When travelling it is always helpful to know a few words in the local language; this will not only help you interact better with the locals, but will also help enrich your cultural experience.
If English is the only language that you’ve mastered thus far, then start off by learning Latin (or Romance) languages such as Spanish, French and Italian. You will be surprised by how many words you already know due to pop culture, songs, books or just because they sound similar to their English counterparts. These languages also use the ‘English’ alphabet, which will help you read and figure out what is being said.
Tips for enhancing your international vocabulary:
- Buying a language learning book, phrasebook, downloading a language app or going to classes are the best ways to truly learn a language.
- Watch a subtitled movie; this will allow you to get used to the music of the language as well as pick up on the words that may sound similar to English. Try watching the movie without the subtitles next time.
- Go to an ethnic restaurant and look at the dishes that have foreign names, then try and work out what the item actually is. Better you learn this whilst you’re still home before you end up ordering a whole chicken on a train.
- If you have a friend that already speaks the language that you are trying to learn, have them throw in a foreign word here and there or ask them what something is called when you are out.
- If you hear a song that you like and it includes some foreign words, translate them and next time you hear the song, try and remember what you’ve learnt. This can also be helpful when remembering words as you will have a tune to recall them to.
- Change the language of a program that you are very familiar with, such as your phone or Facebook. There won’t be as much guesswork as you already know the basic layout of the program, however having the language in front of you will force you to learn the words.
- Find a pen pal in a different country and request that they only speak to you in the language that you are learning, or alternate between the languages that you use so that they learn something as well. This will also allow you to practice your writing.
The more you learn a language, the easier it will be to learn other languages as you will soon learn that many words are similar.
How do you learn the basic of a language?