Can you understand a culture without understanding the language? To what degree?
What do you miss?
Due to the nature and time of the work some of us do while living, leading and working abroad, a realistic opportunity and goal to learn the language doesn't always exist.
What do you think?
I recently read this quote from a woman who lives in a large Amish community in Ohio. Her Amish neighbor shared this with her:
I don't think you need to change to the way I'm living, and I don't think I need to change to the way you're living. But who knows? Maybe we can both pick up little things from each other.
Perhaps too simplistic for the complex and complicated world we live in. But I think she could be on to something. Perhaps, sometimes, the solution to complex problems are quite simple.
For me, living and working abroad, this is helpful and practical advice.
Being in a new city and country can easily lead to confusion. Don't think you have to re-create the wheel. You're not the first person to be new to this place, nor the last. If someone is offering help, take it. If you need help, ask for it. You don't have all of the answers. Slow down and take the help.
Get culture bumps