Knowing a bit of the local language is a key part of preparing to travel overseas (and helps change the perception that Australians don’t care to learn a second language). With a bit of preparation, you can have a great trip and be an ambassador for Aussies while you’re at it.
So how did these Australians pick up another language in time for their holidays abroad? With the help of Babbel, the language-learning app! Here’s how Babbel empowers Aussies across the country to speak a new language with confidence.
Babbel Focuses On Conversation
If you’re learning a new language, chances are that you want to actually be able to speak the language (learners of Latin and Ancient Greek excluded). This is why Babbel is made with real-life conversations in mind. We don’t want to drill you with useless phrases like “Three bears are eating spaghetti out of a boot,” because they’re simply not useful. Instead, Babbel focuses on useful conversations using a two-pronged approach.
1. The Babbel App Is Speech-Centric
To start, we use speech recognition software to get you speaking (correctly) from day one. As Fiona says in the video, “Everything I say comes out sounding Australian.” While a bit of an accent is endearing, we want you to learn the real sounds of the language so you’ll be understood.
Fiona also pointed out that different languages — like Swedish, which she’s learning — have different sounds, and Babbel is made with these differences in mind. She highlighted that our vowel pronunciation lessons were helpful for her and that they gave her the confidence to correctly order meals in Stockholm.
“Everything I say comes out sounding Australian, so I found it really useful that I could listen and repeat sounds with Babbel,” – Fiona, learning Swedish for her niece.
In fact, all of our dialogues are voiced by native speakers so you get a feel for the sounds and rhythm of the language. We introduce all new vocabulary this way, and then give you the opportunity to try out the pronunciation yourself! This is how Mat was finally able to perfect his Spanish rolled-R and conquer tongue twisters with his daughter. This feature is also ideal for travel, because you already feel confident and capable the first time you use your new language abroad.
“My daughter loves practicing the double-R sound with Babbel, especially when she gets it right,” – Mat, learning Spanish with his daughter.
2. Babbel Teaches Useful Words And Phrases
The other key way that Babbel gets you speaking is by focusing on authentic dialogues. As Matt and Aisha demonstrate in the video, we use dialogue trainers so you can see how real conversations work in your new language. Instead of merely giving you some new vocabulary (perhaps about topics you’re not even interested in), we introduce grammar when it’s relevant and slowly teach you more complex sentences.
With this approach, you can gradually build up to sentences that are more intricate (but necessary) for your trip abroad. This was the case with Mat and Aisha, who needed to be able to tell restaurant staff about their daughter’s egg allergy. Luckily, Babbel has courses about Italian cuisine and reading Italian menus so they could have this conversation with their waiters!
“The best part for us was the Dialogue Trainer. It allowed us to start a conversation and then hold a conversation,” – Matt, learning Italian with his wife Aisha.
We also encourage you to choose courses that are interesting and suitable for you — meaning that none of our content needs to be “unlocked” in the future. Ensar knew before his trip to Turkey that he wanted to visit the famous bazaars in Istanbul, so he supplemented some of his beginner’s courses with lessons about shopping in the markets, numbers and traveling. When he finally went to Turkey with his wife, he was able to haggle with the merchants and come back with some great deals!
“All of the lessons are tightly connected to real-life conversations and that’s very handy,” Ensar, learning Turkish for his trips abroad.
While we definitely think each of these learners is a great ambassador for Aussies abroad, their secret to picking up a new language wasn’t having a superpower or being a polyglot. Their key to success is Babbel, the language-learning app made with real-life conversations in mind.