How to Learn a Foreign Language While Travelling (5 minute read)

(Last Updated On: May 13, 2021)

Travel has been severely restricted for more than a year now, with many people unable to get away and explore new destinations. However, with increasing global vaccinations, there is light at the end of the tunnel. This means that soon you can start planning your trips again. One of the best ways to embrace the culture of the country you visit is to learn a little of the local language. You can start this before you travel, but the easiest way to learn a language is in destination. Here’s how to learn a foreign language while travelling.


1. Prepare a set of activities with language learning in mind

Learning a new language while travelling will be fun and effortless if you plan your activities around this goal beforehand. And during your trip, you’ll have an array of opportunities to get as much practice as you can.

Which activities can help you to learn a foreign language?

The best idea is to hire a local guide. They usually know all the nooks and crannies, exciting locations, cafes with the best food and drinks, and ways to save money on experiences. And, of course, a guide is the best person to practice the local language with. Just make sure they also know English in case you need to ask more complicated questions. When you travel on a Signature tour with On The Go Tours, you are guaranteed the services of an expert English-speaking local guide, who will be more than happy to share a few words and phrases with you!

Another great idea is to join local festivals, where cultures blossom. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet other travellers as well as local residents, who can tell you more about the festival, the tradition behind it, and all this, of course, in a new language.

Local festivals such as Holi in India are a great way to meet people and learn a foreign language
Local festivals such as Holi in India are a great way to meet people and learn a foreign language

2. Get to know the culture

Speaking about culture, it is crucial to integrate it into learning a foreign language. Culture and language go hand-in-hand, and it’s impossible to comprehend one without the other.

While learning a new language, you’ll see a lot of cultural phenomena in it and will better understand the people who speak this language. For instance, English is known for its weather-related idioms, indicating that it plays an important role in the life of English people. And indeed, the weather is one of the most talked about topics in Britain!

Studying the culture will also help you learn more about the traditions and taboos of the country you’re going to. It’s important to know this information before you travel in order to avoid uncomfortable situations.


3. Make friends

One of the best things about travelling is the opportunity to make lasting connections. Besides, making local friends while travelling will leave you with an ongoing opportunity to keep learning the language even after you return home.

How to make friends while travelling?

First, you can try searching for online travel groups. Browse Facebook, where people often form groups and communities to discuss the locations they love and share valuable tips. There’s a big chance you will find someone to connect with.

Also, you can take advantage of apps. For instance, if you’re learning a new language via an app, you can search the app’s forum and find locals who might be interested in doing language exchange, where you teach each other your mother tongues.

In general, don’t be shy about approaching the locals while travelling. They are usually friendly and eager to help.

Locals are often happy to stop for a chat and help you learn a foreign language
Local people are often happy to stop for a chat, like these two gents at Karnak Temple, Egypt

Want the knowledge to stick around? Keep learning!

Learning a new language doesn’t end when you return from your trip. While all the knowledge is still fresh in your memory, make every effort for it to stick around – enrol in language learning courses, join speaking clubs, online communities, and talk to the friends you’ve met during your trip.

Hopefully, our tips will inspire you to embark on an exciting adventure when the pandemic ends and to learn a foreign language and embrace local culture while enjoying the sites. This knowledge and experience will leave a lasting effect on you and can even benefit your career.

Ryan is a passionate writer who likes sharing his thoughts and experience with readers. Currently, he works as a digital marketing specialist for Preply, an online language tutor service. He likes everything related to travel and loves exploring new countries.

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