English is the international language, and as a result, having some English for when you visit foreign countries – even those which do not have English as a first language – will help you. These days it’s almost as essential as your passport.
English is the language of the world. Of course, not all countries use English, but it is impractical to learn a little bit of every language you may need when travelling Europe, say, so English is a good compromise (that said, it is always nice to learn a few local words to show some effort).
English is most likely to help you in an emergency, as it is the international language used at airports and in various other situations. You may not be able to find a menu in your language, but you will probably find one in English. And then, of course, there are many apps and other tools which are focussed solely on the improvement of your English, especially in situations where you are travelling.
So, what can you do to make your English enough for a successful trip? Here are some important tips and tools for you to follow and use:
Learn essential English vocabulary
Just a little bit of essential vocabulary can go a long way when you are travelling. It is usually not even necessary to be able to say complete sentences, because often just the key word will be enough to get you by.
Start learning essential English vocabulary long before you trip. Write the words down as you learn them, listen to the pronunciation and repeat it as many times as possible.
Access relevant lists of important English words for different situations, such as this one for at the airport, or this one for shopping. Try to make example sentences using those words (in English of course). A little vocabulary can go a long way!
Oher tips before you travel
It’s important that you get used to the sound and rhythm of English, so for this reason, immerse yourself as much as you can in the language before you travel. How can you do this?
Watch a few TV shows or movies in English (with English subtitles too, ensuring you can see the word that is being spoken). Listen to a few English-language songs, or access English-speaking radio stations over the internet.
Why not read a few articles in English, especially articles related to your travel destination. TripAdvisor is one of the world’s best-known travel-related sites, and can give you recommendations and reviews of everything you will find at your destination. Make sure you read the site in English!
Simply do anything you can so get a little bit more familiar with the language. Don’t let the trip itself be your very first experience of English.
There are loads of great tools and apps out there which can assist you in your English, from pronunciation apps, to vocabulary tools and games which can help you learn that essential vocabulary.
For writing in English, Linguix offer an AI-based writing assistant which can help you pen whatever you need in the language, and for any purpose. If you make a mistake, that mistake will be highlighted and corrections offered, and you can also access definitions of word as well as synonyms.
Check out the site’s blog for any number of interesting and insightful articles which will help you improve your English before you travel, and when you are on your trip as well.
Use other useful apps for travel in English
This is a great travel app which not only gives you hundreds of useful phrases, and can also instantly translate whatever you need, but also focuses on the culture of the country you are traveling to, giving you practical advice as how to behave and conduct yourself when in that country. It also gives a lot more practical safety information such as useful contact details should an emergency arise.
Busuu is a social network of language learners, and one of its greatest benefits is that it can connect you to native speakers of English who can assist you in learning the language. Busuu also offers a number of mini-courses (including one related to travel) which are visual and gamified, making the experience fun and practical.
This free app is a great way to learn essential vocabulary, which is delivered to you through the method of interesting and fun memes! This is vocabulary learning for the twenty-first century, using the popular tool to help you memorize that essential English vocabulary you will need on your trip.
This ever-popular free site and app (although a paid version also exists if you want to upgrade) offers bite-size courses to assist language learners. The mobile version is fantastic for learners who are on the go, and there are also valuable assessments which help learners understand their progress.
Other important considerations
Remember that going to another country involves learning another culture as much as another language. Learn as much as you can about the country and the people before you go, focussing on local customs, the food, and natural habits. Open your mind, smile, and communicate as much as you can. People may speak different languages, but people are people, wherever you find them.