Traveling to a foreign country for the first time can definitely be intimidating. Especially if you have no basic understanding of the native language. Immersion is a very vital part of the overall travel experience and what better way to do so than through language. It’s how we dive into foreign cultures and learn about the nuances of how other people live. Language is a key component in understanding and engaging with any local culture.

Many people get caught up in not being fluent in a language and give up trying at all. This is one of the biggest mistakes that travelers make. Making even a small effort to speak in a native language not only is respectful but will usually result in a more authentic, local experience. Brushing up on some key phrases and words will help you to better connect with locals. Whether it’s learning a few basics or an attempt to learn an entirely new language, these three apps are incredible tools for learning, translating and understanding a foreign language.

Top 3 Apps for Learning a Foreign Language

WordReference –

This is considered by many language teachers as the holy grail of digital, foreign language dictionaries. Not only is the translation incredibly accurate, but the app also offers a breakdown of verb conjugations and has forums for more colloquial and slang speech. For anyone learning a foreign language, this should be your first point of reference.

Google Translate –

This is not always the most accurate language translation, but great for quick results.  If you’re on the fly and in need of a translation, Google Translate will do the trick. I used this many times while traveling through Vietnam with taxi drivers who spoke no English and was able to successfully get from point A to point B.

Duolingo –

For daily practice, or even just brushing up on the basics before a trip, this language game is an amazing tool. Begin at any level to make sure you have some understanding of your destination’s native language prior to your departure. I highly recommend Duolingo for learning basic phrases, like ordering food, inquiring about directions, or asking how much items cost.

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