I’m heading to Indonesia for a mission trip and to engage the locals in bahasa Indonesian language, these are the things I’ve done. Hope it helps you too.
1. Use Memrise
Memrise is a way to learn vocab fast by spaced repetition software. Every word you learn is linked to a picture or mnemomic to trigger neural connections. Then the program tests you the vocab in a spaced manner, spreading out the time intervals for words. Scientist say this enhances memory retention by reminding you before you forget. Memrise is great because it’s a free app on iOS and Android. Download it, add the language course and start learning!
2. Learn the top 1000 common words in your targeted language
Don’t learn useless phrases that you’ll never use in real life situations. Learn the common words and start forming sentences. I think a basic guidebook on sentence structure is needed to correctly place the noun, adjective, past participle, conjunctions… I’ve linked this website as an example.
3. Practise your new language with native speakers on Lang-8
Lang-8 is a great website which lets you post stuff for other users to edit. When you first join, you indicate your own language (English) and the language you want to learn (Indonesian, French, Tagalog, Klingon – just kidding). You can help edit the English of other users while your own stuff, hopefully gets edited by native speakers. So far, all my posts have been edited and I’ve learnt quite a lot! Who knows? Maybe you’ll make some new friends to visit when you’re on holiday too.