Amazon - Germany
Amazon - France
Amazon - Japan

It’s better to be prepared I can testify to that because going to Spain last year was hard for me. Although Spanish is a second language in the USA I still didn't understand the rapid language or culture. I didn't have a translation book when I left. Trying to communicate with my team was hard but thank goodness a few kind people tried to speak English. After a month of struggling I started taking Spanish in a local university. From October - January I had classes that lasted 2hrs during three days out of the week. I met many nice people, two students from Alaska and many throughout Europe. It was nice meeting people and it gave me social time and fun outside of basketball.

There are many places online that have small learning courses online to help you before you leave. I will try to get a list of them and software you can buy.


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