Language apps, do they help while travelling?

Your passport to fluency, how language apps will transform your travels.

Ellen Pinch
1st November 2022
Navigating the seemingly never-ending public transport maps, ordering the mystery local dish or getting lost in the middle of a new city. Travelling without the local lingo is undeniably challenging. Luckily in the age of technology not all is lost. 

With such a saturated language app market selling us the chance to dip in and out of over 40 languages at any moment it’s time to drop the hand gestures and the ‘slower and louder’ speaking techniques. But do Duolingo, Memrise and their fellow language platforms really help the travel experience?

Duolingo app, Image Credit: Flickr

Especially as an English speaker it can be easy to take advantage of our mother tongue’s global status. Falling back on the assumption that everyone will have some level of English takes away from an authentic travelling experience in numerous ways. Languages even at the most basic level open travellers up more to new cultures and even ways of seeing the world, so why would anyone want to pass up on that?! 

Thank you in different languages, Image Credit: Unsplash

Admittedly there is a lot of scepticism surrounding language apps and their effectiveness. The bottom line is that none of them truly claim fluency as an end goal, but instead a fun and easy way to get to grips with the basics of a language. These are the tools that are needed to communicate with locals and it always serves anyone well to step outside of the English bubble and try to use some local phrases even if it's as simple as 'thank you'. This is exactly what these apps are about and although users may not be joking in fluent French or debating global affairs in Japanese by the end of their trip, a few basic phrases can be completely transformative, rewarding and open so many exciting travel doors.

Get downloading before your next trip!

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