All Women's Talk

7 Ways to Survive without a Phrase Book on Your Travels ...

By Rosalina

So, you've forgotten your phrase book or left it on the plane but fear not, there are simple ways to survive without a phrase book on your travels that will mean you will be able to learn a few basic phrases in no time. Many people will have booked their tickets abroad and are looking forward to expanding their horizons including being able to communicate in another language. Here are some ways to survive without a phrase book this year.

Table of contents:

  1. Set goals
  2. Watch and learn
  3. Free teachers
  4. Make notes
  5. Speak it
  6. Have a day with the locals
  7. Have fun!

1 Set Goals

One of the ways to survive without a phrase book is to set yourself goals regarding how many words and phrases you would like to master in a week. This will help keep you on track. Maybe you want to start by learning a few basic greetings and how to order your favorite dishes at the restaurant. Numbers are another essential basic that you may want to master as a beginner. You can gradually graduate to more complex phrases once you have mastered the basics.

2 Watch and Learn

When you're out and about, listen to people communicating. Watch the shop assistant and the customer and the waiter and the diner. Look and listen at the ways in which they communicate. You can learn snippets of local dialect too which will make you feel a little closer to the culture.

3 Free Teachers

Believe it or not, everyone around you is a potential mentor and teacher when you're on your travels. From the hotel receptionist to the waiter and shop assistant, there are many people who would be delighted to help you learn some new words and phrases and develop your language skills. It doesn't mean you have to spend all day with them though and strictly speaking, they're not your official teachers so don't shadow them for the day - they might feel a little crowded!

4 Make Notes

When you learn a new word or a phrase, jot it down. At the end of the day, test yourself and see how many you can remember. Make your own phonetic system to enable you to get the pronunciation right and use whatever means possible to help you to remember these new words and phrases.

5 Speak It

It's all very well learning these phrases but you have to speak them too. The day after your hotel receptionist teaches you a new phrase or word, greet them with it. Make sure you're repeating the phrases and words so that you will remember them. This is the key to learning a language as once you stop using it, no matter how advanced you are, it can quickly disappear.

6 Have a Day with the Locals

If you can, arrange a day out or an evening in with the locals. Perhaps you have been offered the opportunity of dining with a local family. Watching and listening to them use the language and of course, taking advantage of the wonderful local cuisine, is a great way to immerse yourself in both the culture and language.

7 Have Fun!

The most important thing to do is to have fun. You won't be fluent in a week but you'll be amazed at how much you will be able to master in a short space of time with some perseverance and practice. You might feel silly and you might make some embarrassing mistakes but it will be a wonderful learning experience.

The best way to learn is to actually immerse yourself in the culture and interact with the locals. Does anyone have any hints and tips for learning a language without the aid of a phrase book?

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