Before a trip to a foreign country, you may want to consider brushing up on the language used where you are going. This will help you to feel more comfortable with your surroundings when you arrive and will be appreciated if you need to communicate with the locals. Learning a new language can feel like a daunting task, but by starting with the basics, you can quickly pick up common words and phrases. Before you begin, consider these tips for learning a new language to plan out your approach to success!
Start With the Basics
As you start learning a new language, it is important to build a strong base of keywords, grammatical structures and common phrases. By having a good foundation of general rules and words this will help you progress into more complex terms and sentences. Try and put together a list of expressions you expect to use while travelling, such as locations (ex. bathroom, train station, airport), meals (ex. breakfast, lunch, dinner), and money (ex. cash, card, total). Having these words in your vocabulary will be valuable for communication if ever needed. Put together a plan of what you want to learn to focus on what will be most important!
These days, there are so many applications and tools available that you can work on your language skills on the go or with a guided learning plan. By downloading an app to your phone, you can work on your language skills anywhere and anytime. Videos and podcasts will help improve your listening and comprehension, and interactive websites can keep you engaged while testing your knowledge. The opportunities are endless for learning with technology.
Consistency is a main factor in retaining the information you are learning. With regular use, your memory and familiarity with the language will greatly improve. Make sure to dedicate time to studying and try to practice all forms of the language; reading, writing and listening. Over time, it will become easier and even if only for a short period, daily work will lead to the best results.
Incorporate Into your Daily Life
Reading articles, listening to the news or watching a movie in the new language will help you to pick up words and sentences without even realizing it. If you can immerse yourself in entertaining ways, you will learn and make it more enjoyable. Using subtitles is a great way to ensure you are understanding the content and comprehend the translation. Finding material from the country you will be visiting is a perfect way to expose yourself and appreciate the culture.
Find a Partner
If you have a friend or family member who speaks the language, this is a great opportunity to practice your skills and improve your fluency. Make a list of conversation topics you want to work on and go through them with your buddy. Speaking out loud will help you improve your pronunciation and familiarity with the words. Additionally, having someone to talk to and ask questions will be more engaging and beneficial to your learning. Make it a social event to be enjoyable for both!
It is important to understand that learning a new language is not easy and you may not pick it up as quickly as you expect. Do not let up and with practice, it will come! Stay motivated by recognizing progress and if it becomes overwhelming, check in with where you are and set a goal on aspects you want to focus on. Setting small targets will help you learn what is most essential for you.
What’s the best part about learning a new language? Using it! You will feel a sense of pride when you can successfully communicate or understand something abroad. Putting in the work will pay off when you travel and apply your new skill. Even if you don’t have any upcoming trips planned, a new language is always a great tool, so why not start?