“Do you speak English?”
If I had a dollar for every time I asked that, I’d probably have a roundtrip flight to Thailand by now.
Language barrier can be a major deterrent for some to travel internationally. Between your, “Je ne sais pas and no comprendo, amigo”, that tower of Babel can seem pretty steep. Let’s face it, travel has left us all at times feeling lost, stupid, and hungry. Learning even a little bit of the language goes along way. It also you to connect to the people and immerse yourself in the experience and thus shifting from tourists to traveler. So, what can you do to prepare for your next trip? These three simple tips will have you going from “quoi? to” o la la! “
Download a language learning app
There are a number of different language apps to help you learn the basics and furthermore help you master a new language. I was recently introduced to a language learning app called Babbel. Babbel is a paid language learning subscription service that allows you take your language courses via the app or desktop. They currently have 14 languages such as Spanish, German, French and Russian.It is one of the interactive and comprehensive language apps I’ve used. You can even download lessons offline, so no need to worry about Wifi. They cover the basics and even have a really unique section, where you can download vacation phrases you typically will ask on your trip. In my case, French for your vacation. This brings my to my next tip…
Learn some basic phrases before you go
Not all of us have the time in the world to pick up a new language but we can learn a few basic phrases like, “ Can you help me? “, “Where is the nearest hospital? “ “More beer please”. My last escapade led me stressing and crunching for time to catch a bus from Berlin to Dresden. I did however manage to download some offline phrases from Babbel that saved me from saying scheisse one too many times. Your please and thank you’s will also go very far with the local as manners are never out of style.
Go to a local Meet Up event
This is probably one of my favorite things to do while abroad, besides Tinder. Most of the people that go to these events are actually locals who want to practice speaking their English. I’ve been able to meet some locals and make new friends by attending event such as bar crawls, museum nights or hikes. Tinder, is actually quite fun, because you also get to meet people you might not otherwise meet. My recent trip I connected with a local from Berlin and spent the day in Potsdam walking around Sanssouci palace.
So take the chance, you never know where a hello/hola/bonjour might lead you!
* This post was sponsored by Babbel.com the opinions expressed are of my own and not those of Babbel.com