Do you use language learning as a form of armchair travel?

This week’s episode of my podcast is about armchair travel and junglegirl’s father in particular. Here is the episode in the LingQ library: Login - LingQ

We don’t discuss it in the episode, but after I posted it I began thinking about armchair travel as it relates to language learning. Many people learn foreign languages so they can benefit from travelling to a place where that language is spoken. But I’m sure there are many others who learn the language as a way of understanding and experiencing the places where it’s spoken without actually going there, which is a form of armchair travel.

Do you use language learning as a form of armchair travel?


Yes, definitely. But you need to be an advanced learner or at least intermediate. I am watching documentaries in you tube, in portuguese, both for improving my portuguese but specially for the interesting content of those documentaries.

That’s a very good question. Yes, definitely, a kind of “travel” through imagination is a very important advantage of language learning.
I would add something: the “place” that you travel to through language learning, reading literature from another culture, conversations with native speakers, research on issues related to the culture, … is not necessarily the same as the place you visit when you actually travel to the country home to that culture.
Cultures have different “layers” and most of them take place in literature, music, …
Thus, you may be more interested in travelling to Dickens’s London or Dostoyevsy’s Saint Petersburg or to “Manga/Anime land” than you are in visiting modern everyday Britain, Russian or Japan
Learning the language and the experiences it brings with it shine even more in that kind of travel than in the physical touring of another part of this planet

Absolutely. It’s a way for me to sort of “visit” another place that you can’t actually go to. Listening to Echo Moscow radio in russian, attempting to watch Japanese Anime, these things give me similar feelings of when I am traveling in a whole new country.