It’s pretty arrogant to think that you can get by in every country with speaking only English. While English is the universal lingua franca, there are still many people in different parts of the world who don’t speak the language at all. As the saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. It wouldn’t hurt to learn some basic words and sentences to communicate with natives of the countries you’re visiting. I’m sure they’d appreciate that you even try. Here are some user-friendly resources for picking up new languages.

Coffee Break by Radio Lingua
What it is: A podcast that brings you bite-sized 15 to 20-minute lessons on basic grammar and vocabulary in your targeted language you can learn on your coffee break, your commute to work, or whenever you want. Explanations of how, when, where and why you should use words and phrase are included in the context-based lessons. There are also audio, video, and PDF files you can access on your devices.
Languages available: French, Spanish, German, Italian
Download on: Apple/GooglePlay store

What it is: A language exchange app where you get to chat with native speakers of the languages you’re learning, and in exchange, you’ll help them with learning your native language. They will correct you when you make spelling or grammatical errors. You can even speak to them verbally by making free calls within the app.
Languages available: More than 100.
Download on: Apple/GooglePlay store

What it is:
This is one of the most popular language learning apps for practicing a new language. Each lesson includes speaking, listening, translation and multiple choice challenges. The app works like game, so the more you practice, the more points you get, and the more familiar with the language you’ll be.
Languages available: Spanish, French, German, Italian
Download on: Apple/GooglePlay/Windows store

What it is: This language revision site offers a complete set of learning tools such as vocabulary, reading, and listening exercises, as well as grammar tips. But if you want to practice vocabulary in your target language on the go, there’s an app you can download. You can track your progress and daily achievements with the data on your profile.
Languages available: 
French, Russian, Spanish, German
Download on: 

What it is: This language learning tool helps you learn by connecting new words to memory with the use of videos of native speakers, listening, vocab, spelling, and sentence construction exercises. It’s also gamified with a points-based level up system which makes it kind of addictive.
Languages available: 
English, Japanese, French, Spanish (Spain), German, Chinese, Korean, Italian, Russian, Spanish (Mexico), Turkish, Swedish, Portuguese, Danish, Brazilian, Russian
Download on: 

Cindy Tan

about Cindy

Cindy heads Departure’s Curator section. She is an avid traveller and night owl, known for her contrarian stance on a number of issues. She has criticised such public and generally popular figures as Mother Teresa, Taylor Swift and Pope Benedict XVI.

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