How to Learn New Language Fast With Rype

Teacake Travels

What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever said in a foreign language by accident? When I’m travelling, I always try my best to immerse myself with the locals and make an effort. A recent incident in China however with a can of lemonade, proved to me that the way I had been learning the language wasn’t exactly…spot on. This led me to look into ways to learn new language fast and I’ve found Rype an excellent way to do it! You can get a free trial lesson with Rype here.

Fresh from coming out of an intensive Jiu Jitsu session, learning how to defend myself as a woman whilst travelling, I was a right old sweaty betty. In need of some ice-cold refreshment, I stepped off the mat and carefully folded my Gi and white belt into my backpack. Popping on my sun-faded pumps, I started making my way towards the local mom and pop shop.

How to learn new language fast with online learning face to face

4 weeks into my crash course of Chinese cultural immersion, I was feeling pretty confident with the phrases I had picked up. ‘You’ve got this’ I told myself as I strode down the cobbled lane. Besides, I had been living in Shanghai teaching English for 2.5 years just a year before.  I believed I was a cheeky Chinese-speaking wizard. Buying goods at this point was a breeze.

The China incident with the lemonade

In an effort to be a better human being, I was setting myself daily little tasks to try the new language I had been learning from Earworms (a programme to learn new language fast to music no less!). Today’s goal was simple: ask for a can of lemonade. Easy right?

How to learn new language fast

Dali in China where I jiu-jitsued peoples’ asses

Stepping out of the gentle touch of the sun’s rays into the dimly lit hole-in-the-wall shop, I shuffled past the shelves full of shrink-wrapped chicken feet and questionable pickled eggs. I made a beeline for the cans of fizzy pop. With the ice-cold residue covering my fingers, I took a deep breath and plonked the can on the counter…just as my one-session-a-week Chinese teacher coincidentally walked into the store too. ‘One can of lemonade please’ I blurted out confidently to the little old dear in front of me.

‘Huuuuuurgh!’

Gulps of enormous quantities of oxygen were suddenly robbed from the air as my teacher and the little old lady swallowed their utter shock. So naturally, I went ahead and said it again with utmost effort. ‘One can of lemonade please’.

‘Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurgh!’

Dammit. What was going on here? My Chinese teacher came hurtling towards me, eyes bulging. She quickly told me to put the money down and stepped me outside.

How to learn new language fast

Important Mandarin side note: Mandarin is tonal. Some words sound the same.

Say them with a different tone however and you’ll get a totally different word and meaning.

‘What’s happening?’ I asked.

‘You said c**t’, she exclaimed.

‘Say what?’ I replied.

‘You called that lady a c**t’.

What a nightmare! Turns out I’d probably been calling a ton of shop owners in Shanghai a c**t for two years straight when the desire for lemonade came on. They just didn’t have the means to correct me.

How to learn new language fast

In this instance, I just have to give my Chinese teacher a serious high five. She corrected me on the spot, saved my ass and let me buy lemonade in China for the rest of the course without being a total accidental dick.

Travel Tip

Get a FREE language lesson with Rype

How to learn a language well

As an English teacher myself, I know how important speaking practice is. I was hired by Universities purely to get my students speaking. They knew the grammar, they knew how to read and write but their speaking was rubbish…and what’s the most important thing that you need from language? Direct communication!

Unless you’re going to be in a disco texting each other because it’s too loud, you’re kinda screwed. You need to speak and speak and speak and have someone right there to correct you if you’re coming out with gobbledygook.

Learning a language with books

I’ve learnt numerous languages over the years. Thankfully, the techniques have got better and better. I learnt Russian and Spanish at school, listening to endless long and painful conversations in a language lab and writing vocabulary lists with little context. The amount of speaking practice we had, with immediate correction, was minimal.

I didn’t do very well in Korean to begin with either. Purchasing textbooks to teach myself the alphabet and simple conversation, how could I possibly be spot on with the pronunciation when all I had was a book? I knew I needed to go to the next level.

How to learn new language fast

Living in South Korea

Learning a language with podcasts and apps

Podcasts are definitely a step up. Actually hearing the language helps me a lot when I’m studying a new language but the problem is that podcasts are one way: you’re not getting any feedback on your speaking with them. As for apps, I do love using Memrise but it has its limitations. When I’m doing the speaking exercises, the same people in the video listening exercises say the same phrases. I know what they’re going to say before they’ve even opened their mouth. Not close to real life as much as I’d like.

A lovely follower of mine on Snapchat told me about her love for Duolingo. Carrie, who’s learning Spanish and Italian, says that it’s a great app for learning to read and speak but it does have its downside too; you’re essentially learning with a bot.

These apps aren’t going to teach you the real slang natives use either. I’ve learnt some awesome slang over beer and fried chicken in Asian countries and by dating the locals. This way, I’ve learnt the swear words and cheeky expressions we all really want to know.

Rype Can Help

Try a free lesson online with Rype to learn your next language!

How to learn new language fast

I’ve landed in plenty of countries with bare minimum phrases. It certainly helps to know how to say thank you, please, hello etc. but to really connect with the land you want to discover and get by, it without a doubt serves you well to step it up a notch. Waving your hands about and miming random things you need has its limits.

The kind of adventure travel I do, where there aren’t many tourists and I’m mostly hiking in the middle of nowhere or stuck in the mud on my bike in a random village…that forces you to learn new language fast. If you want to really get into the nitty-gritty of a community, this is some genuine motivation to step up and force yourself to speak.

How to learn new language fast

Hanging with the locals on the Mongol Rally with Team #WeLive

You have to get out of your comfort zone, into an immersive environment to truly learn new language fast. Sam from Alternative Travelers, who’s learning Spanish, agreed with me on Snapchat: ‘You need to find a native speaker of your target language and then meet to speak…Everyone I know that speaks another language at a good level listened to tons of hours of native speakers’. Thankfully, if funds are short for you right now where you can’t get to the country to live and study in it, there is another option out there!

 

Travel Tip

Try Rype for free to learn new language fast with native teachers 24/7.

Thank the world for the internet my lovelies. Thank the world for the ability to speak to someone face to face online because if you want to learn new language fast, Rype is the best way I’ve found to do it.

Learn new language fast with Rype

Rype is a language learning platform that connects you with a premium network of handpicked, professional native speaking teachers online. Every teacher that conducts lessons on Rype undergoes a rigorous selection process, including a live 1-on-1 video interview, 60-day trial, and continuous training.

You can learn at any time to suit you, 24/7. This means there’s no need to battle with your schedule and try to fit into a 9 to 5 class! There are a lot of online learning platforms out there but Rype is certainly budget friendly: around $5 a class rather than the usual $50 leading language schools charge.

Cost vs. language school

Try Rype for free

Rype currently only offers French, Spanish and English classes but they’re promising to expand to other languages in the future!

If you want to give them a try, you can get a free lesson here.

 

Travel Tip

Try Rype to learn French, Spanish and English fast!

I’ve been learning French on Rype with different teachers so I can get varied practice. My goal is to go and visit my best buddy Michaela and her French husband. I’m back in the UK for a while now. Each teacher has listened to my goals and then given me a lesson which I really want to learn and practice. This is language learning at a level tailored specifically to me: just what I need.

Ultimately, fingers crossed that when I next go to France, I won’t be making the mistake of calling a Frenchman a c**t when I’m buying a baguette.

How are you learning a new language? Have you given Rype a go?

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How to learn new language fast

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About Alice Teacake

I'm a kickass girl who believes in women facing their fears and pushing their boundaries, to reach their full potential through solo adventure travel! Follow me for travel advice and inspiration, so you can go forth and challenge yourself to reach your own personal goals!

17 replies
  1. Jade Mortimer
    Jade Mortimer says:

    The lemonade story really made me laugh- we have been living in Beijing for two years now and I know exactly how you made that mistake haha!! Such a hard language to master!

    Reply
  2. Eloise
    Eloise says:

    I am using Doulingo these days and I love it! I’ll have to check out Rype though!
    Loved your entertaining story, glad she corrected you finally ; )

    Reply
    • Alice Teacake
      Alice Teacake says:

      Hey Eloise! Oh my word….I’m so glad I got corrected too! Unbelievably embarrassing, especially as I hate to offend others. Rype is definitely a good way to up the anti on your progress. I’ve found it is speeding up my learning and speaking to a local has been a great help. Good luck with your study :D What are you learning?!

      Reply
  3. Elina
    Elina says:

    Shame that they only offer those languages right now but I’m bookmarking the page in case they expand in the future! Another resource that I can recommend for independent learning is the website Forvo which boasts to have every word in the world pronounced. Not sure if it is so… but so far I’ve been able to find any word that I’m looking for.

    And as someone who’s constantly learning new languages, I want to just say that there is no need to obsess over learning a language quickly. For most people the basics are easy, but anything after that comes with time and effort. I’m currently studying in Brazil and learning Portuguese, and some days I get really discouraged by how slowly I’m learning, but then I notice how far I’ve already come and feel a little better. Anyway, learning a new language is always an amazing adventure :)

    Reply
  4. Marina Rosie
    Marina Rosie says:

    I really enjoyed reading this; after moving to france, I now speak fluent French on a daily basis. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was! xx
    Lots of love,
    Marina Rosie x

    Reply
  5. Prateek Goel
    Prateek Goel says:

    Greatly written! I also think in the same way… Because at a time I started learning Indonesian through podcast and social media but it really had fallen me in no-where situation. The slang words or the real spoken language was missing.. only a tutor can teach us.

    Reply
    • Alice Teacake
      Alice Teacake says:

      Hey Prateek. I totally agree. My Korean boyfriend at the time gave me some seriously good slang to use and in my first session with Rype, slang was included from the get go!

      Reply
  6. ShootingStarsMag
    ShootingStarsMag says:

    Oh no! I’m so bad with languages, I think I’d be really scared to try speaking it in another country. It’s easy to get the words wrong though – good thing you had someone to “save” you this time! Thanks for sharing.

    -Lauren

    Reply

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