What To Do If You Don’t Speak The Language At Your Destination


Don’t let a lack of language skills stop you from traveling the world. While there are people out there who speak more than one language fluently, even they may need to rely on translators and related tricks when traveling to some place where they only know how to say “hello” and “goodbye.” Modern technology has come up with a number of ways to help you traverse your destination and have a good time while not needing to be fluent in the native language.

Use Google Translate

Google’s translate isn’t perfect, but it is good enough. Look up common phrases ahead of time, such as “thank you,” “you’re welcome,” “where is the bathroom” and “how much is that?” Write these phrases down on paper, use the “notes” section of your smart phone or tablet, or commit them to memory so that you will be prepared when you get there.

Print Maps and Write Down the Address of Your Hotel

The first thing you’ll need to do when you arrive at your destination is get to your hotel. You can overcome language barriers here with the help of a printed map or the written name and address of your hotel. This way, if you and the taxi driver don’t understand each other, you’ll at least be able to hand him a piece of paper that shows where you want to go.

Download Currency Apps Ahead of Time

One of the most important things that you’ll need to know is the currency exchange rate from one country to another. There are several smart phone apps on the market that can handle this fluctuating exchange rate for you while you are on vacation. Keep at least one on your phone at all times, so that you are prepared.

Bring a Translation Guide or Use an App

Believe it or not, there are still paper translation guides with common phrases in them. I suggest buying a small one and keeping it on you at all times while traveling. If you don’t want to carry around a book, then download a translation app before you leave home. Keep in mind that using the app while in a foreign country may cost you extra is data fees and roaming charges, so try not to rely on it too much.

Try to Learn Quickly

Programs like Rosetta Stone will help you master the basics of a foreign language fairly quickly. If you have a few weeks to practice, consider using one of their level one programs to pick up what you can. Since their programming uses audio (voice) tools, you’ll also learn how to pronounce words properly, which can be a huge help.

#Languages #GoogleTranslate #Maps #CurrencyApp #RosettaStone

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Caroline Glassell, owner of Travel Barista, is a world-wide traveler, freelance travel writer, and multi-lingual mom of two daughters. Growing up in both Sweden and Portugal she developed a passion for travel at a young age. Her love of travel ultimately brought her to over thirty 

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