“Buenas noches; ¿cómo estás?; ¿eres de aquí?” Three phrases into a date in Barcelona, and things were going well. Then I blanked. A qué te… a qué te… I’d forgotten how to ask “what do you do?” in Spanish. As I madly scrolled through the Drops language app on my phone, my date patiently sipped his beer. “Ummm, how about we just switch to English?” he said.
For the past two weeks, I’d been practicing Spanish, including both Latin American and Castilian dialects, on the Drops app, specifically testing out an early version of the platform’s just-launched feature called “Travel Talk.” According to a release which went out on Thursday morning, Travel Talk would teach me “essential words and phrases travelers need to get around,” thus bridging “the gap between casual language learning and fluency, allowing [travelers] to better connect with locals and immerse themselves in the culture of their destination.”