Curtis's Blog: Learning a new language for summer

By Megan 01 Mar 2016

Are you planning on travelling at all over the summer? Going somewhere new where they speak a language you have no idea how to comprehend? Well, here are a few free ways to learn a new language this year in time for your summer holidays!

  1. DuolingoThis handy free app makes it easy to learn a new language in a very short space of time. With options ranging from German and French right through to Polish and Swedish, this app (and website) is a fantastically quick way to learn something new. The difficulty increases as your knowledge grows, and this well designed process will help you learn the basics of a language of your choice so you don’t get left hanging when you arrive at your destination. This is one of the only app-based options as well, meaning you can brush up on your language skills even when on the move!
  2. Foreign Services Institute. A more basic site than that offered by services like Duolingo, this method is designed by professional linguists and covers much more than its more flashy counterparts. With access to training in lesser known languages, such as the African Igbo and Shona, this website is better suited to the traveller who doesn’t care about cool graphics and organisation. Again, this website will help you learn how to say hello in some of the most far flung languages available, and will no doubt aid you if you plan on travelling to anywhere lesser known in search of adventure.
  3. LiveMocha. For those reading this who already speak a language, or who’s native language is less widely spoken than English, French or German, this website will be perfect for you. With access to over 35 languages, the website offers ‘credits’ to those capable of tutoring learners in a language, which can later be spent learning a new language for themselves. This one also covers 4 sections, breaking down learning a new language into easy chunks, with reading, writing, speaking and listening being the norm for most courses. Even for those who haven’t got an elusive mother-tongue, membership and access to all 35 websites can be purchased.

The last thing anyone wants when they’re travelling is to get lost and have no way to communicate, and with new advances in technology, most people have a translator with them in the form of their smartphone. If you take the time to learn the basics, it will enrich your journeys and make the experience much more worthwhile.


Megan is part of the QMU Browzer Team
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