Wanderlust: Learning Different Languages As a Travel Nurse

Posted: August 24, 2018 in Travel
Tags: , , ,

Learning Korean

I’m a travel nurse, and learning how to speak (and write) a different language is an advantage of it. It builds rapport to patients. I gained their trust especially when I relayed to them the importance of the procedure that’d be done to them. For my three years here in Saudi Arabia, I learned to speak Arabic and I was commended by my superiors and colleagues for it.

How did I learn a new language as a travel nurse? How did I understand and speak a new language given my ‘toxic run’ with patients?

Clever. Yes I am. And that’s my first step as to how I learned Arab language.

When I came in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I brought along my English. I thought of Arabs being able to speak fluent English as they’re hiring tons of expatriates. I was told that their communication tool was the same with the Westerners. Those info changed the moment I landed in Abu Dhabi International Airport. Arabs love and respect their own tongue. They speak highly of their language.

I was eager to learn more Arabic one week after I was deployed to my area of work. I listened attentively to the conversation between my Syrian/Sudanese/ Egyptian doctors and patients for two weeks. Then week after that I started to ask doctors to translate it to me. Then to my surprised, most of the doctors in our department were teaching me Arabic. One Arabic word or phrase per day. In return, I did good in assisting them. I also exchanged English words to them.

Arabic language is a compicated language to learn. There are a variety of it. Saudi natives have their own style of speaking, while Syrians, Egyptians, Sudaniese, Yemenis, Bahrainis, Kuwaitis, and Jordanians have their own music with Arabic. But they all have a universal code in speaking Arabic so it’s not difficult for me.

It’s always fun to have different patients who talk differently. In between patients, I am with our kind receptionist. She’s teaching me the Arabic script.

Another language I am injecting into my blood vessels is Hangeul or the Korean Language. I am a Korean Drama fan and with years of watching I can speak a number of phrases. I can greet and say good bye in Hangeul. And at times watch a k- drama without looking at the subtitle. During my days off, I am learning to write Korean script.

Speaking different language other than my native dialect Hiligaynon, Tagalog, and English, is also a hobby I found while working as a travel nurse. It kills boredom. Learning a new language gives me a sense of moving, the feeling of being not stuck…

I studying different languages with two mobile apps, which I will share on my next post…

Da- eum sigankkanji!

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