Even though traveling gives us new exciting and rewarding experience, it always puts us out of the comfort zone and inherently breeds challenge.
Have I thought everything through? Did I pack all the things I need? How do I get to the apartment in a totally unknown city?
And if assembling a first aid kit for the road trip can be done in a few hours, linguistic skills are not that easy to manage. So here are some practical tips on how to learn a new language fast and get ready for the travel as rapidly as possible.
Use language learning apps and online platforms
Arranging a class with a teacher in three days may sound like an impossible task, but with a little bit of magic aka the Internet, it’s really not such a big deal.
Feeling like you need a couple of French conversational classes before hitting the City of Love? Voilà!
Your flight to Berlin is in two days but you forgot everything you learned about Plusquamperfekt? Put the grammar book aside. Instead, download an app and get a quick introduction to German tenses in a playful light-hearted way.
Change the language of your devices
The most effective way to prepare for the journey fast is to immerse yourself in a language environment while you’re still at home. And since most of us are surrounded by operating systems, applications and programs in our everyday life, try to do so by switching all your devices to the target language.
First of all, it will bring the atmosphere of the destination country to your home. Second, it will prepare your mind for new linguistic experience. So when you get to the airport you wouldn’t be scared by the scoreboard and even could recognize a couple of words.
Place notes all over your apartment and office
If your roommates and colleagues don’t mind, start labeling furniture, devices, food, and other stuff around you. Using sticky notes is an old but extremely useful trick that will help you gain the necessary vocabulary minimum in a short period of time.
Assign every room in your home a particular vocabulary theme and fill it with notions. Starting with the contents of your fridge and ending with your wardrobe, put labels everywhere you can and soon those words will be stuck in your memory.
Watch movies and TV series in a target language
There are actually two ways to handle this: you can either pick some new foreign shows or just download subtitles to your favorite ones.
The first way works best if your language level is already pretty high, whereas the second one fits for everyone. Just choose series that you’ve seen so many times that you can quote the lines and add subs.
Not only does it help learn a language quickly, but also amuses you. Agree, watching How I Met Your Mother in Croatian may be pretty laughable and entertaining.
Read foreign media
And the last piece of advice — check out foreign news portals and media before the trip. It will help you not only expand vocabulary but stay tuned for upcoming events in the country you’re visiting.
Learning a language and planning your journey, all in one!
As it has been pointed out, improving your command of the language is not so quick and easy as we would want it to be. But if you use our little hacks and add a bit of creativity to the process, you can enhance your language skills and avoid awkward moments while traveling.
Even if you still can’t understand everything or speak as fluently as you had hoped, practicing the language before the journey will bring you much closer to a foreign culture.