How to Learn Language for Travel with Rosetta Stone

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Before visiting any foreign country, learning some of the local language makes sense, even if most residents speak English. Basic phrases and language comprehension simplify travel tasks like understanding menus, reading street signs, and boarding public transportation. Besides, you’ll gain insight into the culture of the country you’re visiting. Locals will appreciate your efforts and you will likely feel more welcomed, too. You might even make some new friends during your travels. Thankfully, Rosetta Stone makes language learning easy and fun to do. Read on to get tips for using Rosetta Stone to learn language for travel!

Learn language for travel with Rosetta Stone!
Learn languages for travel with Rosetta Stone! (Photo credit: Rosetta Stone)

This article is brought to you in partnership with Rosetta Stone.

How Rosetta Stone Works

Rosetta Stone teaches language via immersive learning. That means you’ll hear no English (or your native tongue) while learning Spanish, Italian, Korean, or other target language.

Students intuitively learn the basics of a new language with Rosetta Stone Courses through a series of photos, voice recordings, and written words. Using the world’s best voice recognition technology, you can even practice speaking aloud. It’s similar to how you learned to speak your own language in a natural way rather than through the rote memorization many of us experienced in high school.

For me, the Rosetta Stone language school feels like an online puzzle or game. You’ll match pictures to the correct words and fill in the blanks. And, like with a video game, it feels exciting to complete a level and move on to the next challenge!

Match the Spanish words to the correct image using Rosetta Stone
Match the Spanish words to the correct image using immersive learning technology (Photo credit: Rosetta Stone)

Where to Learn with Rosetta Stone

Language learners use an online Rosetta Stone subscription. It works on both Macs and PCs. Simply go to, choose the language you want, and you’re ready to start learning!

The Rosetta Stone App is included in the package price so you can do lessons on your smartphone, too. This makes practicing your second language easy to squeeze into your day, while traveling or at home. In fact, I often do my Rosetta Stone lessons while brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed at night.

Train travel in China and other countries is easier when you understand some of the local language
Train travel in China and other countries is easier when you understand some of the country’s official language (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Learn Language for Travel ASAP

The most popular Rosetta Stone languages (like Spanish and French) offer 20 units of study. Meanwhile, less commonly spoken or more difficult languages (like Swedish and Japanese) include 12 units. If you’re spending about 30 minutes per day on Rosetta Stone, then you should take about six weeks to complete each unit.

But you might not have that kind of time before your upcoming trip! Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good, as the saying goes. Even if you only have a couple of weeks or days before your vacation, you can still get started learning a few simple phrases with Rosetta Stone.

If you download a few Rosetta Stone units to your mobile device, then you can learn on the go even without an Internet connection. Just use your headphones and temporarily disable the speaking component so you don’t disturb your seatmates on the airplane, train, or bus.

Rosetta Stone Units 1-20
Rosetta Stone Units 1-20 (Photo credit: Rosetta Stone)

Make Progress with Rosetta Stone

Of course, the more time and effort you put into your language education, the more your comprehension and speaking skills will progress. The Rosetta Stone units were designed to be studied in a linear fashion, starting with Unit 1, and wrapping up with Unit 12 or Unit 20.

But language learning is about progress, not perfection, so you may want to bypass some lessons. How do you know when you’re ready to move ahead? Rosetta Stone recommends taking the Review Activities under Lesson 3 and Lesson 4 in a given unit. If you pass those, then you’re ready to go to the next unit.

Travel-related language lessons make ordering food easier in a foreign country like Paris
Ready for travel-focused language lessons? (Photo credit: samot,

Best Rosetta Stone Lessons for Travel

Are you ready to skip to the good stuff? Even if you have a significant amount of time before your foreign travels, you might be feeling antsy to get to the most relevant language lessons for travel purposes.

I suggest moving as quickly as you’re comfortable through Unit 1 (Language Basics) and Unit 2 (Greetings and Introductions) in your Rosetta Stone online language course.

If you’re grasping the language pretty well, then consider skipping Unit 3 (Work and School) altogether unless you’re traveling for a study abroad program or business trip.

Knowing the language makes shopping at markets like this one in Spain easier and more fun
Knowing the language makes shopping at markets like this one in Spain easier and more fun (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

After that, queue up Unit 4 (Shopping) to make souvenir hunting more fun and browsing for clothes and other goods easier during your travels.

Then dive into Unit 5 (Travel) to learn some of the vocabulary, ideas, and verbs most useful for short-term travel. Learn about topics like Destinations, Directions, Times for Arrivals and Departures, and Weather.

Food is an important part of the travel experience, so I suggest jumping ahead to Unit 8 (Dining and Vacation) next. You’ll dig into such tasty subjects as Dining In and Dining Out, Landmarks and the Arts, Emotions, and Vacation Activities.

Go at the right pace to maximize language learning
Go at the right pace to maximize language learning (Photo credit: vinigret,

What NOT to Do

Travelers who already understand some of the desired foreign language should be able to bypass a few units. When you skip ahead too quickly, however, you might get confused.

For instance, Unit 13 (Tourism and Recreation) might seem like a good one to tackle before your trip to Mexico or Spain. But future and past verb tenses and more advanced grammar rules will likely trip up new Spanish learners. By going at too fast a pace, you might get overwhelmed and give up entirely. And that would be muy malo.

Rosetta Stone is meant to be fun and fairly easy! The whole point of Rosetta Stone is to learn language at a reasonable pace, which encourages confidence and fluency.

On-Demand videos in Italian
On-Demand videos in Italian (Photo credit: Rosetta Stone)

Additional Rosetta Stone Language Learning Tools

In addition to immersive, interactive language courses, Rosetta Stone provides several additional tools as part of your membership to help you learn language for travel. Specific content varies from language to language.

On-Demand Videos

Dive deeper into concepts to improve your fluency via short, engaging videos of everyday situations. For travelers headed to Italy, for example, think Pizzeria Pro-Tips, Italian Caffè Culture, and even Swearing in Italian.

Live Lessons

Do you learn better from live interaction? Sign up for a live online lecture through Rosetta Stone. Learn conversational tips, like How to Build Sentences in French. Mais, oui!

Part of the Japanese alphabet
Part of the Japanese alphabet (Photo credit: Rosetta Stone)

The Alphabet

When learning any language, you can reference The Alphabet character tool. Click on letters in sample words to hear the proper pronunciation as spoken by a native speaker. When studying a language with a different alphabet from your mother tongue, like Japanese, this tool may be particularly handy.


Practice your language skills by reading, listening to, or speaking aloud stories. These stories vary from short fiction to explanations of foreign customs. For example, you might read about a local dish like feijoada or a traditional dance like samba when studying Brazilian Portuguese with Rosetta Stone.

Audio Companion

Train your ear to understand the new-to-you language using the Audio Companion. I find this tool to be a particularly helpful part of the language learning process since you can listen wherever and whenever.

Learn language via app while flying
Use Rosetta Stone to learn on the go (Photo credit: GaudiLab,

Getting Started

When you open a new language in the Rosetta Stone app, you will be asked a couple of questions to determine where to begin your language journey.

What kind of learner are you?

  • Beginner (I’m just starting to learn.)
  • Intermediate (I know the basics.)
  • Proficient (I want to maintain my skills.)

Why are you learning this language?

  • Work
  • Family
  • Basics and Beyond
  • Travel

Based on your responses to these questions, Rosetta Stone will open the unit that seems most appropriate for you.

It's easier to make friends during your travels if you know some basic words and phrases
It’s easier to make friends during your travels if you know some basic words and phrases (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Vocabulary and Key Phrases for Travel

By going at your own pace and skipping ahead as appropriate, you’ll learn new words and basic phrases for travel in no time. Below are some of the most important words and phrases for travel.

  • Hello.
  • Hi.
  • Goodbye.
  • The check, please.
  • Thank you.
  • Excuse me.
  • How much does this cost?
  • Where is the bathroom?
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
  • Yes.
  • No.
  • Stop.
  • Cheers!
Learning a new language via smartphone
Learn on the go with Rosetta Stone (Photo credit: VitalikRadko,

Rosetta Stone Languages

Choose from 25 different Rosetta Stone languages, including two versions of English (British or American) plus two options for Spanish (Latin America or Spain).

Common Languages

  • Spanish (Latin America or Spain)
  • French
  • Italian
  • German
  • English
  • Japanese
  • Filipino (Tagalog)
  • English (American or British)

Additional Languages

  • Arabic
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Dutch
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Irish
  • Korean
  • Persian (Farsi)
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Swedish
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese
Rosetta Stone languages
Rosetta Stone languages (Image credit: Rosetta Stone)

Language Learning Packages

Rosetta Stone offers 3-month, 12-month, and Lifetime Unlimited Languages packages. You can even get free lessons before you commit. Try a complimentary Rosetta Stone demo or a free Rosetta Stone trial to see if this immersive training method is right for you.

The best deal, especially for travel lovers, is the Lifetime Access Package. When you purchase this option (like I did), you can learn as many Rosetta Stone languages as you please. Then before you travel to any foreign-speaking country, you can play and learn with Rosetta Stone, so you’re prepared upon arrival.

Dolls for sale in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Connect and converse with locals while traveling (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Why Use Rosetta Stone for Travel

There are huge benefits of learning a foreign language. From gaining a better understanding of local customs and meeting new people in different countries, to improving brain health and boosting your career.

Rosetta Stone’s award-winning software makes it easy and entertaining to learn basic conversational skills in different languages. You don’t need to become fluent to benefit from the language learning process and carry on simple conversations while traveling, either. But once you break through that language barrier by chatting with some native speakers in a foreign land, I bet you’ll want to continue to improve your new skills even after your trip has concluded!

Save money on your Rosetta Stone subscription!
Save money on your Rosetta Stone subscription! (Photo credit: rmcarvalhobsb,

Save $10 on Your Rosetta Stone Subscription

Need another reason to break down language barriers and start learning a new language with Rosetta Stone’s interactive software today? Save $10 on your Rosetta Stone Lifetime Membership. Take advantage of this great deal when you sign up using this special link just for Travel Mamas readers!

(Discounted pricing is already reflected on the page. See regular pricing here.)

Rosetta Stone logo

Save These Rosetta Stone Tips

Want to learn language for travel? Be sure to keep these tips for future reference. Just pin the graphic below to Pinterest. We hope you’ll follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

How to Use Rosetta Stone to Learn Language for Travel

Learn More Tips for Travel

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If you dream of moving abroad someday, then read these tips for expats before you take the leap.

Keep the whole family entertained on your next trip with these amusing travel games for all ages.

Explore the world without leaving home with this list of the best travel memoirs.

A Note from The Travel Mama: I will receive monetary compensation related to this blog post from Rosetta Stone. As a Rosetta Stone affiliate, Travel Mamas will receive a small fee for purchases made through product links at no extra cost to consumers. As a Rosetta Stone partner, I received a complimentary 3-month subscription years ago. I liked this online language-learning program so much, I bought a Lifetime Subscription. All opinions are mine, as always.


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