Learning a new language is a crucial part of the traveling experience, but it can be difficult to know exactly how to go about doing so. Luckily in today’s day and age there are numerous options for learning new things, including languages. From mobile apps to internet sites, here we take a look at some of the best ways you can learn a new language on your own.
CD (or mp3)
The CD is becoming something of an antiquated format, but both it and the cassette tape before it offer a fantastic way of learning a new language. The big advantage with an audio based format is that it allows the student to hear someone else pronouncing the words. Most audio courses come with some form of visual accompaniment so you can understand the language’s construction in both the written and oral forms. Some, however, are purely audio based courses and some students will find it easier to learn the language this way before tackling the written aspects.
There are any number of publishers who regularly print phrasebooks and translation dictionaries, often including the phonetic spelling of words and phrases, which are very useful as both a reference and something to make you feel more confident when speaking in another language. Books are a particularly good way to expose a child to a language from an early age. In the first several years of our lives, our ability to learn new languages is far greater than it is as we grow up. A child with access to a French language book, for example, alongside one in their native language, will take on board the information in the same way they do with their mother tongue.
Why not take an online language course? There are a number of different sites that offer students the opportunity to learn a language online and do so in a variety of ways. Websites allow for the delivery of multimedia content and this means that an online language course can involve any combination of text, pictures and videos. This makes the internet offerings particularly diverse in terms of style.
There are an increasing number of apps, most famously Duolingo, that offer anyone the opportunity to learn a language for free. Many of these apps are of a high quality, although there is the occasional dud. Individual app stores should contain reviews that will give you a better idea of what app is most suitable for you.
Face to Face
Probably the most expensive and difficult to arrange option is also the best, having a human teacher not only allows for much broader scope and interactive elements it also gives you a point of contact, someone who can answer any questions you have. If you have a relative who speaks the language, you might even be lucky enough to be able to learn for free.
Learning new languages opens new doors and makes entire areas of the world suddenly much more accessible. For those who seek to live life on the road, a good grasp of languages is essential and it is now easier and cheaper than ever for anyone who wants to learn a language to do so.
Photo above provided by Royalty Free Photo