Part of the excitement of traveling is encountering new people, new ways of living, new cultures and encountering new languages. I don’t think you can call yourself a real traveler if you don’t make an effort to at least learn the basics of the language of the places you visit.
Learning a new language is fun, exciting, but also very difficult and frustrating. The rewards however are huge. It’s fun and rewarding to see the appreciation in people’s faces when you make an effort to communicate with them in there own language. It will open doors and allow you to experience a new destination like never before. Traveling to new places will become a lot more fun!
Learning while traveling
So what’s the best ways to learn a new language? Well, it’s easy. It’s not classes, it’s not books and it’s certainly not the latest app. It’s complete immersion. I learned Spanish for 2 years and was mediocre. I spent a few weeks working with Spanish people, and my level of Spanish skyrocketed. I learned more Spanish in a week in real-life than I did in the classroom for years.
So when you go traveling, refuse to speak English. Speak only the native language, however hard and difficult and frustrating it might be at times. You’ll struggle in week 1, you’ll be tempted to stop the experiment in week 2, you’ll find it easier in week 3 and by the fourth week you’ll be speaking almost fluent. It’s amazing just how easy it is to learn anything if you immerse yourself in it.
Learning at home
So what’s the best way to learn at home. You clearly can’t speak the language you want to learn to people who can’t speak it either. Well, the best method I have used is Rosetta Stone. It teaches a language just like you would to a baby. It doesn’t actually teach you anything. You interact with an app, and you’ll start picking it up fairly quickly. It’s a fun program, with games instead of boring grammar and so forth. It’s by far the best and most effective method I’ve tested to learn a language fast at home.
On Tim Ferris‘ blog it also recommends you start watching TV or YouTube videos in the language. Constantly interact with that language to create a sense that you’re immersing yourself in that language. I used to read books in languages I wanted to learn, and while you don’t understand half of it, you do start picking vocabulary up quite quickly.
I also started browsing in different languages and Google Translating parts of the website to pick things up faster. Again you’ll immerse yourself completely in the language so it becomes easier to pick new things up.
Boost your language learning
So is there anything you can do to boost your brain, so that it can absorb new information faster. There are nootropic supplement that can actually help you focus, increase your motivation and help you understand difficult concepts more quickly. It’s kind of like NZT in the movie Limitless but not quite as powerful. There’s a lot of debate on whether they work or whether they are even safe to take, but I’ve read some reviews that they do help you study new materials, including new languages.
We’ve actually tried it after reading about the best nootropics on WantToBeSmarter.com where various brain supplements are reviewed. We decided to try a nootropic called ciltep after reading a ciltep review. While I’m not entirely sure it helped us learn languages faster, I did feel a sense of focus I’ve not had before. We’ll have to try it for a little while longer I guess to really determine whether this is the key to learning languages faster.
But for now, travelling to the country itself, and only speaking that language seems to be the best and fastest option. If that’s not possible, get Rosetta Stone. You can always try popping some brain pills to see whether it makes things easier for you!
Let me know if you have a great way to learn a new language faster or easier. Also, I’m curious to know whether you bother learning a new language when traveling somewhere or do you just stick to your own language?