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5 Best Ways For Busy People ‘On-The-Go’ to Learn a Language

5 Best Ways For Busy People ‘On-The-Go’ to Learn a Language

Feel like you’re “too busy’ to learn a language? Think again.

All of us have the same 24 hours in the day, but how is it that some of us get 2-5x more done than others?

For most people, it means sacrificing quality of life, sleep, and relationships to get everything done. For others, it’s taking advantage of productivity hacks to help them get more done in less time.

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

This is what prevents most of us from learning a new skill. We’re led to believe that we have to sacrifice something important to us in order to gain something of value, like learning a new language. But that’s usually not the case.

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For people ‘on-the-go’ reading this, we’ve compiled a list of language learning websites specifically built for busy people like you. Before we share the list, we should first define what it means for a resource to be considered ‘on-the-go’ (if you want to skip this section, just scroll down to the lists.

a. Online learning experience (Anywhere you want)

b. 30 minutes or less per session (Everyone has 30 minutes to spare!)

c. Ability to learn when you’re free (Anytime you want)

Now that we’ve defined what we mean by on-the-go, let’s get on to the list! We hope you enjoy and share it out with a friend or two!

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1. Mobile apps

Recommended: Duolingo
Time required: 15-20 minutes/day

Mobile language apps are one of the easiest (and most popular) ways to develop your language skills on-the-go. You can learn new vocabulary and grammar at a time of your convenience, or when you’re waiting in line, etc. There are several limits to this approach, as you can’t learn how to speak your target language with tools like Duolingo, but it’s a great starter for beginners.

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    2. Conversation exchanges

    Recommended: Interpals

    Conversation exchanges is an easy way to meet like-minded people that are also learning a new language. Sometimes it can just be someone who’s learning the same language as you, and finding an accountability partner. Other times, you could find someone who’s fluent in your target language that can help you out.

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      3. Language tutoring websites

      Recommended: Rype

      Language tutoring websites like Rype allow you to connect with handpicked professional language teachers to receive live 1-on-1 lessons. It’s like having your own private in-person tutor, but having the ability to learn at comforts of your own home, when you’re available, and the opportunity to meet with multiple native speakers around the world. Learn more here.

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        4. Podcasts

        Recommended: LanguagePod101

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        Podcasts are the rage today. For a good reason too. It allows you to listen to it when you’re waiting in traffic, on the train, or just walking to meet your friends. More specifically, language podcasts are perfect for anyone who’s living on-the-go. While languagepod101 is a premium service, you can also find many free podcasts that focus on specific languages for you to learn from. Check out the complete listing of free language podcasts.

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          5. Free Newsletters

          Recommended: Learn a Language Challenge (1,000 words in 100 days)

          If you’d rather have your education delivered to your inbox, this may be the route you pursue. There are multiple newsletters online that you can look into, which offers various challenges, vocabulary and grammar training, words of the day, etc. In less than 5 minutes a day, you can have your own mini-language lessons on your smartphone or at the office.

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            We’d love to hear from you. Which of these on-the-go resources will you take advantage of? Please share this with one friend and encourage them to learn a language with you!

            More by this author

            Sean Kim

            Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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            Last Updated on February 11, 2021

            Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

            Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

            How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

            Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

            The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

            Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

            Perceptual Barrier

            The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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            The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

            The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

            Attitudinal Barrier

            Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

            The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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            The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

            Language Barrier

            This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

            The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

            The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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            Emotional Barrier

            Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

            The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

            The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

            Cultural Barrier

            Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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            The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

            The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

            Gender Barrier

            Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

            The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

            The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

            And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

            Reference

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