Best Gifts for Language Learners and Travel Lovers (& for Yourself!)
The holidays are right around the corner and whether you’re shopping for friends and family or looking to treat yourself, we’re here to offer some inspiration. The Pimsleur team has rounded up some of our favorite language learning and travel gift ideas for everyone on your list.
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Language Learners:
1. Foreign Language Bananagrams
Sharpen your language skills with this fun family word game, whether playing in a group or solo. The multi-award-winning word and language game comes in several languages including Italian, French, German, Hebrew, and Norwegian.
$14 at Amazon
2. Magnetic Poetry
Every fridge in America was covered with the original English version of these magnets in the 90s. Turns out the foreign language versions are just as fun and make building vocabulary and grammar skills entertaining and creative. Also available in French, German and Spanish.
$19.95 at Amazon
3. Language Playing Cards
Pick up essential phrases with decks that teach as you play cards.
Whether your game is Texas Hold ‘Em or Go Fish, vocabulary is in the cards with these phrase decks. Each deck contains 54 bits of essential verbiage, including pronunciation. Available in Spanish, French, Italian, and Japanese.
$12 at UncommonGoods
4. Ce Moment Mug
Capture that exhilarating feeling you get when you begin to master a new language.
$14.99 at Amazon
5. Pimsleur Premium Language App
Expand your horizons. Reconnect with your Heritage. Travel with confidence. 30 minutes a day and you will speak your new language in no time. That’s all it takes for you to confidently inquire about prices, order dinner, ask for (or offer) directions – in your new language – with a near-native accent. Just listen, respond and learn to converse in … French while commuting … German while jogging … Spanish while cooking. It’s really that portable and flexible.
6. Dirty Slang Phrase Books
Does your high schooler need some extra incentive to keep up with their Spanish studies? Try slipping one of these little firecrackers in their stocking. Available in a variety of languages including French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, German, Hungarian, and others.
$10 on Amazon
7. Hebrew Alphabet Blocks
Explore language and teach children about heritage with these beautiful, hand-hewn basswood blocks. Non-toxic and made in the USA, Uncle Goose’s alphabet blocks are available in a variety of languages including Arabic, Spanish, Italian, German, French, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, American Sign Language and more.
$45 at Uncle Goose
8. Pop Culture Parts of Speech Poster
This cheat sheet makes tricky grammar rules more understandable. All with the help of beloved pop culture characters like Walter White, Elvis Presley, Al Gore, and Severus Snape.
$30 at Pop Chart Lab
9. Scratch The World Travel Map
Daydreaming about your next adventure? Chart your travels on this gorgeous and innovative extra large wall map.
$25.99 at Amazon
10. Monopoly French Edition
Learning is at its best when it’s fun! Buy, sell and negotiate the most beautiful places in France.
$28 at Amazon UK
11. The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building
David J. Peterson is a master language creator. Among the many languages he invented are Dothraki from HBO’s Game of Thrones, and Shiväisith from Marvel’s Thor. Here Peterson has written a creative guide to constructing and evolving new languages, along with an inside look at the fascinating culture of conlanging and linguistics.
$14 at Amazon
12. TSA PreCheck
Perhaps you can’t fund that trip around the world your Dad’s been dreaming about. But you could make his airport travel a bit easier by offering to pay for a TSA Precheck membership. Good for 5 years, PreCheck allows you to speed through security without needing to remove your shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets.
$85 for 5 years – Apply online at TSA.gov
13. Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise-canceling headphones are a must for language learners. Whether it’s a Pimsleur lesson or a foreign language podcast, being able to block out background noise so that you can clearly hear the pronunciation of each word can make all the difference. Both the best-in-class Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless and the budget-friendly Anker Soundcore Space NC come highly recommended.
14. Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World
This beautifully illustrated book by Ella Frances Sanders celebrates the unique, funny, and poignant foreign words that have no direct translation into English
Did you know that the Japanese language has a word to express the way sunlight filters through the leaves of trees? Or that there’s a Finnish word for the distance a reindeer can travel before needing to rest?
$12 at Amazon