6 Tips to Learn a Language Quickly and Talk Like a Local on Vacation
Please, thank you, hello, goodbye... if you’re visiting another country, even a simple grasp of its language will make for a smoother trip and better service from locals!
These days, you really don’t need to take classes to be able to converse in another language. We’ll take you through the latest tips, tricks and technology that help you learn a language quickly and go from clueless to conversational in time for your trip.
How to learn a language quickly for a trip abroad
1. Concentrate on the important stuff
There are certain words and phrases you’ll have to use a lot when traveling abroad. They depend on where you're going, but some examples include "Where is...", "How much does this cost?" and, of course, "check please!" Knowing these in advance will immediately make you feel more confident.
A good old-fashioned phrasebook will provide a helpful starting point, but online language programs geared towards travelers will get you learning the important stuff weeks in advance.
Another important step before traveling to another country: Insure Your Trip
2. Use a language app
You don’t have to head to class to learn a language anymore. Now, you can pick up the basics on your daily commute, at the gym or while you’re doing household chores. Download Rosetta Stone, Babbel or Busuu, some of the best language apps, on your phone a few months in advance of your trip and you’ll be speaking like a local in no time. Just don't mind people looking at you funny if you find yourself repeating phrases out loud in public!
3. Talk to native speakers
You probably know a few people who speak different languages—perhaps they've come from countries you're planning to visit. If so, take advantage! Ask if you can meet up with them over a drink or meal to practice your conversational skills. You'll learn to speak more naturally and your friend will hopefully dispense some handy suggestions that you won't find in a phrasebook.
Alternatively, you could download the HelloTalk app and converse with native speakers using a messaging service.
4. Make a game out of it
Many apps now make language learning a whole lot more addictive than it used to be. Duolingo and Mindsnacks both set enjoyable tests for users that disguise just how much you're picking up along the way. You could also combine your love of internet memes with your goal to brush up on vocabulary with Memrise, which uses funny flashcards and memorable word association to help certain phrases stick.
5. Perfect pronunciation
Wondering exactly how to say a certain word? Use (How to) Pronounce, which plays the word slowly enough so you can really get the knack of it.
6. Watch and learn
Watching foreign films and TV isn't just fun—it will help you immerse yourself in another language too. Swap your usual TV choices for a film in your chosen language and you'll be learning without even realizing it. Keep the subtitles on at first, but eventually, you'll be able to get the gist of what's happening without them!
Following these tips will help you learn a new language quickly, at least enough to get around and have a good time on vacation in another country.