Congratulations on booking your new holiday! We really hope that you have a great experience where you plan to go. You’ve probably already planned out the basics of your trip: Where you’ll go, who you’ll visit and what you want to see most, whether it’s Russia and Russian or Mexico or Spain and the Spanish language.
But there’s just one more thing that you have to think about: You might not know the local language yet! This can get in the way of how much you’re able to enjoy your trip. Here’s a few easy ways to learn a new language in time for your new trip…
Attend Language Classes
There are language classes available at most libraries, schools, colleges and universities; many of these are offered for free, and some at a session or per-hour fee. There are also many language courses and lessons available on the internet. Again, many of them are available to view or download for free, so you don’t have to worry about taking out a lot of money if you want to learn something new.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in it from the start. Look up the words that you don’t know, and go through your list of learned words again the next day – you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll start picking up the language once you really get going. Reading local newspapers in your chosen language, even if you have to run it through a translator or read it with a dictionary, is a great help when you’re trying to pick up a new language.
It’s easier to learn when you’re having fun while you’re doing it. The same is true both for children and for adults. So, why don’t you choose some games in the chosen language? Many of your favourite mainstream PC and console games are already available with language packs in different languages, all you have to do is switch the option in game. You can also think of other language-based games such as Scrabble and crosswords, which are available in any language you can think of.
Watch Movies and TV
Another way of having fun while you learn is to find movies and TV shows in the language that you’re trying to learn and immerse yourself in watching a lot of these. Subtitles will be a great help here, and you might even be able to switch the audio track or the subtitles of your favourite movies and TV shows to accommodate your new language abilities so that you can pick up a new language through visual media – which is often much easier for people to remember than through just reading through lessons and phrasebooks.
Translate Small Bits of Text
Once you feel that you’re a little bit more used to the idea of writing and speaking the language, even if you only know a little bit, you can challenge yourself by trying to translate small bits of text into English and back: Start off with things like lines from songs, lines of poetry, messages from friends: Back and forth translation is a great way to get your brain used to the way a language feels, sounds and writes.
Another great way to learn a language is to actively speak it with someone who already does – and if you get stuck, you can always ask them for correction or advice, and they’ll be more than happy to help you most of the time. Languages are a great way to get to know new people.