Language is definitely a barrier whilst travelling, especially if you’re like me and only know English fluently. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult or anything to be anxious about. With English being one of the most common languages spoken, many locals can at the very least understand basic English and can even make out when you are trying to speak to them (awfully in my case) in their own language.
I’ve found that knowing the translation to these 7 basic phrases is incredibly helpful and a little bit fun as well whilst travelling to non-English speaking countries:-
To help you out a little, I’ll provide you with the translations for these phrases in French, Spanish and Chinese but you can always use Google Translate (as I have for this article), purchase a language phrasebook or download one of the many smartphone translation apps to help you out on the spot in any country. But these phrases you’ll use most often!
- Hello & Goodbye
Obvious & necessary wherever you go.
French: Bonjour & Au Revoir
Spanish: Hola & Despedida
Chinese: Nǐ hǎo & Zàijiàn
- Please & Thank you
Manners do not go unnoticed anywhere in the world, so language shouldn’t stop you!
French: S’il vous plaît & Merci
Spanish: Por favor & Gracias
Chinese: Qǐng & Xièxiè
- Do you speak English?
Incredibly important. This will make your conversation SO MUCH easier and faster.
French: Parlez vous anglais?
Spanish: Usted habla Inglés?
Chinese: Nǐ huì shuō yīngyǔ ma?
- Where is the bathroom/toilet?
Trust me, this will be handy in those desperate situations.
French: Où se trouvent les toilettes
Spanish: Dónde está el baño?
Chinese: Cèsuǒ zài nǎlǐ
- How do I get to ‘insert destination’?
Being lost can be a lot easier if you know how to ask for directions.
French: comment puis-je obtenir ‘destination’?
Spanish: Cómo puedo obtener a ‘destination’?
Chinese: Wǒ rúhé huòdé ‘desination’?
- My name is Kristy.
Again, this is manners and courtesy which everyone values.
French: Je M’appelle Kristy OR Mon nom est Kristy
Spanish: Mi nombre es Kristy
Chinese: Wǒ rúhé huòdé
- How much does this cost?
Understanding currency and prices in different languages really helps in not getting ripped off and staying within your budget.
French: Combien cela coûte?
Spanish: cuánto cuesta esto?
Chinese: Duōshǎo fèiyòng?
All translations were derived from Google Translate, however, some of these phrases I did know from personal experiences just like you will when visiting non-english speaking countries! It’s part of the fun of embracing a different culture and what travelling the world is all about!
All posts are by GlobalWhispers2014 and are entirely my own opinions, views and experiences.