Learning Language On The Go: Savvy Tips For Travelers

China food market street in Beijing. Chinese tourist walking in city streets on Asia vacation tourism. Asian woman travel lifestyle panoramica banner.

Are you planning to visit a non-English-speaking travel destination? If yes, you must prepare for the language differences. Communicating with locals is one of the most challenging aspects of going to a new place.

Asking for directions can take time if you don’t know what to say. You might find yourself staring at the menu, checking the physical map, or trying to grasp what a local is saying for hours, wondering if you comprehend the message correctly.

Learning a new language, at least the basics, is a must for travelers. But this task is easier said than done. In this article, you’ll learn the different ways to learn a foreign language while on the go.

Take A Foreign Language Class

While you can buy a dictionary or use a translator app, nothing beats the experience of confidently speaking a foreign language without relying much on these materials. Hence, attending a certified school is still the best way to learn a new language.

Language schools offer more courses because of the increasing demand for international trips. Classes are highly accessible worldwide—anyone can start learning Japanese in Singapore, for example. There are in-person and online language classes aiming to improve the confidence and ability of students to converse with locals. The courses range from elementary to advanced levels. Furthermore, part-time courses usually offer basic topics for on-the-go language learning. You can learn useful phrases and apply them immediately.

Schedule a free trial class. It is best to attend a small class to ensure you frequently get a chance to speak. Find a school that offers competitive rates without compromising quality.

Leverage Language-Learning Technologies

Gamified language-learning apps are downloadable in app stores, offering one or more languages, including Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, and Arabic. Language apps can help you learn useful statements, like greetings and asking directions while traveling. These apps are interactive with trivia, fun quizzes, and other game elements for a more enjoyable learning experience.

Learn a new language using an app while on the go. For instance, you can learn conversations on how to order in a restaurant for five minutes before heading to a Chinese noodle house. Using a language app’s quick cheat sheet, you can learn what to say when shopping at a local souvenir shop or visiting a museum.

Ensure the app has good reviews from verified users before downloading. Check the terms and privacy policy for your online safety. Most apps offer a free trial version and a premium plan. Subscription rates differ depending on the language school’s expertise, course offerings, and reputation.

Mingle With Locals For Experiential Learning

You can also learn a foreign language by mingling with locals. If you have friends with local acquaintances, take the opportunity to attend local events so you can establish new friendships. This strategy makes language learning more meaningful.

Experiential learning has several advantages. You can immediately grasp the statement’s context through the person’s actions, including the individual’s facial expression, emotional impact, and body language. Hence, memory retention is higher.

If you don’t know anybody in the area, you can ask the assistance of community authorities. Municipalities usually have a tourist assistance center that can understand English and can help teach you basic language skills that you can use immediately. You can also ask for the help of security guards in the establishments you visit, which is also safer than asking strangers.

Bring Physical Language-Learning Tools

Dictionary, physical maps, travel brochures, and pocket-size language books can help you learn new foreign words and phrases during your trip. You can purchase them online to save money in your intended destination; they may cost more in physical stores.

Research travel blogs and ask your friends for expert recommendations. That way, you can save time and effort and dedicate more to the language-learning period and exploring the city and the wild. Bringing physical learning materials will make interactions with locals much more manageable by pointing out where you want to go or things you want to do.

Having a journal where you can write new words or expressions you learn on your trips abroad is also a good idea. You can bring it again the next time you visit the place, enhancing language memory retention and overall travel experience.


Learning a new language can save you time on lengthy explanations and allow you to focus more on exploring beautiful destinations, cultures, and traditions. You can take advantage of language-learning apps, online short courses, and physical language classes. This experience can make your trip more convenient, productive, and unforgettable.

Members of the Latitude33 Magazine staff were not involved in the creation of this content.

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