We all know that people love to travel. Even those who don’t have to travel at least once in a while. Both within and outside your home country. Now, when you’re travelling outside your country, that country’s official language might not be the one you speak.

For example, you may be from Canada, where people mostly speak English. And you’re travelling to Brazil, where people mostly speak Portuguese. To interact with people and buy from the locals, you need to know a few helpful phrases in that country’s most spoken language. Phrases like, ‘I am going to…’ ‘ Do you speak (…)’ etc? So, below are nine quick ways to learn foreign languages and helpful phrases for travelling. Continue reading, and you will get to more about mastering the useful phrases.

Imitate the Tones and Sounds of the Language

This can be done in two ways. If you’ve already travelled, you can improve how you speak the dialect by noticing the tone and accent of the locals. Repeat them in your head, taking note of the speaker’s cadence. Do this over and over, and you’ll notice your improvement. If you’ve not travelled yet, watching a foreign show (as discussed above) helps you recognize the dialect’s tone and accent, and you might even start speaking with the correct accent before you get there.

Take a Language Class

When you’ve decided to travel, taking a foreign language class where you live is important. There are many learning platforms to choose from. People normally go for popular online language services like preply or italki. However, these two are competitors, that’s why you’d hear phrases like, ‘preply vs italki‘. Below are three major differences between preply and italki.

  • Preply is more expensive(costs around $4-$40. Italki is cheaper (costs around $4-$30
  • You can choose from over 50 languages on preply. Italki has a wider range of languages. About 150+
  • Teachers pay a higher commission on preply. Between 18-33%. On italki, the commission is lower. Around 15%

Thus, get the best online learning platform that fits your schedule and start learning. Also, ensure you download a foreign language app for foreign dialect phrases and words. This you can carry on your trip and use whenever you’re stuck.

Don’t feel embarrassed when you Speak a New Language

When you start learning a language, you feel embarrassed speaking out loud. This is because you don’t have an accent, so your own words sound funnier or different from the rest. But this should not hinder you from practicing out loud. This will improve your accent and endear the locals to you when you finally travel; some might even be willing to teach you more of the language. Because of this, you’ll excel at speaking the local language more.

Watch Shows with Foreign Language Subtitles

Research has shown that television plays a part in language learning. And the level at which individuals learn through watching is almost equal to learning through reading. Individuals who watch foreign television shows tend to be better at speaking and reading those foreign phrases.

By watching these shows, you can learn more than just the language; you can learn the accent as well. There are now English shows dubbed or subtitled in other foreign dialects like Spanish, Portuguese, French, etc.

Read a Newspaper or Magazine in the Foreign Language

Getting foreign newspapers or magazines – either hard or soft copy, is not hard. You can read them and check for a translation of the word, phrase, or sentence you don’t understand. With time, you will find that you are getting better at reading full articles without needing a translation.

Use a Foreign Language Lexicon

You can either have a foreign dictionary that will also contain a thesaurus or lexicon. Or in a guidebook. These guidebooks normally have a glossary at the back of the book. This helps remember simple words like ‘Yes’ ‘, No’, etc.

Try Thinking in the Foreign Language you’re Learning

This sounds funny, doesn’t it? But it works. If you try thinking in the tongue, you’re learning, which will help speed up your learning process. You can then write down the words you have problems with and look them up for better understanding.

For example, if you are baking, think of what you’re doing, and if you find that you don’t know how to say ‘Sugar’. You can note that word on paper or in a notepad on your phone. I advise you to use your phone because you carry more than that paper. Note that word or words, and look them up.

Have Sticky Notes with Foreign Language Sentences or Phrases

You can use this method if you find it hard to remember certain words. Write them down in that foreign dialect and stick them in the objects. This can only work with common household objects or solid things. You can put your sticky note on your knife, door for kitchen, etc. Do this consistently before your journey. You can also practice with loved ones, as they can help you remember words you’ve forgotten.

Start Writing in a Foreign Language

After all your reading, watching, and thinking in that foreign language, writing is important. I don’t mean phrases or one or two simple sentences, even though that is the first step. But more complex sentences from what you’ve learned. If you have mistakes, look them up, make the corrections, and keep on writing until you’re speaking and writing.

The advantages of being able to write in a foreign tongue are numerous. You can interact with locals easily. They’ll be more friendly to you, especially when they find out you can also write in their language.

You won’t forget what you’ve learned easily. If you write down whatever you learn in that language, the chances of forgetting it are slimmer than if you memorize it without writing it down.


Why do I need to learn a foreign language before I travel?

Yes, it might not seem like a big deal at first, but learning the tongue of the country you’re going to gives you benefits. Like easy movement, it is understanding the culture, exploring beautiful local spots, eating good food, etc.

Are there language courses for beginners?

Yes. Most online learning platforms have courses for beginners with experienced tutors. So, you don’t have to worry about language experience before travelling.

How fast can I learn a foreign language?

It depends on many factors. You could probably take two months above to learn a dialect if you invest enough time, if the language is pretty straightforward.

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