When you are traveling to a foreign country it can be both exciting and nerve racking. Experiencing a new culture is a great learning experience but also comes with a couple of difficulties. If you don’t know the language it can be hard to find places, read signs and menus, buy things, and interact with locals. Here are a few tips on how you can break down the language barrier while traveling.
Learn Important Phrases
If you don’t speak the language the best thing you can do to prepare is to learn key phrases that will help you out when you are in another country. Learn how to say things such as asking for directions, how much something costs, do you speak english, hello, goodbye, yes, no etc. to be able to interact with people. Often times, locals will be more than happy to help you out if you are at least trying to speak and understand their language and important phrases aren’t hard to learn if you are on a time crunch before your trip.
Language Apps or Books
There are a variety of language apps that you can download and have handy if you don’t know how to ask something or someone is finding it hard to understand you and vice versa. You can type in phrases, translate what someone is saying, as well as have the apps speak what you are trying to say for you. Of course, not everything is perfect so it might not come out perfectly but they will be able to get a general sense of what you are trying to say and help you with your question. In addition, a language dictionary is also a great resource to show people what you are trying to say or help explain what you are talking about. They have pocket ones that are easy to carry and really come in handy.
Strike Up Conversation
The only way you will start grasping a language is if you are speaking it and practicing it in your daily life. Don’t be afraid to strike up conversations with native speakers even if you know you will stumble over pronunciations and finding words sometimes. More often than not, native speakers will be happy to speak to you and see that you are trying to speak their language as well as help you out if you misspeak or teach you new useful phrases.