If you just came to Vienna or you are planning a visit you would probably want to feel a little bit more local. What better way than using some phrases that will help you with the basics? There is this amazing website called “Duolingo” and if you haven’t already heard of it, make sure to check it out. It offers a completely free program for learning languages either from the very beginning or it can help you brush up your language knowledge if you are already an experienced learner.
It is most profitable if you speak English, I must say, because you can learn more languages that way. You have access to courses not only in German but Italian, French, Russian, Spanish, Norwegian and many, many more. It doesn’t take a lot of time, it is easy to work with and it is not at all demanding.
You can also use it as an app on your phone. Personally I love to make the small exercises while I am on the tram or waiting for on a line for something. It is at the same time helpful, interesting and a very productive way to kill time. Some say that if you had even basic language skills in advance you can go up till level B1 or B2 for some languages. It really depends on your level of determination and how much time you take to practice it.
“Duolingo” may not be very helpful when it comes to real-life dialogues which have a duration span of ten minutes or more but be sure to use it if you want to know some phrases which can get you around. The one thing you can be sure of, though, is that if you practice regularly you will be at least able to write and read properly in the chosen language.
My personal experience is with French and German. For German I already had a quite high level so I did not find it very useful but for French it was a blessing. I always wanted to learn the language but never had the chance for different reasons. Then I remembered about “Duolingo” and decided to give it a try. I had absolutely no clue how to go about French. The only words I knew were “bonjour” and “merci”. I had a lot of determination and I started practicing every day, I think I was putting two to three hours a day to improve what I have learned and did regular revisions. However, once the semester started I couldn’t make that much time for it and I took a very, very long break from French.
Then not earlier than a week ago I picked it up again. From the very beginning! Imagine my surprise when everything started coming to place and it was almost as if I haven’t stopped. It was a really pleasing feeling to know that what you’ve learned actually stayed with you and wasn’t just a waste of time.
So my advice is, if you want a quick way to pick up some German on your way to work for example be sure to try it out. I am sure you will find it interesting and if it doesn’t work for you, at least you didn’t lose anything by trying.