How to Pick Up a Second Language When You’re on the Road

Traveling is all about seeing new things and learning about new cultures and destinations, but if you are able to speak the local language then you can get so much more out of your trip. However, you don’t have to spend all of your time before you go studying the lingo. Of all the times we’ve been to Mexico (like for last year’s Sacred Mayan Journey) and had to practice these tips, we’ve actually gotten by pretty well. Here are five different ways you can learn a second language whilst on the road.


Learn with an Online Tutor


When traveling in Mexico for example, if you want to discover the world outside the resorts then knowing some Spanish is a must. You can really get off the beaten track when you can communicate well in the local language.  One of the easiest and most accessible way to learn on the road is online via sites such as Preply where you can find online Spanish tutors to teach you when and where you want via Skype. As long as you have Wi-Fi you can talk to a native speaker who will improve your skills and teach you like no book can.


Attend a Local Language Class


If you have time on holiday you can take a class with like-minded people and learn directly from a native speaker. Like learning by skype you can have real conversations and ask questions to hone your skills and understanding. Some holiday resorts in Mexico offer Spanish lessons as part of their packages which are good for those who want to pick up the basics. Great for when you are next in Spain too!


Download an App to Use on the Go


If you want a few words at your fingertips there are language app that you can download to help you both read and speak another language. Apps are available in both on and offline versions so you can find the best one to suit your needs. These are particularly good if you want your phone to speak for you or you want to read and translate a menu easily.


Read a Phrasebook


If you have a long train journey or flight, reading a phrasebook can help you to learn whilst traveling and pass the time too. Especially great in places where you have no Wi-Fi or your battery is drained, your book is always available. Maybe an old-fashioned example but it is a reliable way to choose. You may even be able to practice with fellow passengers or stewards too.


Sacred Mayan Journey Xcaret

Gauge takes a moment to ask lots of questions about Mayans and the artwork.


Practice with Locals


By avoiding the tourist bars and restaurants and rubbing shoulders with the locals, you will be thrust straight in the middle of a new way of learning. By practicing with people who know the language best and forcing yourself to give it a go, you will become more confident and learn a lot quicker. It will be funny getting things wrong and being corrected but it all adds to the experience.


Using these tips or a mix of the above you can see there are lots of ways to learn a new language whilst on the road. Be that online, face to face or from a book, however, you tend to learn best there is a way for you to get the best out of your travels and communicate in a brand-new way.


Have you learned a language on the road? What was your experience?


About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Senior Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. Christa has been traveling the world since 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

1 Comments on this post

  1. […] language at the same time. Mingling with locals is indeed a good way to learn a second language, as recommended by The Fairytale […]

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