Your dream trip to anoth­er coun­try is just around the cor­ner. There is no doubt that if you can talk to peo­ple and order your food in the local lan­guage, you will feel much more com­fort­able. It’s time to ask your­self the best way to learn the basics of a new lan­guage, and if you can do it.


It turns out that there are many cost-effec­tive ways to learn a new lan­guage, from smart­phone apps to tra­di­tion­al class­rooms. As you explore lan­guage learn­ing options, con­sid­er acquir­ing a more exten­sive vocab­u­lary. Focus on learn­ing the words you will use when trav­el­ing, ask­ing for direc­tions, check­ing into hotels, order­ing food, and get­ting help. Here are some ways to learn the basics of a new lan­guage before you start your trip. Let’s start with self-study of Eng­lish.


This free lan­guage learn­ing pro­gram is fun and easy to use. You can work with Duolin­go on your home com­put­er or smart­phone. Short lessons will help you learn to read, speak and lis­ten to the lan­guage you are learn­ing. Duolin­go incor­po­rates video game tech­nol­o­gy to teach the user a new lan­guage. High school and uni­ver­si­ty teach­ers include Duolin­go in their course require­ments, but you can down­load and use this pop­u­lar lan­guage learn­ing pro­gram your­self.

Pim­sleur Method

The Pim­sleur® method focused on the best ways to acquire new lan­guage skills. Dr. Paul Pim­sler devel­oped his lan­guage learn­ing tapes after study­ing how chil­dren learn to express them­selves. Today, Pim­sleur lan­guage cours­es are avail­able online, on CD, and through smart­phone apps.

BBC lan­guage

See also
How to choose a travel mat

The BBC offers basic cours­es in sev­er­al lan­guages, pri­mar­i­ly in the British Isles such as Welsh and Irish. BBC lan­guage learn­ing fea­tures also include essen­tial words and phras­es in 40 lan­guages, includ­ing Man­darin, Finnish, Russ­ian and Swedish.

local class­es

Com­mu­ni­ty col­leges reg­u­lar­ly offer for­eign lan­guage cours­es and con­ver­sa­tion clubs, as many peo­ple want to learn the basics of anoth­er lan­guage.

Online tutors

The Inter­net allows you to com­mu­ni­cate with peo­ple all over the world. Stu­dents and tutors can now “meet” via Skype and online chats. You will find many web­sites ded­i­cat­ed to con­nect­ing edu­ca­tors to lan­guage learn­ing. This ser­vice con­nects stu­dents with for­eign lan­guage teach­ers around the world, giv­ing you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn from native speak­ers.