Pronunciation gaffs and tongue twisters frequently become realities for the traveler in foreign lands. Trying to learn a new language or even just a few words and phrases to get by can be a challenge when you are thrown right into a country speaking a language very different from your own. However, not all language apps and tools can hold a traveler’s attention. If you are a seeking something a little bit different, these language apps provide a unique means to learn or brush up on your destination’s language.
Memrise: Language experts frequently point out that much of learning a language is memorization. Memrise hones in on memorization techniques to help the user learn a new language. The app features over 200 different languages with even more out there additions like Esperanto. With over 500,000 courses to choose from, the goal behind the app is to help the user memorize their way into a new language. Free to download and available for the iPhone and Android, Memrise even adds a dash of humor to help the user remember different words and phrases.
Busuu: If you are looking for a fun and easy way to learn a new language, Busuu delivers by adding community to the lesson plan. Many travelers struggle with pronunciation. Busuu address those concerns with a large community of active users. Honing in on the speaking component, users can practice their pronunciation not with automated prompts but rather native speakers. Busuu supplies language learning in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Russian and Turkish. For those that like to socialize with people from around the world, Busuu has the social aspect built in to create a very different language app. At the same time, Busuu does cover the basics of vocabulary and grammar with over 150 topics and 3,000 words.
Phrasebook: Not all language apps can help a traveler when they are actually traveling and interacting in new languages. However, Phrasebook aims to help those on the
road with their language skills. With over 800 commonly used phrases and vocabularies, the app features countless languages including English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Turkish, Portuguese, Arabic and Vietnamese. Phrasebook also doesn’t require an Internet connection so that a traveler can look up what they need to when they need it. In addition to being more unique in that it is geared toward travelers, Phrasebook uses a parrot to help you learn to pronounce those words and phrases correctly. You can record and compare your pronunciation to avoid any slips of the tongue while abroad. While a bit cartoonish, it is hard not to resist learning a new language with the help of a parrot.