How to Learn a Language for Travel

How to Learn a Language for Travel: Essential Phrases and Tips

There’s no one best way how to learn a language for travel. Knowing a language when you travel can make you feel safe and fully immersed in the adventure. It is easier to discover a place when you know what you eat, where to go, and what is happening around you. Whether you are a more advanced language user or just a beginner, check out tips prepared by to be ready for your next trip abroad. 

Try To Explain What You Want To Say 

No matter your level of fluency, there are always words you won’t know. Even native speakers don’t know all the words in their own language. Instead of giving up or getting shy when you don’t know a particular word, try to explain it by description. This is a way how to learn a language for travel. For example, let’s say you don’t know the word castle. You can explain it to the listener this way: a place where kings used to live. You will be understood, even without knowing the particular word. 

Learn/Remind Yourself of 10 Of The Most Important Verbs

There are countless verbs that you can learn. This is yet another way how to learn a language for travel. However, while traveling you might pick 10 that can be especially useful. When you discover a new place, you might be asking about the same things over and over again. Because of that, be sure you know how to say 10 basic verbs before you board the plane. The verbs you might find useful are: 

  1. Go
  2. Eat
  3. Take
  4. Order
  5. Have
  6. Buy 
  7. Pay
  8. Find 
  9. Speak 
  10. Understand 

Focus On What Is Important 

The above rule can apply to other things. You can try to learn the 10 most important nouns, adjectives, and so on. Especially if you are a language beginner, don’t try to memorize full, grammatically perfect sentences. Instead, focus on the words that are really important.  

It is also a good idea to learn how to ask basic questions, especially how much to ask for a price, and where is to ask for directions. 

Stay Safe And Learn The Words To Do It 

Traveling can be a very exciting and rewarding activity. Remember to stay safe. If you suffer from any illness or if you have a food allergy, be sure that you know how to communicate it. In a moment of stress, you might forget the words that can be literally lifesaving, so a good idea is to have them written down in a place that you can easily reach. Even writing words down is yet another way how to learn a language for travel.  

Take A Language Course Before You Go 

Before you go on your dream trip, try to improve your language skills by taking a language course or private online classes. Thanks to them, you not only learn more, but you’ll also be more confident while using the language.

You can choose an online class or participate in a course. If you live in a bigger city or decide to take classes online, you can pick a native speaker. Learning with a native speaker can not only help you to speed up the whole process but also gives you a unique opportunity to learn a little bit more about the culture of the place you are going to. The human connection can also speed up your learning, making this a great way how to learn a language for travel.

Pack A Pocket Travel Dictionary 

In case you need to ask something in particular and feel like you don’t have enough words, you can always reach for your dictionary. Internet usage might not always be possible while traveling, so having a small paper dictionary in your pocket can be a good idea. There are also special devices that translate speech and text, and have internet coverage wherever there is reception. They can be a good choice if you travel a lot to different countries.  However, they are quite pricey. 

Immerse In The Language And Culture Before You Go

While learning vocabulary and basic grammar is important, you should also try to immerse yourself into the language, for example, by watching shows or listening to music in a particular language. When you travel, listening and speaking skills are crucial, but many people have problems with them.

If you listen to native speakers using their language, you get an idea of how the accent works and so on. Check out popular bands from the country or binge-watch a series. This will not only be fun but is a great way how to learn a language for travel. The more contact with the language you have before leaving, the easier it will be for you to understand it. 

Communication Over Perfection 

Perhaps in school, you were taught that you need a perfect accent and grammar to speak a language. That is not true. The most important thing is communication, especially when you travel. This will be one of the most helpful points to focus on in regard to how to learn a language for travel.

Don’t overthink what you want to say, and don’t focus too much on being perfect with your grammar. Instead, make sure that the person can understand you. Before you embark on your trip, practice a bit of speaking in front of the mirror, or with a friend, even if they don’t speak the language, just to warm up and be less shy while using it during your trip. 

Keep A Journal 

So you are already traveling and exploring a new country. Don’t stop learning! When you are surrounded by native speakers, you can learn even more. A good idea is to keep a journal in which you can write new words and phrases you hear or read. Even if you don’t understand them, write them down to check them out later.

If you feel like it, aside from writing down vocabulary, you can write a journal. Thanks to this, you will remember more of your travels. Journaling also gives you a chance to deal with your emotions and put some things in perspective, so it can be handy if you’re traveling alone or having a harder day. 

Pay Attention To How You Feel 

Whether you learn a language in your country or while traveling, pay attention to how you feel. Sometimes language learners can feel overwhelmed. They might think they are not smart enough, or good enough, or that they are too shy. Try to acknowledge these feelings but don’t let them control you. Keep practicing and you will see amazing progress sooner than you think. 

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