Are you planning a trip to a foreign country? Learning the basics of the language is the surest way to make the most of your stay. Your adventure will be most rewarding if you can communicate directly with the locals. You will be able to better understand their culture, their habits and their customs. Why limit yourself to visiting tourist sites and taking pictures?
The time you need to invest in learning the language of your destination depends on how close it is to your mother language. The more a language is grammatically similar or shares the same linguistic roots, the easier it is to learn it. If your mother tongue has nothing in common with the language you want to learn, you will have to put more effort into it. However, the strategy for quickly learning the basics of a foreign language is the same for all languages:
- Quickly learn the grammar basics
Don’t try to master everything perfectly from the start. Instead, try to quickly grasp how grammar works in general. Later, when you start composing sentences, this general, basic understanding will serve as a reference.
- Choose 350 words and phrases to start with
When watching a movie or a television series you may notice that the same words and expressions are often used again and again. If you choose a small set of basic words and phrases, sufficiently large to compose simple sentences, you will be able to handle most of the situations that arise while traveling. In this step, it may be advantageous to hire a tutor or take private lessons. Your tutor can show you how to compose and pronounce sentences correctly. He will also review the basics of grammar with you.
- Find ways to practice
Now that you know how to pronounce the words and phrases you’ve chosen, recite them out loud until you feel you are ready to use them.
During your trip you will probably not always understand what people around you are saying. Don’t worry about that excessively. If you are able to ask questions you will be able to cope with most situations.
So here you are, ready to go on your trip! If you like your experience and want to try a longer stay the next time, don’t hesitate to take your language skills to the next levels!
If you want to learn a language for travel, Multi-Language Cafe offers private and semi-private lessons that can prepare you for a short trip or a long stay. You can take your lessons in person, in public places such as cafes and libraries, or online through services such as Zoom, Skype, or our own virtual classrooms.