Sydney, being the diverse metropolis it is, we know that speaking more than one language can get you very, very far. Whether we’re ordering some exotic food, mingling with tourists, or if just want to order a coffee while in Europe, branching out from English has muchos beneficios. There’s no such thing as one-language-fits-all, and nothing makes a person more interesting than when they can roll their R’s when they need to. With this in mind, we’ve put together six ways to learn a new language in Sydney.
#1 Let Your Language Teacher Sleep On Your Couch
You’ve heard it a hundred times: practice makes perfect! But, chances are, you’re living with people who have no idea what to say when you ask them “Parlez vous francais?” (stating the obvious a bit here, but the answer would be “Non”). The good news is, there are travellers out there whose first language is the one you want to learn—and they’re looking for somewhere to stay. TalkTalkBnb lets you connect with such travellers. They get a place to crash, and your French skills become magnifique!
#2 Download An App
Bless smartphones. Like everything in our lives, learning a language can be cheap, fun and easy, thanks to genius apps. Duolingo, Babbel and Memrise are just three interactive language classes that’ll fit in your pocket—and they’re always ready when you are. We’re a city of busy folk, so scheduling in language lessons ain’t always an option. Having an app means you can slip a lesson into any free slot in your timetable, and most have features that let you track your progress and learn with friends.
#3 Get Some Amigas Into It
If you know a special multilingual someone, keep in mind that every Sydney sider will help you out if you shout them a coffee. Swap a chai latte for some “parler”, and let them make fun of you when you pronounce things wrong—you’ll never stuff it up again. Alternatively, start from scratch with a fellow monolingual friend and learn together. A bit of competition will keep you motivated and very soon you’ll know all the swear words! Whatever the lingo-level of your buddy, they’ll be great for practising with and are guaranteed to keep it fun.
#4 Take A Class
A bit like a gym membership, signing up for classes means you actually have to get off Instagram and get your ass into gear. From Cantonese to Portuguese, there are classes for all sorts of languages in Sydney. Sydney Community College has courses for 21 different languages. For those who need a little discipline to keep up with lessons, signing up for a class will keep you on track, and you know they’ll teach you what you really need to learn (how to order fried chicken, hopefully).
#5 Set Some Goals
Most of us want to learn a language because we dream of travelling, but it’s hard to keep our lessons on track when we have no use for our newly-learned phrases. Turn your dreams into boarding passes—there’s nothing like being plopped in the middle of a foreign country to improve your language skills. Seriously though, if you can, make some travel plans. Tourists get mega brownie points if they’ve made an effort to learn the local language and being in a country where it’s a necessity means you’ll pick it up fast. Set a date, and learn as much as you can before you fly out. Once you’re there, mingle with the locals and watch the conversation get better every day.
#6 Ask Ricky Martin For Help
Why do we remember all the lyrics to Party In The USA but we forget how to count past 10 in Spanish as soon as we leave school? Music is the key to memory, folks and, potentially the key to multilingualism. Listen to your favourite songs translated into the language you wanna learn (you can start with nursery rhymes) or you can be your own Ricky Martin and put the phases you want to learn into your favourite songs. For example, want to learn how to flirt with Italian people? Change the words to that iconic Miley ballad from “yeeeeeah it’s a party in the USA” to “yeeeeeah posso unirmi a te?” and you’ll always remember how to flirtatiously ask someone if they come here often. Sparks will fly.
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Image Credit: Alexandre Godreau