Loud, boorish, and as a red as a lobster after only 5 minutes in the sun. It’s fair to say that the image of your average Brit abroad is far from flattering. For some reason, the Europeans aren’t too fond of the Brits right now. So let’s do our best to not rub some salt (and vinegar) into the wound this summer by behaving badly on holiday. Instead let’s show off Britain in a positive light, by coming together as a nation to dispel the stereotype of the embarrassing British tourist once and for all. How can we do this? By learning a bit of the local lingo before we fly of course!
‘But the summer holidays are about to start. We haven’t got much time!’, I hear you scream from behind your computer screen. Well, luckily for you, there’s an app that’ll help you get a grip of your Ps and Qs in a new language in no time. How exactly? Read on to find out.
1. Holiday-specific lessons teach you what you need to know
Your time is precious and we know you don’t want to beat around the bush learning words and phrases that you will never use on your holidays. That’s why we asked the 100+ language experts working at Babbel to create specific holiday lessons in fourteen different languages.
Forget those French lessons in school when you were forced to recite just how much you loved playing table tennis. Unless you’re spending two weeks at a sports camp outside Bordeaux, this is hardly the sort of vocabulary you’re going to need. Our purpose-built holiday lessons will save you time when learning by enabling you to focus on the specific vocabulary and phrases that you will definitely need on your travels. From ordering a round of drinks at the bar to asking where the next supermarket is so you can buy that desperately needed aftersun, we’ve got you covered (with lessons, not with the lotion).
2. It’ll get you speaking like a local, not like a tourist
It doesn’t matter how stiff your British upper-lip might be, we promise to get it moving in all of the right directions before you fly. To do this, our lessons play you recordings of each new word and phrase, and even get you to reproduce these words for yourself with our speech recognition software. Along the way, we will give you tips on how to get the pronunciation spot-on so that you can say these words and phrases with confidence.
To help you better understand the intonation and melody of the language of the land you’ll soon be visiting, we’ve ensured that all of our lessons are voiced by native speakers. This means that you can tune your ears to the sounds of the language, so you won’t butcher pronunciation quite like the spirited souls in the video above.
3. It fits snuggly into your suitcase
Learning a language with Babbel isn’t just about cramming as much into your brain before you fly (and spending the next two weeks of your holiday struggling to remember everything that you’ve learnt). No no no. We will be there for you on holiday too! Ready and waiting to jump in at a moment’s notice and save you from making mistakes, like the multilingual tinkerbells we are.
How do we take care of you even when you’re on holiday? Firstly, as you work through the Babbel lessons we quietly save your progress and build-up a list of the most important vocabulary and phrases that you’ve learnt. We store this in your Review Manager, which can be easily accessed at any time. If you’re dying for a pint but have forgotten how to order, just check your Review Manager to jog your memory.
Secondly, you can download all of our lessons before you fly, which means that you are free to expand on your language skills in the country too! You won’t need an internet connection to access the downloaded lessons, so your ability to brush up on a bit of extra Italian sightseeing terminology before tomorrow’s train ride to Florence won’t be hampered by your hotel’s dodgy wi-fi!
4. You only need 20 mins a day to start speaking
Worried that you won’t find the time to learn a language before you fly? Don’t panic! You only need to spend two hours a week (less than 20 minutes per day) using the Babbel app in order to start speaking with confidence before your holiday starts.
Does that sound implausible? Research whizzes from the City University of New York (CUNY) and the University of South Carolina put the efficacy of the Babbel app to the test and found that you only need to use it for an average of two hours per week over a 2-month period to improve your Spanish to a level equivalent to a typical student after one university term.
Finding 20 minutes a day is easy-peasy. Babbel is perfect for those times when you’re stuck on the Tube and have only got annoying passengers or train announcements for entertainment. We’re also the perfect accompaniment to your tea break at work. That, and a couple of chocolate digestives of course.
5. ….And you can do all this before you fly
As incredible as it sounds, we only need three weeks to get you speaking a new language in time for your holiday. I can hear your incredulous scoff all the way from Babbel HQ: ‘3 weeks to get me speaking a new language? You’re having a laugh mate!’
Inspired by the success of the aforementioned study, we thought, ‘What if you’ve not got two months to learn Spanish? What if you only have three weeks?’ And kaboom, a new language challenge was born: 15 Babbel employees attempted to learn as much Spanish as they could in just three weeks!
Our brave learners blitzed through as much of the app as possible, fitting their lessons in and around their normal working day. After three weeks we challenged them to chat with one of their Spanish colleagues. Before our very eyes we saw a bunch of Spanish-shy novices transform themselves into authentic chatterboxes who were able to describe their upcoming holiday plans completely in Spanish. See for yourself in the video below!
If these thoroughly normal people could fit an impressive amount of Spanish into their heads after just three weeks imagine what you could do before flying off to the Costa Del Sol.