Learning Languages Apps for Travel or Life
Learning languages apps, you probably know some, but I will explain how I use the tools that are freely available and how you can too. The ability to communicate with people around the world is becoming easier and easier. There are so many advantages that we have that didn’t exist 10 years ago.
Learning Languages Apps – Duolingo
The days of needing to go to a class to learn a foreign language are over if you really are determined to learn another language you can for free with learning language apps.
Duolingo is an app that teaches you a language and lets you practice no matter what level you are at. It is a fun experience and turns learning a language into a game.
Learning Languages Apps – Tandem
So you want to practice Spanish, but you have no one that you can practice Spanish with. There is also an app for that called Tandem. The app lets you find people all over the world and start chatting with them in your desired language. It has a messaging function similar to WhatsApp, that allows you to text, call and even video call. You can even send voice messages, so you can hear a native speaker pronounce a phrase, or correct your pronunciation.
The unique part that I like for the texting is that it is easy to correct the other person’s message and show them where they made an error. This is a quicker way for me to improve my French for example than by going to a class, as it is one on one tuition and I can also go back and read the messages later too.
You need to find a good person to chat with, Tandem is a tool, the community is what will make it useful. So far I have had a good experience as everyone wants to practice their English with a native speaker 🙂
This app is very new and hasn’t officially launched yet, but you can sign up and try it for free. I also have some access codes if you need a referral.
Meeting People and Speaking Languages
If you want to meet people in person and practice languages, there are many groups and events in cities around the world on CouchSurfing and MeetUp.
Sign up make a quick profile and go join the weekly language meet up, usually in a sociable place like a pub. This can also be a good way to make some new friends from other countries.
Read this to learn about different cultures around the world.
Learning Languages Apps – Google Translate
This has probably changed a lot since you first heard about it. The app lets you copy and paste text into it and then translates it for you. I use this function for languages like Chinese or Japanese where I can’t even type the characters on my keyboard. You also don’t even need to know what language a message is in, and it still works. So if you get an email or a message with some text in a foreign language just paste it in.
The app has text scanning, so you can take a picture of a sign or menu and the app will translate the text. It is not perfect, but for countries like Japan, this is a life saver. I went to the supermarket and you literally have no idea what anything is. Some packaging is covered in Japanese characters. I just wanted to buy a drink, so I was able to scan the text on the bottle to pick the flavour I wanted, rather than just do a lucky dip.
You remember guide books or dictionaries tell you how to pronounce a word in phonetics. Which is a separate language that you need to learn first to be able to understand! With Google translate, you can enter a word in English like ‘Thank you’, translate it to Italian and then click to hear how it is pronounced.
Now you can learn a few words in the local language and make the locals smile 🙂
Learning Languages Apps – Keyboards
If you want to learn and practice a language more seriously, I suggest getting a keyboard app for the language.
I use Ginger Keyboard and Swift Key keyboard.
Ginger lets me have four language dictionaries installed, and I can easily switch between, English, Spanish, Italian and French.
This lets me chat with friends in other languages, and it helps me by spell checking my writing. The thing I like is it adds in the accents or characters that I don’t have on my English keyboard.
This helps me because although I have learned how to say something in French, I don’t know how to write. The app corrects me if I have a vague idea.
Learning a Language Tools
There are YouTube Channels and videos that will help teach you a language for free and many podcasts as well. The resources are all out there, it’s not a resource problem, it’s about how motivated you are to learn. Nothing beats a foreign girlfriend or boyfriend for motivation!
If you say you don’t have time read my Productivity and Email Tips