Meeting new people from different cultures can be a rewarding, eye-opening experience. Sometimes though, it can be hard to communicate and create a connection when you don’t have a common language. Fortunately, the following technological trends can be used to overcome that barrier and help you form some new relationships.
1. Language Learning Apps
With an increasing number of educational apps on both iOS and Google Play, you’ll surely be able to find something regardless of your current level of knowledge. One of the most popular apps of this type, Duolingo, has proven to be very effective for learning some basic phrases in regards to both writing and reading. While they’re mostly meant to be a supplement to a proper language course or a book, these apps are one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways of learning a new language.
2. Google Translate (Offline)
Google Translate sits at the top of the popularity charts with over a hundred different supported languages. While it does require an Internet connection in order to work properly, users can choose to download a language of their choice to their phone and have the corresponding translations available offline.
You’ll be able to write/read out a sentence in your language and have it converted instantly. When you’re in a pinch and need to reach out to a foreigner, this app will surely do the trick, even if it does have its fair share of flaws.
The most efficient way of improving is talking to a native speaker, which can be a fairly difficult task to achieve. Thankfully, Interpals is an online platform that helps you meet new people and talk to them over the Web.
You simply register on the website, select the language which you want to learn as well as the one that you speak natively, and you’re ready to begin. Engage with any of the active penpals and start communicating. There’s even a language exchange option, where both of the people help each other learn their own target languages.
Delving deeper into the lives of those you met can be a challenge if you don’t know where to look. By using proper tools, this can be much easier than it might seem at first sight.
Spokeo is a reverse number lookup tool that takes the phone numbers of your newly found acquaintances and returns any corresponding matches from the Internet. This includes their full name, photos, current location and best of all, social media accounts, Spokeo finishes the whole process in a matter of seconds with utmost accuracy.
Once you have the appropriate Facebook/Instagram links, you can have a much better insight into the interests of the person that you’re communicating with.
5. Skype Video Calls
Once you make some new foreign friends, you can ask them to communicate with you via Skype. While this approach might not be ideal for everybody, it’s an irreplaceable way to create an association with the person on the other end. Extroverts are going to find this option much to their liking – those a bit shyer won’t be tempted to try this. Regardless of the group which you belong to, make sure that you have some basic information about the person before you show them your face.
6. Read Foreign Blogs
The more you read, the more fluent you’ll get. Managing to go through even a single foreign blog post is a huge milestone, and it’ll help you get a much better grasp of the target language.
As soon as you learn some basics, start taking advantage of this method. Don’t feel bad for having to look up certain words and phrases – by doing this, you’ll more easily understand what the writer wanted to say. It can be quite disheartening in the beginning, but eventually, you’ll start to see some patterns and you’ll be able to implement them to your own speech/writing abilities.
7. Watch/Listen To Foreign Content
Watching foreign movies with native subtitles is crucial in helping you connect words and phrases with their everyday use. Video-sharing platforms such as Youtube and Filmix have more than enough content to last you for a long time. Aim for at least 2-3 movies per week in order to keep your memory fresh and optimize your learning efficiency.
Another great approach is listening to foreign music. This method can be a bit more tedious since you’ll have to search for a corresponding lyrics translation in order to understand everything. Music lets you focus more easily on the proper pronunciation of words, which you’ll have to master in order to become fluent. Still, by combining these seven methods, there’s no doubt that you’ll be able to communicate with any person – regardless of the language that they’re speaking.
Maguire Haigh is a marketing manager for Spokeo. He is interested in the latest technology trends, marketing strategies and business development. He also prefers traveling, exploring the world and meeting new people. Maguire has great experience in creating and editing articles on different topics.