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4 Fun Ways to Overcome Language Barriers in Our Modern World

4 Fun Ways to Overcome Language Barriers in Our Modern World

A language barrier is one of the biggest fears individuals have during global relocations. Fortunately, in today’s modern world, there are many convenient tools and apps to use to break through language barriers and communicate like a native.

1. Choose a great online learning app, such as Duolingo, FluenciaU, Babbel, Memrise or Busuu.

The creators of online language learning apps have created new ways to learn. The apps are interactive, entertaining and make learning fun! They use unique learning modalities, yet keep things simple, making learning streamlined and easier. Some, like Busuu, have a community of native speakers for each language who assist with pronunciation and idioms.

2. Peruse – a social news, web content and discussion website.

Content categories, or subreddits, are organised by areas of interest. You can search for a language category and browse through articles and discussions to read those that interest you. Finding content that is written in or about your target language can be as simple as entering the name of the language (for instance, “Spanish”) in the search box.

3. Use your target language in the kitchen.

Look online for recipes written in your target language and use them to cook your next meal! You can also find loads of online recipe videos, where the cook speaks the language during the tutorial. Watch them at your leisure or use them as you prepare the dish. 

4. Download an online translator app.

There may always be that moment when, no matter how much you have learned, you get stuck while communicating and need a translator. Online translator apps, while not perfect, have become more sophisticated in recent years. Some apps allow you to speak into your device’s microphone and receive a translation of what you have spoken. And others, such as World Lens (owned by Google Translate), allow you to point the camera on your smartphone at text and it translates it into the language you choose. Consider downloading an app on a mobile device for easy use in a pinch!


Contribution by Jill Jassmann-Sharlock.

Jill is an IMPACT Group Global Research and Projects Team Lead who focuses on the unique information needs of global transferees. She also serves as IMPACT Group’s Global myIMPACT Specialist, managing content for our global job search and career portal.

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