How To Rock Language Learning While Travelling
Greetings and salutations merry language learners across the world!
Is the sort of person to pack your bags on a whim and head off toward an unknown destination today? Or are you a person who worries and frets horribly before leaving and then finds it alright once you actually get there? Well, this here’s article’s for you, then! (If the answer was affirmative.)
Now, you may have spotted two different concepts in the paragraph and a half above, so let us explain.
Traveling and learning foreign languages often go hand in hand, you see. In fact, one of the best way to learn a foreign language is to completely immerse yourself in its culture by actually going to a place where it’s spoken indigenously.
In this article, we’ll talk about how you can travel and learn new languages on the go. We’ll provide you a couple of tips on how to make the most of your trip while you’re there.
Alright, let’s see what’s going on here, shall we?
How To Learn A Foreign Language While Traveling
1) Do Your Research
Before you set out on your magnanimous journey, you’ll need to do some homework.
And by ‘homework’ we actually mean homework. Say, for example, you’ve started learning French and now you’re lucky enough to go to France. Just think about it – learning to say ‘comment ça va’ only when you get there can be a massive wasted opportunity.
To boost the effectiveness of the language learning part on your language learning trip, teach yourself some of the target languages before you actually set off on your journey.
This way, you’ll be in a position to expand your knowledge exponentially once you’re there!
2) Get a Local Connection
This may sound like some sort of mobster piece of advice, but what you’re really looking at here is a person who can help you out with the things once you arrive at your destination.
Now, it’s not always that you’ll be able to find such a person, but if you do have a friend, or a friend’s aunt, or some other acquaintance in a foreign country, you can have a much more well-rounded experience of the place than if you just went exploring on your own.
Of course, a local who also has the patience to show you around is valuable because they’ll know all the interesting spots! Also, they can help loads when it comes to teaching you their language on the go.
3) Study the Menus
Often a perfect platform for hilarious mistakes in translation and other linguistic acrobatics, menus can also be a perfect means of picking up some extra food-related vocabulary.
This especially goes for people with a sweet tooth or a proclivity for cooking.
Whether it’s picking your amuse bouche or ordering a bowl of ukha – a see-through Russian fish stew, juggling the words of curious meals can be an excellent way to practice your pronunciation! (And hopefully, get fed.)
4) Talk to People Along the Way
This one’s pretty much the same as the last one, but with less food.
Language needs to be practiced and reviewed on a regular basis, so every opportunity to exchange a couple of sentences with a friendly local is worthwhile for your language goals.
Even if it’s a simple ‘bonjour’, or a more elaborate ‘Telefon panu wypadł!’ (meaning – Kind Sir, your mobile telephone contraption has, unbeknownst to you, exited your pocket and is now located on the ground beneath you! In Polish), every sentence you utter correctly is bound to make you more confident for the future linguistic undertakings.
5) Find Local Hubs for Socializing
A great way to not only meet people but also enjoy some entertainment and have a drink or two would be to find some local bars and hubs, in general.
If you can find some places with a language-learning kick to them, even better.
The point is, you want to be socializing and meeting new people while also practising your language skills. Pronunciation, in particular, is a linguistic category that will be most affected positively by frequent practice sessions. Another great option is signing up for some of the short-term or long-term courses of English at a reputable language school such as Sydney College Of English where a team of experts will monitor your pronunciation and fluency each step of the way.
6) Listen to Music in Your Target Language
While actually talking to new colorful folks and exposing yourself to local culture is probably the best way to spend your time when you’re actually at your destination, listening to music in your target language can be an excellent way to pass the time on your way there.
Whether it’s staring into the distance from inside your car seat or queueing for your passport to get verified at the airport, getting acquainted with the music of the country you’re about to visit is quite an important part of becoming fluent eventually.
If you’re a family going on holidays abroad, playing some music in the foreign language of your choice along the way can be a great idea to both breaks the tedium of the voyage, and also pick up some Japanese along the way, for example.
What’s more, playing songs in that target language to your kids can be, in a way, interpreted as preparing for high school! (If they’re around that age, of course. Not much point in preparing a college student for high school language exam is there.)
7) Read Local Press
Finding materials to read in your target language can sometimes be a challenge. Especially if your language of choice is not that prominent on the Internet. (Meaning – there aren’t that many learning materials online.)
If you’ve decided to learn Mongolian, for example – you’re in for a wild ride. Finding materials can be a proper challenge, and often you’ll find that you’ll have to custom make your own materials. The silver lining to this is that you’ll end up learning grammar and a bunch of other things just by trying to build exercises for yourself! (Perhaps this is how all languages should be acquired!)
All things considered, traveling is certainly one of the best ways to pick up a foreign language. Talking with locals, trying to order a meal in a restaurant, or trying to figure out what on Earth did Mongolian prime minister did wrong to deserve such an unflattering picture in the local press, are all prospects that are bound to make your language learning journey fun and successful one!