Living in a Country Where You Have to Speak

Lilie King
Written by Lilie

Scored a 7 twice in the writing test

September 16, 2021

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.

Sample Essay

Today many people are living abroad in countries where they have to speak another language. I completely 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 totally 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. (278 Words)

23 CommentsLeave A Comment

  1. Hi, Lilie. I have learnt a lot from the 3-Day Writing Task. Could you please help me check the following essay and tell me how I can improve it?
    Some people argue that living in a country where another language is spoken brings social and practical problems. I totally disagree with this idea because with today’s highly developed technology, people living in a country where they have to speak another language can easily communicate with the native speakers.
    Immigrating to a country where people speak a foreign language was a big challenge for those who had little knowledge of the language. Because of the communication barrier, people could make mistakes and even come into conflict with the locals. Today, however, with the rapid development of technology, people can go anywhere with their smartphones to break down the communication barrier. For example, with the help of technology in AI and natural language processing, translators such as DeepL, ChatGPT have been developed, which can output the user’s words into any other language within a second.
    Social and practical problems are caused by misunderstandings or lack of communication. But the use of AI-based translators helps people living in a foreign language-speaking environment to communicate well with the local residents and express themselves accurately. Since the newcomers can easily communicate with the locals, misunderstandings and conflicts between them are avoided. In this way, social and practical problems are avoided at the root.
    In conclusion, the highly developed technologies help people to communicate and understand each other with native speakers from any other country. Good communication and understanding does not cause any social or practical problems.

    1. Hello Ke Xiao, it’s great to reconnect with you! Unfortunately, at this time, I’m unable to provide free reviews for the essays that users have been leaving on the site. However, I’m going to launch a writing course in December or January. I’d love for you to join in!

  2. Living in a nation where you have to communicate in a foreign language can lead to different problems, such as socializing and work-related issues. I completely agree with this viewpoint because if one is not aware of that particular language, he may not understand others and can face difficulties in working in an environment.

    One the one hand, while socializing with other we may have to understand full meaning of the conversation, because this helps us to know what is the purpose of the situation. Take, for example if you are standing on a bus station in a foreign country and you asked someone to tell you the route towards your destination, you may not fully relate to him while understanding the right way, because of lack of understanding towards the foreign language, and also you may get wrong idea that will cause serious problems.

    The other thing is, if a person is employed in a foreign organization, then it’s obvious to interact with colleagues that don’t know about your language. This may affect badly to your practical working environment to understand instructions from someone. You may not become productive while doing your job. This may cause serious issues regarding your employment and your position in the organization.

    In conclusion, living in a country where you don’t know how to communicate and understand others can affect your status in that country. Employment issues and social problems both may end up in a disastrous situation for oneself. A person will face difficulties in having social talks and doing practical work.

    can someone give me feedback for improvement?

  3. When the question asks to what extent we agree or disagree, shouldn’t we form the answer accordingly? For example, to a greater extent, certain extent, completely, partially etc.

    1. Hi, thanks for your comment. Yes, you’re definitely right about it. I sometimes forget to add the word “completely”. I’ve fixed that error. Thank you!

  4. Some people believe that living in place away from mother tongue may create significant social and practical life issues. A foreign language will create a barrier for creating new friends and relationships and communication in daily life. I think that these points will affect the life socially and practically.

    To begin with, the possibility of creating new friends and warm relationship between strangers who only speak different language than one’s mother tongue is far too less. This is primarily because of the extra effort to required to develop the bond through communication and knowing each other by conversations. For example, I during my last visit to Singapore, I felt like people who recognize my native place and language tended to help me more sincerely after confirming my language. I was thankful to some of them and really looking forward to meet them again if I have to travel to Singapore again.

    Looking further into practical problems, sometimes public in the new place find it is difficult to communicate in some of the government offices and
    public places because only language used there will be the local language. For example, public transport modes in India generally mention the bus and train information only in the local language of the state in which the service is going on. A foreigner might need help of a local who can translate needful information for him.

    To conclude, reluctance in people to be friendly with the person with foreign language and the practical issues which may face while at public facilities and government office might become serious hurdles for the newcomer.

  5. Today many people immigrate to other countries for study or work purposes, where they are supposed to speak that nation’s native language. I agree that this can accrue significant social and practical problems for nonnative speakers.
    To begin with, taking romantic relationships as an example, one needs to have strong language skills to transfer feelings to forge a new friendship. Lack of language proficiency leads to unsuccessful relationships and communication with local people. Subsequently, make immigrants feel depressed as a result of solitary. Unfortunately, many foreigners’ language skills are insufficient to handle complex, deep conversations.

    In addition, when living in another country, there may be occasions that you use some specific words that have multiple meanings in different situations. Using one of these words may be inappropriate or even offensive in some ways, while you were unaware of that. This affects your personality in a native’s eyes and, as a result, can harm your social position.

    In conclusion, I agree to speak a foreign language can be challenging in both social and practical terms. For one thing, building friendships with locals are complicated because of shallow language knowledge. For another, it is probable to use words that you think are fine to use in a particular situation but may have different meanings too, leading to misunderstanding.

    could you please comment dear ?

  6. While residing in abroad, anyone not only have to speak other languages rather than mother tongue but also have to deal with various alarming social and practical issues. I totally agree with the provided statements and will be discussing in the following statements.
    It is obvious that, when we want to settle in a new country we have to manage a stable jobs or source of income to meet our bread and butter.No matter how much efficient we are, it is our communication skills which will hold more significance to secure a good salary.Moreover, to lead a culturally and socially sound in abroad life it is considerably a good thing to make new friends in locals.Therefore it will not be that much doable if anyone can not hold the real accents of natives when speaks with them.Besides this, to meet our badic needs we have to deal with lot peoples everday like vendors, sellers, drivers and many more.As it is seen that, a good proficiency level of foreign language can make all of it a go.
    Following this, when living in a foreign country there are many unavoidable facts that can not be neglected without being an excellent user of that language. For instance, when we need to parchase anything or travel any tourist places by a public transport or hiring a cab, it is mandatory to interact with relevant persons in their own mother tongue.To be more specific, if anyone wants his abroad living will be peaceful one in terms of social and practical platform, he should have gain the best skills in comprehension of overseas language.
    Putting everything into a nutshell, i do believe that a good adaptation of foreign language is a necessity for an immigrant not only in terms of interaction but also leaving a meaningful life in abroad.

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