As I mentioned in my Top Travel Tips post, I think learning the native language of the place you’re visiting is important. It helps you get by, shows respect to the locals, as well as being fun and rewarding.
So, I was challenged by FlashSticks to learn German for 30 days!
I’ve previously dabbled in German language learning and managed to scrape by in Berlin last year but I wanted to improve and cement the basics.
First of all I downloaded the app (which is totally free by the way, bonus!) and got started with my post-it notes.
At the beginning, I thought the post-its looked like such a fun and colourful way of learning but after a week or so of having them around the house, I realised how insanely helpful they are!
I’ve always struggled with languages (even English at times, doh!) and as a creative/visual person I found it really difficult to learn previously by listening and speaking.
These post-its allowed me to learn and memorise words by pictures and colours, as well as having the pronunciation spelt out phonetically; what a lifesaver!
If you’re like me and struggle with listening and pronunciation, here’s how FlashSticks can help:
- The colours of the post-its relate to the noun gender so feminine words are pink, masculine are blue and neutral ones are yellow. I ended up associating words with their respective colour; resulting in being able to work out the gender!
- Rather than having to put aside time to learn and only engaging in English outside of those times, I found myself using the words in everyday life as I kept seeing them dotted all over my house. The constant little reminders made it much easier to remember the words and get in the habit of injecting them into daily life.
- The pronunciation is spelt out on each post-it, which helps to memorise the way different single or groups of letters sound. If you’re still unsure, you can scan the post-it using the app, to hear the word spoken and check you’re getting it right!
- There are beginner, intermediate and advanced packages which mean you can constantly improve and build your vocabulary.
I imagine this would be a great way to get kids to learn as well, especially if the end result is going on holiday. It’s fun finding places to stick them and may even entertain them on the flight!
Once you’ve prepped the basics, there’s another part of the app which is very useful once you’re already abroad. The “scan objects” section allows you to take a photo of an object and the app then identifies and translates it! I was amazed at how precise it was. For this one, I was expecting “mug” but it came back with “beige and blue ceramic mug”!
Once you’ve scanned an object, you then have the options to play the audio to ensure your pronunciation is correct and also to “simplify”, which breaks down the sentence into individual words.
Overall, I was really impressed and using this has definitely got me back in the swing of learning German. Once I’ve mastered the basics I’ll definitely be purchasing the intermediate pack. No doubt my house will end up covered in post-its!
If you’ve been wanting to learn a language and are ready to give it a go, get yourself 10% off with my code: SPARKLEBERRY10
http://www.flashsticks.com | Twitter: @FlashSticks
Thanks for reading and happy learning!
Which language would you try?
Can you currently speak any other language?