Learning even just the basics of your destination’s local language can enrich your travel experience. Here at TravelNGrub, whether you’re a backpacker, novice traveller or identify as a tourist, we firmly believe that travellers from all walks of life would benefit greatly so we decided to compile a list of our favourite resources for learning a language:
We mentioned Duolingo as one of the apps that travellers must have. It is a free app for learning the basics of a language. Duolingo not only offers free language courses for English speakers but also language courses for speakers of other languages such as German and Spanish. The language courses have a tree format where you gradually build on previous knowledge. The early parts of the tree typically start off with basics, phrases and food. Quite useful for when eating out abroad!
You may also use Duolingo to build a foundation for going beyond basic level of language knowledge. Duolingo is also accessible on most web browsers.
If you struggle with pronunciation, look no further! Forvo is a pronunciation dictionary that allows users to listen to how words are pronounced. Audio recordings are typically made by locals. We also strongly recommend Forvo as a resource for learning a language.
In a bit of a rush and want to learn the basics of a language fast? Omniglot offers free phrasebooks (and sometimes the corresponding audio files with pronunciation) and sometimes other external resources that deal with learning the basics of a language.
This one is for more serious learners of a language. With iTalki, you will be set up with a language exchange partner, typically a native speaker or a highly skilled teacher, who will guide you through and give you advice on your target language.
If you’re an avid traveller, you may have heard We love Wikitravel. Believe it or not, Wikitravel is also a useful resource for learning a language. It is basically a free travel encyclopaedia that can be edited by anyone. You may also use Wikitravel to learn the basics of a language by simply typing the name of a language on the search bar and the word phrasebook. Because we love food here at TravelNGrub, it is worth mentioning that phrasebook pages typically have a section on food.
The free Memrise app allows you to memorise (heh clever name) words or phrases of your target language. More importantly, it is possible to download offline versions of the language courses. Very handy for when you’re on long-haul flights! A must-have resource for learning the basics of a language for your travels!
You do not have to have been raised in a multilingual environment or be a linguistic genius to learn the basics of a language. With time, perseverance and the resources above, you could easily master the basics of a language.
Bon voyage et bonne chance!