Parlez Vous Anglais?
Earlier this year I returned from an interrail adventure that took me to the countries of France, Belgium, Germany and the Czech Republic. Having lived and worked in Corsica I can speak a little French but sadly even less Corsican. On this trip, however, I simply spoke English, as I “assumed” that it would be reciprocated given that most Europeans are more than adept at speaking our native tongue.
Thankfully I got by, although I would be lying if there weren’t times when I could have done with knowing a few more phrases. Particularly as we all know, any effort from us Brits to speak another language is always welcomed by the locals, if only for the comedy value!
A Language In Minutes
Last month I was approached by Teach Yourself who wanted to collaborate with me on spreading the word about a range of language learning books they have developed. They are aimed at improving our language skills and no doubt lessening those levels of embarrassment.
For many years Teach Yourself has been helping millions of people learn languages around the world via their range of impressive courses, available in over 70 languages and a range of different styles. This year they have collaborated with Coffee Break Languages to produce this range of fun, exercise books. These give us the chance to learn a few words during those quieter moments of the day, perhaps, as their name suggests, while enjoying your cherished cuppa.
The books are well structured and suggest a choice of 5, 10 or 15-minute exercises. I guess the aim is “a little but often” with each aimed at different types of activity such as grammar revision, reading practice or even a writing task.
I am going to give one of these books a try this year but which one? Do I fine-tune my intermediate French? Should I revisit my woeful school German? Do I expand on the handful of Spanish holiday words I have picked up over the years? Or do I start to learn the most romantic language of them all, Italian? To make that decision I reckon I might need a coffee!
You can take a look at the full range of books here. Alternatively, check out Teach Yourself for their vast range of courses or the Coffee Break Languages YouTube channel below to see how they could give you that extra confidence when trying to blend in with the locals on that next trip abroad.