The Best Language Learning App Every Traveler Needs
To me, travel and speaking different languages go hand-in-hand. I’ve talked about my love for speaking foreign languages in my blog post on Life Lessons I learned on Semester at Sea, and you guys have witnessed me on instagram stories try (and fail most the time) at speaking all sorts of languages around the world – so you know how much I love trying!! Even if it’s just learning a few words and phrases of a local language while I’m on vacation in a new culture, I find trying to speak as much as the local dialect I can one of the most fun parts of traveling!
I’ve also found that locals love it when you try and speak their language. They find it endearing, respectful, and thoughtful – after all, there’s nothing worse than an ugly American who comes as a tourist to a foreign nation and assumes that everyone should speak English, is there!?
And, while I still am a very beginner speaker (read: tourist level) of most languages around the world (Konitchiwa! Ni Hao! Bonjour! Bom Dia! Arrividercci!), there is one language that I’m starting to get pretty good at – Spanish – and it’s all thanks to Rosetta Stone!
In just the last month, Rosetta Stone’s Spanish learning language app has helped me improve my Spanish tenfold! I downloaded the app when I realized I was heading to both Oaxaca, Mexico and a wedding in Barcelona within a month of each other, so I wanted to freshen up some of my high-school-level Spanish so that I could 1) get around (no one in Oaxaca spoke English!) and 2) understand what’s going on and be able to converse with everyone at this wedding! It was a lofty goal for just a month and a half, but I brought the app with me everywhere – from planes and trains, to ubers & long waiting lines. Each time I opened the app, it felt more like a game and a way to pass the time than an academic lesson, which I loved.
Rosetta Stone’s approach to teaching language is called Dynamic Immersion, which involves gradually introducing sights and sounds, words, sentences, conversations, and concepts in a way intended to accelerate your learning process.
I love this approach because, to me, this is similar to the language learning you experience when you are immersed in a culture and learn as you go. They even have their patented TruAccent® technology, the world’s best speech recognition technology, to help you with your pronunciation and accents.
When I was in Oaxaca a few weeks ago, after just a month of these immersive lessons (at only about an hour and a half per week), I found myself talking seamlessly with taxi drivers, shopkeepers, waiters and locals. Not only could I speak the phrases I’d learned through the app, but I could understand what locals were saying as well (even though they talk so dang fast!!) I got complimented on my Spanish accent multiple times, and although I think it’s still a work-in-progress, hearing that was definitely awesome. Learning a new language is such a fun project. So often we find ourselves scrolling on Instagram or mindlessly watching youtube when we can be accomplishing something, whereas doing a few language lessons every day is a perfect way to feel challenged and accomplished at the same time.
Rosetta Stone has been in the language learning business since 1992, which means they’re pretty darn good at what they do. For the last 26 years, they’ve been focused on not just teaching languages around the world, but improving the way we learn languages around the world. Whether you’re traveling to a new country and want to learn the language before you do, or you’ve always wanted to learn Italian, or French, or German, or Spanish, or you just want to freshen up on an old language you once knew, Rosetta Stone is a perfect place to start.
They offer 24 languages on the app (Spanish (Latin America), Spanish (Spain), English (US), English (UK), French, Japanese, Italian, German, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Korean, Dutch, Tagalog, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Farsi, Polish, Swedish, Turkish, and Vietnamese), and even more online!
You can learn one of their 24 languages, and you they promise you no long-term commitments, so you can cancel anytime with a 30-day money back guarantee if you choose you don’t want to continue the lessons.