Why You Should Learn a New Language When You Travel

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Last year I spent a ton of time in Spanish-speaking countries. Each time before my trip I would tell myself this would be the time I finally learn more Spanish, but life would happen and I would forget. While I pride myself on knowing enough Spanish to get by, it’s not at all the conversational level that I would prefer. I spent several weeks in Argentina exploring the country, and I started to pick up more Spanish during that time. I loved that I was starting to learn the language better, but as soon as I went back home I forgot a lot of it. Several months later I realized that while I had amazing memories, I didn’t retain the new words I picked up from the locals. When I later learned about Babbel, I wish I had used it before my trip. Babbel is a language learning app that I now use to learn Spanish at home and on the go. If only I had learned about it before! There’s even a 25% discount if you sign up for it now.

Why You Should Learn a New Language

Every time I travel to a new country, I always try to learn the basics in that language. I feel that if you’re going into someone else’s country, you should make an effort to speak their language. While most people don’t expect you to be fluent, I do think locals appreciate it if you’re trying to say a few words (even if you’re mispronouncing it terribly).

I’ve also had some great conversations with locals when I try to speak their language. Sometimes they recognize I’m struggling with pronunciation and show me how to say it, which turns out to be educational. Other times they start speaking English and we have a conversation about where I’m from and I get to learn about their life and the town I’m in.

While it can be intimidating to learn a new language, only good can come out of it when you travel. Another benefit of knowing another language is it makes you more adventurous when you travel. If you don’t know any words in another language, you might be hesitant to order new items off the menu at a restaurant.

This is a missed opportunity to learn more about that country in my opinion, so it’s always worth it to learn a new language. In fact, one of the tips I had during my solo female travel to Morocco was to refresh my French and learn some Arabic, and it did help.

Once you start to learn more of that country’s language, you’ll begin to recognize words and have a general idea of what the meal is. Local specialties are always the best choices on the menu in my opinion, and I’ve never been disappointed when I try something new.

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Learning About Babbel

There are many more countries I intend to go to in the next few years that are Spanish-speaking, and I decided this time I would be prepared. I wanted a program that was easy to use so I could practice whenever I had free time and slowly build up my Spanish. That’s where Babbel came in. Babbel has over a dozen different languages to choose from, including Spanish.

I’d heard about them for years, but when I finally decided to try them out the first thing I noticed was how clean the layout was on their website. It was easy to navigate an find the different sections, and it shows what your progress is. I began with the beginner Spanish to refresh my memory, and after practicing a few times was able to move on to other lessons. One of the sections I found very helpful was the “listen and repeat” sections.

They show you a picture, the word in English, and the word in Spanish, and then have the correct pronunciation. I find that I’m able to read Spanish better than I am speaking it, so being able to see the Spanish word while I practiced saying it correctly helped a lot.

This is immensely helpful because not only am I able to speak Spanish better, but locals can understand me too. This way I can have actual back and forth conversations with them. I find that I’m able to read Spanish better than I am speaking it, so being able to see the Spanish word while I practiced saying it correctly helped a lot.

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Another unique part I loved about Babbel is how they’ll help you pick the right course based on your needs. Instead of just one course for everyone, they ask what your reason for learning Spanish is. My reason was “I want to travel,” so they recommended starting with the beginner courses.

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Learning Spanish on the Go

One of the parts I love about Babbel is how they have an app you can download so you can learn on the go. I’ve used language learning programs before, but they didn’t stick because they were only accessible on the computer. I even had a CD-rom back in the day for one (anyone remember those?) which stuck for a little bit, but then took too much time to load the program up each time. There’s no excuse not to have a daily lesson when you can access Babbel on both your computer and phone. As someone who travels often, I always look for ways to occupy myself during times when I’m waiting for a flight or on a train. Now I can go on Babbel’s app to pass the time and learn more Spanish while I’m at it.

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25% Discount

I highly encourage you to learn a new language as well. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn German or want to brush up on your French skills from high school. There are so many different languages available in Babbel, and there’s no better time to learn a new language. The lessons only take 10-15 minutes, so you can learn as slow or as fast as you want to. I’m happy to offer a 25% discount to all my readers, so check it out to take advantage of it!

This post was in partnership with Babbel, but all opinions are my own.

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