Learn a New Language

Try these easy suggestions to help you pick up some key phrases before your next trip abroad.

illustration of a man speaking in French, German and Mandarin, image

When you travel abroad, the locals appreciate it when you try and speak their language.


Take advantage of the area’s local amenities and services:

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Studying a language can be a frustrating experience. Who wants to memorize vocabulary lists and grapple with baffling grammar rules? Try these easier ways to pick up key phrases before you take off for a trip abroad.

GET TALKING Bypass written tests and reading assignments: Sign up for a conversational class.

DIVE INTO THE MEDIA Flip through a French magazine, watch an Italian movie, listen to Spanish pop.

SING ALONG If you listen to a song a few times, you quickly learn the words—that’s the theory behind the Berlitz Rush Hour Express CD series.

LABEL EVERYTHING Use Post-its to label items in your house—from the sink to the bed—with their foreign names.

FIND A PEN PAL Practice a language by writing emails to a native speaker learning English. Visit www.mylanguageexchange.com.

Illustration by Maxine Cass

This article was first published in March 2006. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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