I decided to take the plunge this summer and tick something off the bucket list – backpacking through Europe. I’d never been to Europe before but it is something I always thought about doing, and eventually, I realized if I didn’t do it now I never would.
So, I decided this was the year I would finally go. Once I made my decision, I went online, bought my Eurail pass and started to organize my trip.
The three countries I had in mind were Spain, France, and Germany. I tried to find someone who wanted to join, but all my friends had other commitments. So I knew if I really wanted to do it, I had to go solo. I’d never traveled on my own before, so it was a scary thought, especially since I didn’t know any of the languages. But I booked the trip months in advance so I figured I had tons of time to learn what I needed.
I learned a little bit of French in school, so I had a head start there. I tried to teach myself online by watching online tutorials, but I was so disorganized, I just ended up confusing myself. I needed to find one place where I could learn all 3 languages, step by step.
I remember my friend Katie telling me how she started learning Spanish with Rosetta Stone and found it great. I had heard of Rosetta Stone, but I figured learning three different languages at once would work out expensive.
I looked into it and I noticed that by signing up for the annual plan at only $7.99 a month, I could learn unlimited languages. This would be perfect, and I still had 6 months till my trip so it was ideal. I wanted to at least have a good grasp of each local language.
Turns out Rosetta Stone was founded over 25 years ago, it’s known as the “gold standard” of language learning because its cutting edge contextual lessons and interactive activities optimize learning.
So, I took the plunge and signed up for the annual plan and started learning immediately. I loved how I could learn on my morning commute or while I was cooking dinner – I just had the app playing in my ears, just like one of my podcasts.
Each session on Rosetta Stone was about 10-minutes long. They all focus on real-world conversational skills. And the TruAccent™ feature helps with pronunciation – this one was particularly useful when learning French. When you pronounce phrases incorrectly a red icon appears to let you know the pronunciation was off.
A few months went by, I worked my Rosetta Stone sessions into my routine. And then, the day came – I was finally going to Europe. First stop, Paris!
The first thing that made me realize how much I had learned is when I could understand some of the French people’s conversations I overheard on the flight over. This was something I never expected as I always struggled with the accent. Once I landed, I spoke some French to the cab driver, and he actually understood me. That’s when I knew Rosetta Stone really was what it’s cracked up to be.
Walking around Madrid, I was able to ask for and receive directions easily without having to look up a single word. I got talking to some Spanish speaking locals at a bar one night and ended up staying out with them till 3am – which ended up being one of the best nights of the whole trip.
In Berlin, when ordering food in restaurants, I did it all in German. I even understood some of the German when walking around museums.
By the end of my trip, I had learned even more of each language. I know I couldn’t have learned anything without the core basis I learned from Rosetta Stone.
Rosetta Stone made my trip so much better than it could have ever been. I was really able to immerse myself in the culture of each city by understanding the language. It was an unforgettable trip, and knowing I had some of each language before going definitely eased my nerves.
I’d recommend Rosetta Stone to anyone who plans to travel or wants to learn a new language in their own time.
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