Monday, June 7, 2010

From Flemish to Finnish, Learn Essential Phrases in 36 Languages!

You may be traveling abroad this summer, and if you're like the most of us, you have very little time to learn a whole new language. Before my trip to Amsterdam last March, I sought the "Dutch Essentials" iPhone app to learn a few words of Dutch. The only word I can still remember is Proost (Cheers!), but it was still nice to have some extra words in my pocket in case I needed them. Perhaps our native Dutch translator could teach me a bit more.

The BBC Languages has provided a nice web site where you can print a "Quick Fix" guide of phrase essentials for 36 languages, including Dutch. You can even download an audio file that you can carry around on your iPod or iPhone while you're traveling. Visit the BBC Languages "Quick Fix" site at

Now if you're one of the other ones that has the time to learn a whole new language, the BBC also offers complete interactive tutorials with audio and video courses in Spanish, French and a few other languages, all for free. As a Spanish tutor, I would often recommend Mi Vida Loca, which is highly interactive and is more like actually visiting Spain than reading from a book. It's a great deal considering how expensive language learning software can be. Visit the BBC's Mi Vida Loca at:

For the BBC Languages complete guide, visit

Raudel is a translation project coordinator for French and Spanish at Precision Language & Graphics.

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