Travelling into new and unfamiliar parts of the world can be both exciting and extremely frustrating – exciting because you are experiencing an entirely new culture unlike your own, but also frustrating because language barriers can get in the way of truly immersing yourself into that culture. There are plenty of resources to help with communicating with people of other languages, so do not let this frustration stop you from chatting with the locals of the community. Language learning apps make it easy to start learning a new language today. You can either download these helpful apps before your trip to get a head start, or start learning during your travels.
Possibly the most popular of the step-by-step language learning applications, Duolingo is a great resource for travelers that have no language knowledge whatsoever. It starts with very basic skills, and allows you to first learn the words that you’ll most likely hear every day as a tourist. Another great feature of this app is that it is not just geared towards English speakers, so speakers of other languages will have an easy time using this as well.
Similar to Duolingo, Babbel is a great resource for both new and a bit more advanced learners. You can start with the basics of a language and learn day-to-day vocabulary with picture aids. Or if you are familiar with a language but need help in a certain area, you can choose a course based on your needs, whether it might be basic vocabulary or grammar skills. The nice thing about Babbel is you can download classes so that you can study even when your phone is offline.
Learning with Mindsnacks feels like you’re playing one big game. Each of the lessons offered is paired with several games to help you with learning the vocabulary and grammar of a foreign language, and it also greatly improves its user’s listening skills. This app does its best to make the whole learning process fun, while also developing language skills.
HelloTalk is the best app out there for actually practicing your skills by allowing you to dive right in and chat directly with speakers of other languages. It actually allows you to have text-like conversations with someone, and has a built in correction tool to help with any mistakes that might have been made. So not only is it helping you to learn a foreign language, it is helping another person as well.
TripLingo is specifically geared towards travelers who just need to brush up on vocabulary and common phrases that might be helpful to use during their trip. The lessons are divided into different categories, such as “restaurant phrases” or “safety phrases,” so it is very easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Similar to HelloTalk, HiNative allows you to exchange conversations with native speakers. It gives you the opportunity to not only learn a new language, but help someone that is wanting to learn your native language as well.