Traveling to a new country can sometimes be overwhelming and it’s common to experience some initial culture shock. Many of the cast members who travel in our gap year program have joined specifically to learn English while immersing themselves in new cultures. Learning a new language can be challenging, but thankfully there are many applications you can download to your mobile device to help you out along the way.
This app has 35 different languages to choose from. With over 300 million users, Duolingo has become one of the most popular language learning apps that are currently available. The best part is that Duolingo is completely free to use with the option of paying a premium fee for more advanced features through Duolingo Plus.
Duolingo’s game-style interface is easy to use for all ages and focuses on reading, writing, and pronunciation. While you might not become fluent in the language just from practicing with this app, it’s a great starting point for learning the basics during your time traveling abroad.
Duolingo is also a good choice for those who want to learn multiple languages at once. This could be very helpful for the cast traveling in the Up with People program, since they will visit multiple countries while on tour.
Duolingo even offers two fictional languages! You can learn High Valyrian from Game of Thrones and Klingon from Star Trek. They might not be the most useful languages for your travels, but they can still be fun to learn!
Memrise is another fantastic app to help you learn new languages. Instead of a game approach like Duolingo, it offers flashcards like you would use to study for an exam. The paid version, Memrise Pro, offers more extensive features that allow you to play games, work with chatbots, and download courses so that you can use it offline while you are traveling or in-flight to your next destination.
Memrise is best for those who are looking to learn how to speak conversationally or use local slang. It’s a less formal approach, as you hear phrases recorded by native speakers of a language. You’ll learn quickly that voice and tone can make all the difference when speaking a foreign language.
For over 25 years, Rosetta Stone has been the leader in digital language-learning tools. Because of its longevity in the industry, it has adapted its technology to provide an easy way to learn one of 24 different languages from around the world. The Rosetta Stone software provides a more in depth approach to foreign language education.
It is a subscription-based tool that is one of the better options for auditory learners. You start with the basics by hearing words, repeating them back, and matching photos to the appropriate phrases. Originally in a box set for your desktop, Rosetta Stone is now available for your mobile device too.
Learning a new language can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! There are many tools available for you online or in your app store.
See what the experience of learning new languages has been like for different cast members and be a part of the Up with People experience by applying today!
“Words are not the only language
To feel what your eyes have heard.
The voice of your heart is speaking
With unspoken words.”
Unspoken Words © Up with People