What’s the best part about traveling before you’ve even arrived at your destination? All the discovering you can do about the country’s language, culture, and tourist attractions! More specifically, we wanted to focus on the language side of things.
While many places in the world speak English, especially hotels, restaurants, theme parks, etc., there’s nothing quite like delving into a country’s native language before you travel.
More specifically, we wanted to focus on the language side of things. While many places in the world speak English, especially hotels, restaurants, theme parks, etc., there’s nothing quite like delving into a country’s native language before you travel.
4 Fun Ways to Learn a Foreign Language before Traveling
You can never be sure when knowing the language can help you out, such as looking at road signs or asking a local for directions, but it also assists in integrating into the country so much better.
Citizens love it when you try in their native tongue first, as it shows respect for their country. Though it’s true that you won’t need to become fluent in Spanish if you’re visiting Spain for only a few weeks, knowing useful phrases and correct pronunciation definitely doesn’t hurt and can enrich your time spent there.
So, how can you and your family really immerse yourself in a foreign language before you travel?
1. Language apps
When you actually arrive at your destination and need some help figuring out the local language, it’s easy enough to make use of the best translation apps for Android and iOS, as these can quickly inform you about items on a menu, for example.
However, if you really want to impress the waiting staff at a restaurant, then learning food and drink names with special language apps beforehand is the way to go.
Duolingo is probably the most well known of them all, as it’s free, simple to understand, and contains a slow but steady progression system.
Babbel and Memrise are also solid apps, but it’s necessary to purchase an account after the free trial has ended. If all family members are learning, you can test each other to ensure no one is slacking off!
2. Listening to music
Discovering music in a foreign language is a really fun way to learn new sentences and slang, as you’ll hear more informal ways to speak.
While the family is driving in a car or chilling at home, throw on some Manu Chao if you’re learning Spanish, some Yelle if it’s French you’re after, or even some Cro if Germany is the destination.
All these artists sing in their native tongue, so the more you listen to them, the better you’ll be able to pick out certain words or phrases and understand what they’re singing about.
3. Videos on YouTube
If you simply type in “learn Spanish” into YouTube, you’ll have access to hundreds of great videos, covering a multitude of subjects and situations. You can learn the correct phrases for buying a train ticket, asking for an item in a shop, or even basics like numbers and colors.
If you have very young children, check out some of these fun YouTube videos for Spanish that will be a great starting point for an introduction into a new language.
Adults and teens could even watch the news in their desired foreign language, as this will greatly improve your vocabulary and force you into learning when someone talks at a normal pace.
4. Complete everyday tasks in a foreign language
There are many things we do each day without really thinking, but what if you did those things in a new language? For example, make a shopping list, changing your Facebook language setting, or even simply messaging family members or talking at the dinner table.
All these things could be done in the language you’re learning so that when the day finally comes that you can visit the country, you’ve already got such a head start and can have a really enriching experience.