Learning a whole new language before you go on vacation is tough. But it’s important to learn some basic phrases for those inevitable moments that will come up – like ordering food and drinks or asking for directions. The great part about learning language nowadays – is that you don’t have to spend hours in a classroom or reading books. In the age of the internet – there are several new options.

Fluencynow.com is a California based website that uses online video streaming to give students real- time interaction with a language tutor.

With a headset and high speed internet connection you get one on one lessons – customized for real-life travel situations… like ordering a coffee in Paris or catching a train in Italy.

The site teaches 17 different languages. Lessons cost about $30 per hour.

This next one is great for those addicted to their iPod. It’s called iSpeak. The company sells audio phrase books that include a CD – for about 13 bucks.

Once you import it to your iPod – you can scroll down and choose which topic you want to study.

Another way to learn is through an outfit called Earworms. It markets itself as a “musical brain trainer” – using groove-heavy music as a backdrop while teaching words and phrases that will help you hold a conversation in a different language.

Those are just a few of the options out there if you’re looking to gain some knowledge of a certain language. The audio component is nice because it can help you get a better handle on pronunciation and by using the internet, you’re more likely to learn words that are too current to be in a guidebook.

If you don’t necessarily want to learn a language – or you don’t have time – but need to communicate, there is a great app out there called Translator with Speech. It’s 99 cents and allows you to record a phrase in English and it then translates it into 54 different languages and plays it back to you.

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