Learning a new language is a tough challenge while traveling, and it can easily get so overwhelming that you finally just give up. I don’t have a quick fix to learn a foreign language, there are no magic pills. I have traveled on business to many countries and being able to communicate, even at a simple level, is not only critical for your business, it’s polite. I have had the opportunity to study many languages, and have found out what works and what doesn’t work for me and which way is the best to learn a foreign language.To learn a foreign language fast you need 3 things:
Interest, Courage and a situation that forces you to learn.
If you’re not interested in learning you’ll never learn no matter how much someone tries to push it down your throat. But most importantly, you have to have some guts. I honestly believe that most of the people are simply too shy and too afraid of making a mistake, that they don’t even bother trying. Add a No Option Situation, and you’ll be guaranteed to learn fast!
I’ve used translation services when traveling to Central and South America both for business and personal needs while in country, and also prior. A fellow business acquaintance has had great success using a company to translate and proofread for cultural and grammatical correctness, but nothing compares to learning Spanish and some of the culture yourself.
The No Option Way
We are phenomenal at finding ways to avoid complicated things, and it’s not until there is no other option, not until you’re actually forced to learn – that you will really get it. That’s why you need to create this situation for yourself. The absolute best situation to put yourself in is in the country where they speak the language you want to learn, in a place where everyone will speak to you in that language and most people barely understand English at all.
Germany, China, France, Italy are good examples of this.
Surround yourself with the language, completely immerse yourself in it – if everything you see and hear is in that language you will learn faster – simply because you have no other choice.My 3 Best Ways To Learn A Language:
Find a practice buddy
Is there someone you know who also wants to learn the language? Do it together, and practice with each other. Do the same language course, go out together and help each other. Be aware though, if you are close friends, it is very easy to give up and just start speaking your native language.
Go Out And Meet Local People
You don’t have to be fluent in a language before you can talk to someone. Practice a few phrases, even write them down on a piece of paper, go down to town and practice them with people in the shop or on the streets. Ask them relevant things like “how much is this?”, “How do I get to”, “What’s the time?” etc. If you already know the answer that’s great, it’s a way to learn how to say it. Nightclubs and pubs can also be a place to practice your language. There, people are already open and happy, and you can make a fun thing about it. Try to say a few things in their language, and then mix with your own etc. Often people find it a lot of fun teaching someone words and sentences. Perhaps they will teach you a few words you normally wouldn’t learn in language teaching books (come on, you know what I’m talking about!)
Don’t be scared to mix English and the local language. If there is one word in the sentence that you have no idea how to say, then say everything else in the sentence and simply say that word in English. Chances are that they know that word in English, and can inform you of the real word, or just simply reply to your question. Nobody thinks it’s strange, they understand.
Hang out with a English speaking local
If you don’t want to force yourself totally yet and ONLY hang out with people who can’t speak English at all, then try something in between until you feel more confident. Hang out with someone who speaks both english and the language you want to learn, and meet their friends. Watch and learn, body language goes a long way in communication. When you don’t understand you have your friend who can explain to you.
Well there are a few tips to get you started on the road to language learning. There are many language courses and books to learn foreign language fast out there, but the truth is that if you really want to learn a language, learn from the people who speak it and interact with them in real life on a daily basis.
While many of London’s most interesting sights, such as the national museums, are completely free to visit, there are still those “must-see” places that come with a hefty price tags.
Whether you’ve got your heart set on sailing over the city at the London Eye, delving into its gory depths at the London Dungeon or getting to grips with its history at the Tower of London, you’ll quickly find yourself out of pocket after one or two entrance fees.
Here, we break down the best money saving options for different types of visitors coming to London.London Pass: For the diehard tourist
The most comprehensive discount card on offer in the city, the London Pass, is available for one, two, three, six and ten day trips. It’s not cheap—with adult passes costing £49 for one day pass and going up to £199 for ten days, including unlimited travel on public transport. But once you have your card, you will get free entry to around 60 attractions, as well as queue jumping at certain places. The attractions featured on the pass are pretty extensive, ranging from the Tower of London (normally £20), Westminster Abbey (normally £18) and Hampton Court Palace (normally £16.50), to Thames River Cruises (normally £18), Arsenal Stadium Tours (normally £18) and even free cinema tickets, ice skating or bowling.
Our verdict? It’s only worth the investment if you plan your time carefully and cram in as much as possible. If it’s your first time in London, and you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing then you’ll find you make your money back fairly quickly. Sometimes you can even get a discount on the discounts, so check the website for offers and buy in advance as the card can be activated up to 12 months after purchase.Time Out Card: For the tourist in denial
If you plan to combine sightseeing with plenty of eating, drinking and merrymaking then this could be the option for you. Normally priced at £49 for a year, the Time Out Card is currently on sale for just £24.50, making it a truly excellent option for visitors and Londoners alike. While it won’t offer you totally free entry to things, it will offer you discounts on most attractions—between 10% and 60% off, 2for1 or “benefits” (basically little freebies to make your experience even better). When night falls the card will also save you money on bars and restaurants, theater, cinema, live music and all sorts of city tours and classes. It will also send you weekly emails with invites to exclusive events, launches and pop ups that you wouldn’t otherwise have heard about.
Our verdict? If you want to balance your London experience between culture and nightlife, then you’re sure to see the benefits from this card. Ideal for those planning a longer stay in the city who wish to delve into the hidden gems as opposed to just the big names, this card will give you more of a Londoner’s view of the city.2FOR1 Offers with National Rail: For the relaxed visitor
Another way to get money off top attractions is with a travelcard issued by National Rail. The premise here is that you are day tripping to London, so the discount isn’t valid with an Oyster card, but if you purchase a travelcard from any National Rail station (e.g. St Pancras, Victoria, Paddington or Euston), you will be issued with a paper ticket which you can use to redeem 2FOR1 entry at over 150 landmarks and attractions in the city. These include the London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds, the London Eye and the Tower of London, as well as theater tickets and deals at shops and restaurants.
Our verdict? A great option for those who wish to sightsee at a leisurely pace without making any large investments in advance. However, the discounts don’t work for solo travelers as you need to be traveling in a pair to benefit. Making the most of the deal also requires a bit of forward planning—in addition to presenting your travelcard on entry, you need to have printed off a 2FOR1 voucher for your chosen attraction from the Days Out Guide website. So, get organized!