How to learn the languages of the places you most want to visit at home

GET TO GRIPS WITH THE LOCAL LINGO FOR A HOLIDAY TO PUERTO RICO

This year sees the 500th year anniversary of Old San Juan, the island’s capital. World Heritage listed Old San Juan as one of the oldest cities in the USA and encapsulates the rich cultural identity of Puerto Rico, interweaving Taino, African and Spanish traditions. This distinctive mix makes San Juan a vibrant city, passionate about music and dance and sensational food.  

The city’s must-visit neighbourhoods include the charming Old Town with its pastel-coloured colonial Spanish buildings and blue cobblestone streets, cosmopolitan Condado which is home to fashionable boutiques and high-end restaurants; and cool Santurce, a hipster hangout with its speakeasy cocktail bars and street food markets. Puerto Rico is on everyone’s must visit list. To truly feel like a local and to make the most of your future trip, work on mastering the lingo from the comfort of your own home. Spanish is the most common language spoken on the beautiful island and Duolingo is a great way for beginners to learn from scratch or for intermediates to brush up on their skills. Not only is Duolingo useful when learning a new language, it’s fun and addictive. It takes a game-like approach to learning and offers apps for iOS, Windows Phone and Android. What’s even better is that Duolingo is completely free for users.

www.duolingo.com

MASTER THE FRENCH LANGUAGE FOR A WINTER TRIP TO QUÉBEC, CANADA

We can think of nothing better than self-isolating in a cosy, snowy cabin right about now. Hibernation is the order of the day. With so much time on our hands, it’s time start dreaming up a winter escape later in the year to beautiful Québec. With just a seven hour flight time from the UK, an Atlantic crossing has never been closer. From poutine in Montréal, wine and cider tasting in Québec’s southern regions, winter carnivals and snug cottages in snowy landscapes, there is so much to start planning. To get ahead of the game, the BBC are offering online courses to study French, the official language of the Canadian province. Voila!

www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french

LEARN GERMAN TO ORDER STRUDEL PERFECTLY IN VIENNA

2020 marks the 250 anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth – and today, Vienna still sets the tone as the European capital of classical music. Although travel is halted at the moment, we can still sit back, wine in hand and listen to all the amazing music created by the world-famous composer on Spotify. The tunes are also the perfect background music for a calming work space, alongside a strong coffee.

Vienna is not a city in a hurry and will be waiting with open arms, just a short plane journey away for culture vultures. The city is the perfect spot to read books, go to the opera, eat endless plates of sacher torte and linger over a hot chocolate. A whole culture has evolved around the coffee houses to encourage a more relaxed way of life. For the price of a cup of coffee visitors can buy entrance to a club where they can spend the day reading newspapers (still hung on wooden rods), people watching, discussing noels or thinking. To get you’re Viennese coffee order perfected or to converse correctly over scrumptious strudel, it’s time to brush up on the German language, the most widely spoken tongue in Austria. Babbel offers an easy and fun way to learn German with some online language learning platforms focusing primarily on just speaking. Here at House of Coco, we are itching to get back to exploring the world. While we wait we are busy planning and prepping for our next adventure.

www.babbel.com

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