I love speaking Spanish when I travel, but that always hasn’t been the case. In fact, there was actually a time in my life when I thought that a baño was a musical instrument.
It all started when I booked my trip to Spain. I knew I’d be traveling to cities where English wasn’t widely spoken. Of course, this meant that I’d have to rely on speaking Spanish in order to get around.
And see, that’s where I had a little problem.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that, despite four years of high school Spanish, the only phrase I could remember was “Me gustan las tortillas.” And unless I wanted to eat the same thing every day, my limited Spanish wasn’t going to cut it.
I knew I needed to brush up on my Spanish speaking skills. Urgently.
That’s when Babbel came to my rescue. Mastering a language can take months or even years. But with Babbel, I started speaking conversational Spanish in just three weeks.
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It may seem obvious, but there are many reasons to learn a different language. If you like to travel, then being able to speak a few basic phrases will inevitably make getting around the country a lot easier. Learning a new language also gives you a deeper understanding of the local culture and people.
Despite these reasons, you still might be wondering, “Is it difficult to actually speak a new language?”.
Maybe you assume that speaking a new language is laborious and time-consuming. Or perhaps you’ve tried other language apps but didn’t come away with anything useful.
I don’t blame you, these preconceived notions make it seem almost impossible to pick up a new language. And if you’re like me, your failed attempt at learning a second language in high school doesn’t provide that extra boost of motivation.
But the truth is, speaking a new language doesn’t have to be difficult.
Of course, becoming fluent in a language doesn’t magically happen overnight. But with a little practice (and with the right language learning app), you can start speaking useful, real-life sentences in just a short amount of time.
What is Babbel?
Babbel is an interactive language learning platform. It’s made for speakers of all levels and provides lessons in 14 languages, including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Swedish, and Turkish.
With Babbel, you’ll learn new vocabulary words, phrases, and grammatical structures in each lesson. The lessons are fun, easy to understand, and best of all, they only take 10 – 15 minutes to complete!
Babbel is available on iOS and Android, so you can learn on the go no matter where you are in the world.
Now that I had my motivation for speaking Spanish, I was ready to take Babbel for a spin.
After choosing my speaking level, it was time to start my first lesson. The app used multiple choice questions, fill in the blanks, and speech recognition to teach me the first set of new vocabulary words.
Depending on which experience level you start with (beginning, intermediate or advanced), Babbel starts off with the basics like hello, goodbye, and thank you. Surprisingly, I breezed through the first lesson in just 10 minutes. While it was a good refresher course, I was eager to tackle something a little more complicado.
Within a few days, I was already learning more complex phrases. I was able to ask for directions, talk about public transportation, and even ask people where they came from. All of this with just one 10 minute lesson a day!
There were also a few short quizzes where I could practice what I learned in the previous lessons. For me, repetition is key when learning to speak a new language.
Before I knew it, it was time to put my new skills to the test. Although I had more than enough practice speaking out loud from the comfort of my living room, was I ready to speak in front of native Spanish speakers?
From the moment I landed in Barcelona, I knew I was going to need to speak Spanish as often as possible. Learning a new language is more than just memorizing a few new words here and there. You need to have real conversations with people in order to really get a feel of the language.
And guess what? It worked!
I navigated through the airport, gave directions to my taxi driver, and even checked into my apartment – all in Spanish! From them on, I spoke Spanish to anybody who would give me the time of day.
Of course, I made a few mistakes and maybe stumbled on a few words. But the fact is, the locals could still understand what I was trying to say. And they appreciated that I was making the effort to speak with them in their language.
Why Babbel Works
Babbel is one of the fastest ways to start speaking a new language. You’ll learn real-life phrases and conversational skills that you can use right away. And unlike other language apps, Babbel focuses more on speaking, rather than simply improving your reading and comprehension skills.
Another good thing about Babbel is that you can tailor lessons based on your motivation. And for me, that’s travel. Therefore, my lessons included words and phrases that I could use when traveling through Spain.
But most importantly, Babbel gives you the courage to start speaking immediately. Not only are lessons voiced by native speakers, but Babbel’s built-in speech recognition technology will make sure you pronounce everything correctly.
When it comes to speaking a new language, confidence is key. Practice as much as you can when you’re traveling, and speak to whoever will listen. It doesn’t matter if its the bus driver, the grocery store clerk, or even a friendly stranger. Just start speaking!