Though I love to travel, it’s not always easy to learn a new language. If you’re anything like me, you might struggle with language learning for an upcoming international trip, but it’s been my experience that learning even the most basic words, sentences and common phrases can really make your next trip so much better!
So what’s a girl to do when she’s booked the trip, packed her bags and is ready to say bon voyage? She goes to these top five phone apps that I’ve found to best help learn a new language in no time flat.
Why It’s Important to Learn A New Language
We all l know that by working out our brain as much as our body, it helps us stay young and mentally agile. Learning a new language is a great way to stay mentally fit! It works the brain through memory improvement, cognitive functioning and increasing your attention span – just to name a few.
Not only that, but learning a new language helps bridge cultural divides, establish new friendships and gives you a different perspective of a culture or location. I love how learning a new language opens my eyes to so much that I would otherwise miss if I only spoke in English while abroad. Plus, I’m able to stay safe and ask for what I need if I find myself lost or off the beaten path.
Not only that, but it shows respect for the visiting country. Speaking – or at least attempting to speak – in the native tongue shows humility while also being a little brave. The fear of not doing it right or looking stupid is pushed aside when being a beginner in a foreign language, really getting us outside of our comfort zones!
My Favorite 5 Phone Apps for Language Learning
So you want to learn a new language – or maybe refresh that high school Spanish – but not sure where to start? There’s plenty of awesome applications and websites out there for language learning, some more expensive than others. Depending on what level of language proficiency you desire, you can easily find a program that works for your budget and needs.
App #1: Duolingo
Probably the most popular phone app out there, Duolingo is free and a fun way to learn just about any popular language in the world. You can download the app or practice online, with each lesson being bite-sized morsels of learning on the go. Duolingo is great for the basics and perfect for when you need a quick pocket reference.
App #2: Babbel
Another really popular phone app, Babbel has a wide variety of languages to choose from and relies on pronunciation through your phone’s mic to enhance the learning experience. If you want to start speaking immediately, Babbel may be right for you. For around $7 per month, Babbel isn’t free, but is an industry favorite.
App #3: Rosetta Stone
One of the more expensive and comprehensive programs out there, Rosetta Stone is your go-to language program for not only learning but integrating a new language into your life. Through the use of audio, visual and text Rosetta Stone makes learning a new language a serious affair. To really master a language and move from just beginner to intermediate or advanced, I would recommend Rosetta over the other platforms.
App #4: Memrise
A new kid on the block, Memrise has quickly grown to be very popular with language learners through it’s gaming platform. Choose a language and Memrise promises a fun, interactive experience. Memrise is free and can be used on both your phone and laptop, all while promising a better experience than those other apps. If you want a good laugh, Memrise might be for you!
App #5: Pimsleur Method
One of the most renowned and respected language learning programs, the Pimsleur Method is the ultimate for becoming fluent. Though expensive and completely auditory in nature, it’s been credited as the program that’s helped hundreds of expats learn a new language when relocated for work or school. If you prefer an auditory-based learning program and don’t mind spending the money, this program is for you.
Note: I have no affiliate ties to any of the companies listed above. I do not receive compensation for mentioning them in today’s article.
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