New Language Learning Apps for Engaged Traveler
A wide range of new language learning apps are available from Hello-Hello, an interactive online education course created for a community of learners committed to learning new languages while helping others do the same.
As part of traveling sustainably is an increased awareness of the communities one is visiting, even a basic knowledge of the local tongue will help smooth over rough communication barriers.
Hello-Hello provides a free set of interactive lesson plans while connecting the learner to language experts and native speakers who can give constructive, live feedback during the learning process.
The lessons were developed jointly with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), and follow a proven methodology for language learning.
In addition to the opportunity to learn, the site allows any user to act as a teacher by communicating with students of their native tongue.
Online courses are available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German and Italian.
The new app is available in basic versions of English, Chinese, Dutch, German, French, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese and Spanish. The app is designed specifically for the traveler, as it focuses vocabulary on transportation needs, restaurants, hotels, and other themes unique to travel.
Reading skills, writing skills, and speaking skills are all enhanced with the new program, as word games, self voice recording, and picture matching are utilized for learning.
Hello-Hello even offers an app for kids in several languages, which includes number learning and basic vocabulary.
In addition to Hello-Hello, there are a wide range of podcasts and free language learning help online.
Coffee Break Spanish is a very popular free audio podcast for beginner to intermediate Spanish speakers while World Nomads is known as another top choice for travelers. World Nomads offers a ton of languages, and much like Hello-Hello, their lessons are free. TransFire is also a very popular tool which helps translate text in over 50 languages and is used frequently in social networking.
While there are a plethora of online tools to facilitate learning, many people simply lack the time commitment to do so. With a bit of foresight and patience, a trip can be dramatically improved even with the most basic understanding of the local language.
Photo Credit: Yutaka Tsutano