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Learning a new language in three quick steps

Moving to a foreign country presents many challenges, most notably the language barrier. With the natural stress associated with a move and a new culture and environment to adapt to, it helps to know the essentials of the native language.

Here’s how you can quickly get to grips with everything you need to get by:

1. Set realistic goals

If you’re aiming to be fluent and hold conversations overnight, you’ve already failed. Set targets to achieve based on the length of time you will be staying in the country and the essential tasks that will require you to speak in the native tongue. Accept that it may take some time to be on par with the locals.

2. Use technology to your advantage

Gone are the days of having books and classes as your only language resources. These days, there are plenty of great websites and apps that you can access for free to kickstart your learning. One of the best apps around is DuoLingo – available on Android, iOS and Windows Mobile – which gives you the opportunity to learn a range of languages in fun, simple steps. This archive page on the BBC website also provides lists of the most essential phrases in different languages.

3. Gain exposure to the language

Watching TV shows overdubbed in the new language can be a great way to expand your vocabulary. If that feels too overwhelming, you can always read children’s books and comics that may contain simpler words and phrases.

By following these three easy steps, you will be up and running in your new home in no time!