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How To Learn Different Languages While Traveling

Believe it or not, one of the best ways to learn the language of a foreign county is to start out with a brief course of that language. Here it is important to grasp some of the basics, with the emphasis upon speaking and listening to the pronunciations of the basic words that are in common use.

As a side-note, I also wrote an article on using Apps to learning a language.

If you can master some of the basics, you can practice with the people of that country while you are visiting, such as at the markets, bazaars and restaurants.

travelling-the-world-and-learningLook for a language school or course where the emphasis is on conversation. With modern technology and digital availability, you can download podcasts and digital formats of just the types of instruction materials that you will need.
When you can hear and practice the words and phrases that you will be using, you will be able to carry on a rudimentary conversation when you get to that country.

For instance, if you are going to be traveling to South America, you can specify the country you will be visiting and study seriously for a couple of weeks. While you are still going to be very limited, the people will really help you out when you get there. When they discover that you know as much as you, they are going to be anxious to help you learn more.

The key to success in learning the language of any  country is to exercise your use of what you have studied outside of the classroom. That is where the advantage of using it with the inhabitants of the country you are visiting is so important.

The classroom prepares you, and the actual use of the language with the people when you arrive, finishes you out. Your real expansion and use of the language occurs when you engage in conversation with the natives.

Focusing on becoming a better travel writer

Another post dedicated to travel writing – let me know on twitter if you’re enjoying these articles.

Are you a writer making a full-time income, or is writing your side business or hobby? Many people find it much easier to work on becoming a better writer when they are not reliant upon writing as their full-time income. People are creatures of habit, and therefore writing to pay bills can put someone in a rut so to speak.

Whichever position you find yourself in, there are many tips to work on in order to become a better writer. Simply practicing helps you learn to build better sentences, a bigger vocabulary and more. Some people focus so much on strategy that they don’t put their writing plans into action. Consistently putting forth the effort to write is going to grow you as a writer.

Reading has long been a tool that has helped writers grow and become better at what they do. Reading is research, and writers write what they know. Writers should also focus on literary techniques or devices. It may seem difficult to grasp all the literary devices out there and use them regularly, but they grow on you.

For starters, I am almost not able to write a piece without using alliteration once. It has been a favorite literary device of mine for years. Another thing that people should focus on is syntax or sentence structure and development. No one likes to read short, choppy sentences constantly, and on the other end, no one wants to read nothing but long-winded sentences that can leave a reader lost. Strike a balance, mix things up and vary your sentence structure of ‘syntax.’

Build your vocabulary by looking up the meanings of new words or searching out synonyms. I received a strong foundation in spelling through phonics as a child, and that is also key. Without this foundation, spelling must also be a focus, and there are also so many grammar rules out there that you’ll always be learning more about grammar as well.

Top 3 Easiest Languages To Learn For People Who Speak English

language-learning-easiestFinding the easiest languages to learn is of course very subjective, and there is no definitive answer to this question.  However, there are some languages that have certain characteristics to them that make them easier to learn for native English speakers than others.

There are several government entities and organizations which classify languages according to how difficult they are for English speakers to learn in terms of the number of hours that are needed to become conversationally fluent.

According to the Foreign Service Institute, the following 3 languages are from a list that have been classified as Category 1 languages that are related closely to English.  It is expected that learning any of these 3 languages would take approximately 575-600 of classroom hours in order to become reasonably fluent.

1.  Afrikaans

Here are a few reasons why Afrikaans is one of the easier languages for English speakers to learn:

The grammar is easy and logical.  There is also no gender or verb conjugation.  It is a Germanic language that is very closely related to English and German and shares a lot of vocabulary.

The main drawbacks are that Afrikaans is a relatively isolated language and doesn’t have a high number of speakers.

2.  Norwegian

The vocabulary, like Afrikaans, is derived from the same Latin-based vocabulary.  This makes it relatively easy to learn new vocabulary words.

However, Norwegian does have lots of variations and dialects, which in some situations can make it difficult to communicate.  There is also a very small number of speakers and the language is relatively isolated.

3.  Spanish

If you’ve taken a course for speaking English or you’re a native English speaker then you may be ready to move on to another equally as valuable language. Spanish is a relatively easy language for English speakers to learn.  It is also a language that is used quite frequently in the United States and some other English speaking countries.  There are tons of movies with Spanish subtitles, bilingual resources and tens of millions of Spanish speaking individuals throughout North America.  All of this makes it very easy to practice Spanish and learn the language.

Spanish also has a history that is very similar to English.  Many words are mutually intelligible or have a slight variation.  Many English words also work their way into Spanish, given the close proximity of the U.S. to Mexico and several other Spanish speaking countries.

There are also some drawbacks or difficulties when trying to learn Spanish.  There tend to be thousands of different ways of saying things.  Spanish also has many “dichos”, or sayings.  Its verb conjugation can also throw many people off.  The various past tense and subjunctive versions can also initially be hard to get.  The non-logical grammar changes, verb conjugations and genders make it quite different in some respects from languages like English and Afrikaans.

Conclusion

There are a number of languages that are all fairly similar in terms of how difficult they are for English speakers to learn.  However, learning a language is a very long process that takes a lot of determination, persistence, dedication and hard work.  You need to have enough motivation to truly become fluent in a foreign language.  The easiest language for you to learn is one that you actually really want to learn, for whatever reasons.

Best Five Countries To Travel To For Food Lovers In 2016

Many people practice the so-called culinary tourism, which means they travel to various places only to taste the local cuisine. Food is one of the greatest pleasures in life, so there’s no wonder we are excited about trying new things and learning new recipes from all around the world.

Leap-frogging off my recent “best of” blog post, here is another great one just in time for 2016.  If you love food and travel, this article is for you. These are the best five destinations to add on your bucket list for 2016, the best countries to travel to for food lovers.

Italy should be high on your list. The Mediterranean cuisine is a surprising mix of flavors. It delights your senses and transports you to a magic realm where olive oil, feta cheese, sea food and pasta rule. Italian pizza is absolutely delicious, with its crisp, crunchy dough and its tasty toppings.

France is also a country you should visit in 2016 if you love good food. However, make sure you stay longer than a couple of days, as you probably need a few months to be able to taste all the cheeses and wines that put a smile on so many French people’s faces. In addition, the croissants, the traditional macaroons and the coffee make this place a gourmand’s paradise. Besides, Paris is one of the best places to taste the cuisine of hundreds of countries and nationalities from all over the world.

best-food-places-2Morocco with its spicy tagine pots, fresh fish and herbal teas is one of the destinations you shouldn’t miss in 2016. It is the paradise of food lovers. Most tourists who visit it once feel the urge to come back another time for an exquisite culinary adventure. Moroccan spices add a special flavor to all dishes, making them unique. Besides, the desert has an attraction power that captures the senses and hypnotizes those who aren’t familiar with it.

If you like the heavy stuff, you should have Germany on your list. The sausages, the sauerkraut and the dumplings in Frankfurt, Munich and other cities are nothing short of amazing. You can sprinkle all these with some tasty German beers. Although you can find this kind of food in most developed countries, it’s better to go taste it in Germany, where it originates from. You are going to be charmed by the traditional outfits, the local music and the dances. Germans love their traditions and they are surely willing to recreate them over and over again, with each and every party.

best-food-places-1Last but not least, Thailand is one of the best destinations to visit in 2016. The fresh fish, the delicious sea food, the crispy vegetables and the spicy sauces and dressings are among the most varied and enticing dishes in the world. The street food outlets in Bangkok sell everything from Thai noodles and hot soups to barbecued bugs and scorpions on sticks.

These are only the top five foodie destinations for those who want to enrich their culinary experience in 2016. You can start with them and add more as you go.

Best Places to Visit in America

When planning a trip to America, you already know that there are several options to choose from in this great country. Which are the best places to visit especially for someone visiting the country for the first time?

Most all travel experts would suggest that New York City is not to be missed. If you are arriving from Europe, you can usually get a direct flight, so you will have more energy to site see once you reach the Big Apple.

You can see just about any of the sites, the Empire State Building, George Washington Bridge, Statue of Liberty and Central Park at any time of year. However, the winter months do get cold. Yet, if you time your arrival, you must might be able to enjoy Times Square for New Year’s Eve.

Here’s a great video we found that hits all the right spots:

If you are a little more particular about weather, head all the way over to Los Angeles. You can enjoy touring the Star’s Homes by using one of the many reliable and enjoyable tours given throughout Hollywood. You will also be able to enjoy nice weather pretty much any time of the year that you go so shopping along Rodeo Drive is not limited to sunny and warm months.

Bring a bathing suit so that you can take advantage of Malibu, the Beach Cities and even Lake Arrowhead if you feel like enjoying a bit more of a rustic outdoor adventure by the water.

If you are more of a history seeker, book a trip to the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. You can find many monuments to explore including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and of course, you can even tour the White House. The best time to visit is when trees are blossoming in early to mid-Spring. Book your trip to America now.

Here Are The Top 3 Countries To Visit In Europe

There are many countries in Europe that you should visit. However, you should know what some of the top ones are. With that said, continue to read on to find out the top three countries to visit in Europe.

1. England

England is home to top tourist attractions such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the London Eye. Not only that, but England is home to gorgeous countrysides, bustling cities, secluded towns and the culture is amazing. Let’s not forget to mentioned that you can easily reach Scotland and Ireland from England.

2. Italy
holiday in tuscany italyItaly is rich with history and there are many great cities you can visit, and this includes Rome. Not only are there many attractions in Rome, as well as other parts of Italy, but the country is home to some of the best beaches in the world. If you are looking for a great European country to visit, then look no further than Italy.

3. Romania

Romania is one of the top countries in Europe because of its scenery. If you love scenery, then you will want to visit places such as Bucharest, Brasov and the city of Timisoara. The Rodnei Mountains are a must if you visit Romania, because these mountains will take your breath away and you will love the peace and quiet you will find there. It’s also worth pointing out that Romania is quite affordable to visit, so you should make a trip there soon.

If you plan on visiting Europe, then make sure you visit Romania, Italy and England. All three of those countries are unique in their own way, and you and your family will love spending time in them. With that said, the only thing you have to do now is book a trip to one of those countries today.

What Are The Three Best Language Learning Apps?

There are a lot of different websites, programs, systems and apps that you can use to help you learn a new language. When it comes to choosing the right app for language learning, doing your research and reading into some of the customer reviews will be the best way to get what you are looking for.

1. Duolingo

This happens to be one of the top apps that are available for learning a different language. It works almost like a game to help the users to learn while gaining points for each correct answer. By learning through repetition and conversation, the lessons start to increase in difficulty level as the user progresses through the app. The Duolingo app is free to download.

2. Memrise

This app works by teaching the user how to speak the new language by way of memorizing the various words. Not only are there games to memorize words, but there is also a vocabulary list the the user is given to study that includes 15 words for every lesson. Memrise is free for download.

3. Babbel

An app that works similar to Duolingo, Babbel allows the user to learn by working on repeating and completing phrases. Using this app, the user is able to choose from a variety of languages to use, including Dutch, Italian, French, Spanish, German and Portuguese. This is also an app that is free to download and then there is an option for a paid subscription.

As you move forward toward learning a new language using an app, you will see that it will all depend upon the way the app works in conjunction with the manner in which you learn best. Once you find the right app, you will have the ability to grasp and learn whatever language you are interested in.