When traveling to a foreign country, more often than not there is a language barrier. This is a huge deterrent and stops a lot of people traveling, but what most people don’t real is that most countries do speak a little English. Probably not as fluent as their native language, but in majority of the touristic places around the world you can get by with speaking English. This doesn’t mean you should just set off on your travels arrogantly
and only speak your one language, this can be quite rude, and you will find it very frustrating for yourself.
Before you set off on the plane, train or bus to a non English speaking county somewhere in the world, it’s a great idea and will be very beneficial to learn some of their language. Be it only a few words, it can get you a long way. It’s easy to be just another obnoxious tourist cruising in and out from place to place, not knowing or learning anything about it. Just a few words is all it takes and the locals will love you for it. You will find that they would rather help you and speak to you in what little English they do know than any other tourist that just passes by.
Suggestions of some basics to learn;
Hello Goodbye Yes
No Please Thank you
How much Toilet Food
Water Bus Airport
Friend Can I have Numbers1-10Also learning “how do you say?” in a foreign language is a great way to learn more words whilst you’re away. As you can hold up an item or point to something and ask them “how do you say” in their language and usually they will respond, helping you to learn this new word.
A great site to use is
, it’s free, has a vast range of language lessons and really user friendly for all levels.
A great thing to do is that if they can speak reasonable English; comment them on how well they speak it. Everybody likes a bit of praise and once you have given it, they will most probably see you as a good character, not just a tourist who’s after a deal or something cheap, even if you are. It can be a great advantage to you as you could possibly be given the ‘local price’ in shops or whilst haggling for something on the streets you may even get it cheaper.
Learning a little of the language can be very rewarding. It gives you the opportunity to learn about the country and their culture and really connect with locals. I find that if I can speak a little of their language (just a few words), they want to talk to me and tell me about what they do, what they eat and how they live each day. So before you start jet setting about to foreign countries consider learning just a few words and you will find your time traveling a lot simpler and fun
Where and whatbenefits have you found knowing a little of the local lingo?