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In some video on Youtube from RoyalCaribbenblog.com (that I cannot find now), @JennaRCB mentions that she took some brief language classes while onboard Harmony.  I've looked at some of the cruise compassed here on the site, but cannot find the section where they may be listed and what languages they may offer.  Does anyone have any insight as to which languages are offered and when they may occur?  I agree with @JennaRCB where it is nice to at least know some basics for various ports of call.  I need to learn some French for a land vacation in 2023 and maybe I can learn some French while on a ship!  

Thanks!

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When I attended the language classes years ago, they were very basic.  Hello, good-bye, how are you, etc.  Maybe a dozen phrases and a few numbers.  Since then, I have found many YouTube videos that are much better.  I haven't been able to find a Compass for a current Med sailing, so I don't know if they are still being offered.  So my recommendation is to try YouTube, and if you are lucky, you can review on the ship with a basic class.

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Shipboard lessons would be fun.

I’ve been doing Babbel Italian lessons for our upcoming cruise out of Ravenna next year.  We want to take the train down from either Venice or Bologna and spend the night there before we board the ship. I don’t want to be totally helpless or look like a stereotypical arrogant American.

I grew up on the Quebec border and lived there until I was 27, so I can trip along in very basic (Québécois) French, but I had never even thought about Italian until we booked the cruise.  After I finish a year of the Babbel lessons, I’m confident we’ll be able to navigate pre-cruise as well as post cruise in Rome.  

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2 hours ago, teddy said:

I’ve been doing Babbel Italian lessons for our upcoming cruise

How is Babbel? They have a Lifetime subscription for 50% off and the I get 10% back from my credit card, so I’ve been looking into that.  I can get a lifetime for barely more than what a year would be.

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I like it, but I have nothing to compare it to.  I’ve never used any other language learning program nor did I take any languages when I was in school.  
 

It starts off pretty basic and builds from there.  I review a lot of the earlier lessons frequently because my goal is not have to pause in a conversation and translate what I’m hearing, then have to translate my response before I reply. 

I have the app on my phone and iPod, so with headphones, I’ve been able to do lessons everywhere.   I only use the microphone (for my own speaking) when I’m alone and so far I’ve had no problems with this part of the lessons. 

In addition to the Babbel lessons, I’ve been listening to beginner Italian podcasts and reading young childrens books.   Babbel does have a program where you can talk with native speakers but I haven’t felt comfortable doing that yet  

Immersion would be the best, but that’s not possible for me.   
 

When I was 20, my appendix burst while I was deployed, and the closest place for me to get immediate medical care was in a Japanese civilian hospital.  I spent almost a month there and by the end of it, I could understand enough Japanese to make myself understood and get the gist of what was being said to me.   My goal with Italian is to reach that level of proficiency (and maybe a little higher).  One bonus with Italian is the alphabet is similar to English.  The only Kanji characters I could ever recognize were the ones for “No Smoking”. 🙂

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I learned Greek on Duolingo (free app) and Rosetta Stone (paid) for a year or so before my trip to Greece over the summer and it came in very handy. We were treated poorly when we spoke with our American accents until I could say some things to the servers in Greek and everything always turned right around. At one point we drove down a private street and needed to turn around and a guy waving a shovel at us was so mad until I rolled down the window and shot him a signomi (sorry!). He immediately broke into a smile! "No worries, fellow Grecians!"

I have to say the free app Duolingo was way easier to navigate and more valuable to me than the paid lessons on Rosetta Stone. Give it a try! 

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I joke with my kids that I can remember a good portion of my HS Spanish, though I did not take the advanced lessons, so everything happens NOW.  There is no yesterday or tomorrow in the tenses I learned.  I did not care.  I was able to communicate decently in Spain when necessary.
When in France I recalled my 2nd grade french class-and could use the numbers and the time.  That was about it, but it got me to the pier I needed. 
I'd love to learn another language and would LOVE to be fluent to carry a conversation, however my lousy memory would prevent me from retaining any convesational learning.  For me, I'd have to pick up and immerse myself in the culture to be exposed to the language daily.  So it would mean a move overseas, or a move to a particular neghborhood in the US.  I'd prefer  overseas!

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I took a couple of courses in German at a local community college, then some more via an adult education program (non-credit) with another college. I had a basic grasp of German, and it was useful in getting thru a two week bus tour several years ago. When COVID hit I started doing some German lessons on Duolingo and I like the format, but it sure helped that I already had some basic knowledge. I don't know how it would be to start from scratch without a live instructor. Still, under the circumstances I'm fairly happy with what I've learned. I feel like I have a fairly good knowledge of "Tourist German", although there's no way it can be considered as conversational quality. 

I don't know how Duolingo compares to Babbel or Rosetta Stone or any other on-line learning program, but it's not bad for learning some basics. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wanted to give an update.  
 

While searching for beginner Italian podcasts, I came across Coffee Break Academy language lessons and have been listening to the free Italian ones.  I am finding this style of learning easier for me than Babbel’s format.  

I’m seriously considering purchasing the Coffee Break premium lessons when we get back from our cruise next week.   
 

Babbel is still helpful, but the Coffee Break podcasts allow you to hear basic conversations using the words you just learned as well as teaching sentence structure, which I think will be very helpful when we find ourselves in either Venice or Bologna and need to get to Ravenna. 
 

There are other languages available besides Italian. 
 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another update since I just saw this listed:

I’m on Navigator for a week long cruise and noticed a Cruise Director’s Language Class listed. I’ve got another activity scheduled for that time so won’t be able to provide updates on content, but the description suggests basics for a few languages aimed at conversation with staff on board. So on board language activities may be up to the individual cruise director.

ADB22386-520E-49E2-B528-9221E6A6EB65.png

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