Living in a country where you have to speak a foreign language can cause serious social problems, as well as practical problems.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
This essay question is in Cambridge IELTS 13 Test 1 Writing Task 2.
Today many people are living abroad in countries where they have to speak another language. I agree that this can bring serious social and practical challenges.
To begin with, establishing friendships with local people requires more than just a basic grasp of their language. When living in a foreign country, it might not be difficult for you to hold simple conversations about everyday things like weather and food in the native language. However, if you want to become good friends with the locals, you need to be able to discuss topics that are of more interest and are more meaningful to them. You also need to speak in a way that is not critical of the local culture. Otherwise, you may discourage them from interacting with you further. Unfortunately, many foreigners’ language skills are not good enough to handle complex conversations like that.
In addition, when living in another country, there are many occasions in your everyday life when using the local language is unavoidable. For example, in most cities in China, bus stop signs are all in Chinese. Therefore, If you are a foreigner in China who can’t speak Chinese, it would be difficult for you to figure out where to get off the bus. The same can be true when bargaining with street vendors or negotiating the rent with your landlord.
In conclusion, I agree that language barriers can cause serious social and practical issues. For one thing, you can’t build friendships with the locals with only the rudiments of their language. For another, it is impossible to completely avoid using the local language in your daily life when you live in another country.