How best to spend your summer holidays? You could visit new places, focus on your private life, or brush up on those subjects that require attention. Or, why not learn a foreign language?
Well, a foreign language is helpful if you want to:
1. communicate with other people abroad. If you know a foreign language, you can learn more about the place you’re visiting, its attractions, etc. And it will also help you out if you get lost in a new city.
2. study foreign academic papers or read textbooks in the original language. This will broaden your mind and improve your status in the eyes of your teachers and fellow students.
3. learn something new: the culture, habits and way of life in other countries. This knowledge may be very helpful in the future because you never know what fate has in store for you.
4. communicate with foreign counterparts on the Internet. These contacts may be of great help in your future career.
5. watch films in the original language or to understand what those popular songs are all about
6. train your brain. Learning a foreign language has an extremely beneficial effect on your brain’s development and keeping it in good working order: you unconsciously start doing better in other disciplines
7. enhance your chances of getting an interesting job. Knowledge of a foreign language has always been an advantage when looking for work.
8. be aware of things happening abroad. This will allow you to get a better understanding of a situation, to avoid one-sided coverage of events by the mass media.
9. become more competent in your profession. A foreign experience multiplied by the knowledge acquired in your country often helps you reach the right decision.
10. have a higher social status. It’s no secret that people who know a foreign language have more successful careers and have a wider and more interesting circle of contacts
By the way, it is a good idea to learn a foreign language in a language camp together with people from different countries. It means the language is learnt by having to communicate. However, you are likely to need some help from dictionaries and textbooks to expand your vocabulary. So, should you take piles of books with you? Thankfully, that is a thing of the past. Now all you need to do is install all the necessary software on a tablet or smartphone, e.g., the free service LinguaLeo. In a simple, accessible way, as you carry out everyday tasks you learn new words and develop your communication skills. Google Translate is an even easier variant. This Google software is an online translator, but it can be used to learn languages. The program not only translates the words but can also pronounce them. The program allows you to speak to a foreigner, providing help to finding the right words. And then there is an even easier way – World Lens, the ideal program for reading signs, inscriptions and announcements. A device’s built-in camera scans and recognizes the text and makes a literal translation. It is exactly what those with a curious nature need.
However, you should be careful when using these programs when abroad. They consume a lot of Internet traffic, so you should either find an appropriate provider or tariff in advance, or if the program allows it, download all the necessary dictionaries to the internal memory of the gadget. You should be careful about connecting to unknown networks when using online translation software because these programs may have a vulnerability that fraudsters can use to gain control of your mobile device and steal, for example, your credit card data. That is why it’s not a good idea to look for a publicly available wireless network to connect to at a summer camp. This is where you are most likely to be attacked by a virtual stranger. Therefore, when on a trip, you should pay special attention to the network security and use antivirus software capable of blocking illegal intrusion of your gadgets. However, there’s no need to overestimate the danger and let this spoil your vacation. Just be a little more cautious than usual.