The flights are booked and the swimming trunks are packed, so now all that’s left to do before your holiday is to pray to the weather Gods for nothing but sunshine on your vacation, right? Well, what if we told you that you could also learn a significant amount of the local language before you fly?
If you are the sort of traveler who wants to soak up some rays and a bit of culture, learning the language will allow you to escape the usual tourist traps and fully embrace the country you’re visiting. Forget lounging around 24/7 by the hotel pool, equip yourself with the local language, and venture out into the real world to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the country.
The Babbel app transforms you from a tourist into a traveler by enabling you to start speaking a new language in just a matter of weeks. Don’t believe us? Here are 6 ways Babbel can get you talking before you fly.
1. We teach you the holiday essentials you need
Instead of frantically trying to learn some phrases as you leave the aeroplane, Babbel helps you master the essentials before you travel. Our in-house team of linguists have created purpose-built lessons for fourteen languages which cover everything you need for your holiday.
No matter where you’re going or what you plan on doing, there are some fundamental aspects of a holiday that you will inevitably have to grapple with; being able to order drinks and food in a restaurant, paying for your souvenirs in a shop, or asking for directions to the beach. We’ll teach you all of these and much more, and empower you to feel confident in your new language.
2. We allow you to tailor your language-learning around your holiday itinerary
We, at Babbel, have long prided ourselves on creating an app that helps you converse with locals in a huge variety of different scenarios. The app boasts lessons on diverse topics such as playing sports, going to concerts, colloquial slang, flirting at the bar, shopping at the flea market, or even mastering the art of small-talk. No matter what you do on your holiday, our app will have the right lesson to help you make the most of it.
3. We teach you to speak the language as it’s actually spoken
The Babbel app fine-tunes your ears to pick up on the language as it is actually spoken, which means you’re less likely to stumble through simple phrases and butcher the pronunciation.
We know it’s not easy to master exotic new sounds. To assist you in your mastery, Babbel provides key vocabulary and phrases delivered by native speakers and a speech recognition tool. This feature focuses on building up your confidence in speaking the language by giving you immediate feedback on how accurate your pronunciation is. This means your first attempts to communicate with the taxi driver at arrivals won’t be your first attempts to speak the language, so you’re much more likely to be understood.
4. We give you the level you want
We provide you with a learning experience that is tailored to your needs. With only a short time available before you fly, it’s vital that you concentrate your efforts on the most important areas. Our beginner courses quickly get complete novices up to speed on all of the fundamental aspects of their new language. The app does this by seamlessly weaving together all aspects of learning (reading, writing and speaking) to give you a full appreciation of the language from the get-go.
If you’re a more advanced learner who is just looking to refresh the language before you fly, you can focus your learning time on our refresher lessons that are designed to jog your memory and awaken dormant language skills just in time for your holiday.
5. We even give you handpicked travel & language tips
To prove just how much better your holiday can be when you know a bit of the language, we teamed up with Tripadvisor – the travel planning & booking supremos – to create unique, practical lessons for people traveling to a whole host of international destinations.
Your time abroad is precious, so you don’t want to waste it by eating out at the wrong restaurant. Take Rome for example. It’s not difficult to find a pizza in the city, but in order to find the perfect pizza in that restaurant right out of an olive oil advert, you’ll need to butter up the locals for some sound advice. We take these things as seriously as you do, so if you’ve always dreamed of ordering a proper Quattro Formaggi from a rustic pizzeria in Rome’s Trastevere neighbourhood, then breath easy, because we’ll teach you how.
6. We tested ourselves to see if you could learn a language quickly with Babbel – you can!
We believe it’s possible to learn enough of a language before your holiday so that you can start speaking it the minute you step off the plane. And to prove it, we’ve got two examples of how Babbel enabled complete beginners to start speaking a language they had never learned before, in a seriously short amount of time.
Babbel tested: Spanish in 3 weeks
Last autumn, we challenged 15 Babbel employees who were complete beginners to learn as much Spanish as they could within 3 normal working weeks. And because we’re really mean, we forced them to fit their learning in and around their usual day jobs. So they ploughed their way through their Babbel lessons whenever they could — on the commute, during their lunch break, and while on the couch at home.
The results? With only an average of 2-3 hours of study each week, our participants were able to hold conversations in Spanish (with a genuine Spaniard) by the end of the 3 week period. En serio – this group of 15 learners, who at the beginning of the challenge were unable to string a sentence together in Spanish, were, by the end of the challenge, able to successfully chat away with one of their Spanish colleagues. They were introducing themselves, explaining their upcoming holiday itineraries, and even making a couple of cheeky wisecracks about just how great they thought their Spanish skills were.
Not bad going for only a few hours a week, eh?
Babbel tested: French in one working week!
Three weeks to learn a language? Pah, that’s child’s play. Imagine being able to speak French after only one week, and speak it so well that even the French would be impressed with your language skills! That’s exactly what happened when we challenged three painfully normal guys from Babbel HQ to learn the language over one working week last summer.
Alongside their learning, the three guinea pigs ardently stuck to their usual routine of socializing with friends, riding to work, and attending copious numbers of business meetings. We checked in with them throughout the week to test their French progress, and then at the end of the week we subjected them to a daunting night of wining & dining with French colleagues complet en Français.
Our contestants didn’t just rise to the challenge, they surpassed all expectations, and after only seven days they managed to impress their French colleagues with their French chat and inexplicably well-developed cooking skills.
No matter where you go or what you plan on doing when you get there, every true traveler knows that getting a grip of the pleasantries and attempting conversation in the local language will make you stand out among the hordes of ill-mannered I-only-speak-English tourists. We don’t just encourage you to learn the lingo in order to be a polite traveler though. We know that learning the local language will open up doors for you on your holiday that would otherwise remain closed, if you stuck to the English-speaking confines of the hotel bar.
Whether it’s French, Spanish, or any other language that tickles your inner travel bug, the Babbel Magazine is always bustling with top tips on how to learn languages quickly.