Being an international traveler, I often visit new countries where I cannot speak a word of their language (and often they cannot understand English either). So before I leave, I make sure to do a little research so I can avoid miscommunications. Learning a new language can be time intensive and expensive, so I’ve found some tricks to cut down on the cost while improving efficiency.
1. Download language apps
In our day and age, we check our phone every 5 or 15 minutes, especially when we have free time like on the bus. Download free language apps so you can use your free time to learn a new language. For instance, when I travelled to Argentina I downloaded a bunch of Spanish language apps and learned survival expressions while waiting for the bus. Plus, a lot of the apps come with pre-recorded expressions so you can work on your pronunciation.
2. Use Internet tutorials
There are lots of great online tutorials and blogs to help you learn new languages. I’m learning Korean right now through talktomeinkorean.com, which has great lesson plans that will get you from beginner to advanced in a systematic fashion.
3. Find a local language tutor friend
Believe it not, there are networks where you can find someone in your local area who can speak the language you want to learn. I’ve connected with people who will teach Korean for free through My Language Exchange. We would have sessions where half the time is dedicated to learning Korean and the other half I would teach them English. Who knows, you can maybe meet a new friend or that special someone there!
4. Use flashcards
The best way to learn a language is still practice and memorization. Keep a goal in mind of how much you want to learn and use flashcards to help you review new phrases on a daily basis. You don’t need to learn all the grammar points, just a good grasp on the structure of the language
5. Prepare a list of survival expressions
Rather than flipping through a hefty book, prepare one paper with all the useful expressions you need to survive, with phrases such as “Where is the bathroom?”