Learning a language is now easier than ever, thanks in part to the technology that we can use to do it. But did you realize that the way the latest technology has been integrated into our cars can also help us to learn even more effectively? The following are some of the simplest ways this can work.
“Driving at night” (CC BY 2.0) by Alan Cleaver
Listen to Music or Audio Files as You Drive
Listening to music is one of the best ways of learning a new language and having fun at the same time. Alternatively, you could choose spoken word books as a way of listening to new words and phrases. What better occasion is there to do this than when in your car? The average American’s commute rose to over 27 minutes in 2019, which is definitely long enough to listen to a few songs.
Most vehicles now come with Bluetooth or internet connectivity, so going online and finding something to listen to isn’t going to be a problem. There is also the Car Thing device launched by Spotify in 2021, which allows you to listen to playlists as you drive and that you can connect to using Bluetooth or a USB cable. Just look for your chosen playlists or create your own.
There are many online resources for learning a new language. If you’re traveling as a passenger rather than driving, what about using the internet connectivity to hook up to online language classes? You can find personal tutors for live English lessons or for any other language you want to learn. Look for 24/7 availability and filter the tutors until you find one that suits you. A long ride where someone else is doing the driving could be the perfect opportunity to pick up new words with the help of a 1-to-1 session.
Choose Your Language
Many modern vehicles now let you choose the language for your infotainment screen. For example, you can change the settings on a Tesla touchscreen to let you control everything in the language of your choice. Russian is to be added soon to their system, while Catalan, Slovenian, Greek, and Croatian are among other languages they’re said to be working on.
The neat thing about this is that you can get used to it in your first language and then switch to your chosen new language already knowing what just about everything means. The screen on your car is something that you use every day and it becomes instinctive after a while, so it’s reasonable to think that you’ll soon learn some new words in this way.
You can also briefly switch back to your first language if you struggle with any words. This approach can help you to prepare for hiring a car when you go abroad, so you won’t need to ask them to calibrate your mother tongue for you. When buying a new vehicle, just check what type of infotainment system it has and what languages are available.
Use the Voice Control System
The voice control system now included in some vehicles gives you an easy way to take charge of the whole thing as you drive. Back in 2004, Honda was one of the first manufacturers to offer this function, but it’s now estimated that over 70% of drivers use a system of this sort, with Amazon and Google providing the technology in many cases.
The introduction of artificial intelligence has helped make our conversations with our cars more natural. Speaking to a vehicle’s technology in a second language may seem strange at first and it may take some time for it to understand you. However, for a lot of students, this is going to seem far less daunting than speaking to a human in the tongue that they’re trying to learn.
By following these tips, you can make your car trips more enjoyable while using the time to improve your language abilities.