Modern prepping very frequently overlooks the importance of regional language.
Community is an absolute essential in most realistic prepping scenarios. You’re not a solo operator: if you’re like 99.9% of humans then you will need or somehow relay on other people. Good luck having that strong community if you can’t communicate with half of them because you don’t know each other’s language.
We can sit here and talk all day about the essentials of stocking important items, learning the best practices, having access to water, acquiring a first aid kit, ensuring access to shelter/food/medicine, being fit, and having self defense items.
But what’s more important than all of those is having a community that can help you keep and upgrade the aforementioned essentials. Having access to them solo isn’t very useful if someone else that is more community-minded than you decides to militia up and come seize it.
Even in more realistic scenarios like power lines going out or financial disruption: it pays to have a community.
The most essential of communal ties is communication. Speaking to one another. If a disaster occurs, you won’t have the tools of the modern day to help you communicate. You’ll have to do it the old fashioned way.
So, the importance of regional languages cannot be understated.
Prepping And Language Learning
In the United States, for example, we have a huge population of Spanish speakers inside and outside of our borders. Many of them can’t speak English fluently.
For the American, you will be at a significant advantage if you can speak both English and Spanish in any disaster scenario. Simply because you have a highly useful, tangible, and interconnected skill. One that can cross the communal and national divide.
Note that this is a regional language advantage: Spanish is here in the US in large numbers and is right outside of our borders. Regardless of where you go (flee to central America, go north, etc), Spanish would be helpful in some manner.
The same is not true of Chinese. While Chinese is a majority world language, it wouldn’t be too useful in a regional disaster in the United States. There are far fewer Chinese speakers and most of them know English well enough to converse.
This is why a regional language should be a preppers go too for language learning. It provides the most bang for the buck, as the saying goes.
Consider Germany. Many Europeans speak English but other helpful regional languages could be Italian or French. Especially considering the close proximity. Spanish is unlikely to be a language high up on a regional list in comparison. Even a language like Russian would likely make more sense for a German prepper to learn over Spanish.
These regional differences matter. They’ll matter even more in a SHTF scenario. Especially one in which you have to flee or travel.
The same can be said for the Asian countries’ lack of need to learn a language like German for survivalist preparation. They’d be more suited learning other regional languages to help communicate with more people in their direct vicinity.
If we are becoming prepared for actual realistic survival scenarios (so no, not zombies), we should consider language and communication an essential. Yet, this is often overlooked in favor of less important skills or traits.
It is much more likely that your power goes out or your food dries up than a nuclear apocalypse. In both of those situations being able to communicate with your regional neighbors is far more important than having 50,000 rounds of ammunition.
Even though 50k rounds of ammo is badass, for the American prepper he or she should think to incorporate Spanish instead of hoard more cartridges. It simply would make more sense in the vast majority of actual preparedness scenarios.