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How to Learn a Language on the Go

Got a craving for wanderlust?

If you’re aching to see the world and explore new horizons, then why not make the most of your experience and learn a new language at the same time?

Learning a language when you’re immersed in the sights, sounds and culture of another country is a brilliant way to soak it up – and so much more fun than sitting behind books all day! So read on for some tips on how to make language learning a part of your next trip abroad.

Start with a lesson or two

You’re going to be spending a lot of time learning by yourself – but it’s really helpful to set a foundation with some formal advice and guidance.

Look for a local language learning school in your destination country. And enrol for a short but intensive programme, if it’s available! You’ll be able to spend a week or two learning the basics and practice with other students – which will help to build your confidence.

You might also be able to spend time staying with a host family – this is a great way to start putting your new skills into practice!

Avoid your native tongue!

It can be easy to rely on other people’s language skills instead of trying out your own.

It’s a small world, and many people around the world will speak common global languages such as English. While it’s definitely reassuring to see a familiar phrase or two, this won’t help you push your own language learning capabilities!

So if you can, seek out locations that are less likely to have speakers of your native tongue. This will definitely widen the horizons and invite new adventures – you might end up exploring fantastic remote regions, far off the beaten path!

Listen as much as you can

Even if you can’t understand another language, tuning into its rhythms and sounds will help you familiarise yourself with it.

So listen to people as much as you can – at every opportunity.

Tune into the local radio stations and listen to talk shows, the news and local music. Or watch TV and films in the language, and listen to people chatting around you.

As you continue to listen, you’ll start to pick up on words, sounds and even phrases. You might even try to practice the same sounds yourself – and be surprised at how much easier it is!

Practice, practice, practice

Lastly, let go of your inhibitions and fears, and simply practice as much as you can.

By yourself – in front of a mirror. When you’re doing a task. Reading from papers out loud.

And most importantly, with other people.

Your language skills might be rudimentary and extremely basic. You’ll probably make a lot of mistakes – and make others laugh with them!

But don’t let that hold you back and keep on practicing at every chance you get – whether it’s learning how to bargain with a market stall holder with your knowledge of numbers, or asking someone for directions.

With regular practice, you’ll soon become more confident – and fluent!

Are you planning to travel soon? What languages will you learn on the way?

This post is also available in: French German Portuguese (Brazil)