Barcelona Hotels Articles

July 8, 2010

Essential foreign language phrases you need to know before traveling to another country

I have traveled to over ten different countries in my lifetime. I learned from experience how to communicate certain important phrases to people who don’t speak the same language.

The first thing I would do when visiting a non English speaking country is purchase one of those inexpensive phrase books. I found them to be extremely helpful in assisting me in asking store clerks,waiters and taxi drivers for things that I wanted to purchase. These phrase books however helpful they may be have their drawbacks. I remember when I visited Barcelona,Spain and wanted to ask for a specific type of coffee. I opened my book and read the phrase to the waiter and he answered by reeling off numerous words to me at a fast and furious pace. I stood there dumbfounded and did not have a clue as to what he was talking about.

If you have enough self discipline you may acquire a self-paced language learning course to learn simple phrases that may help you during your visit. Some off the most helpful phrases to learn are:

1.Where is the toilet?

2.I would like…coffee,a room, a ticket etc

3.How much does this cost?

4.Can you call me a taxi?

5.Do you speak English?

6.I do not speak…German,French,Italian etc

7.What does that mean in English?

8.Where is…?

9.Can you drive me to the…train station,airport,hotel?

10.What time does the train,plane,bus leave?

If you forget your phrasebook in your hotel room while visiting a foreign country pointing does work for somethings and if asking for the price of something indicate by using gestures that you would like the person to write down the price. It’s just like playing charades and can be a little fun.

I have found that generally speaking people are usually understanding when they become aware that you do not speak their language. Politeness is important whether or not you speak the language.

No one can possibly learn a language overnight so learn at least the ten that I have written above. You may think some of them are silly but after traveling to over ten different countries I have found that those were the most helpful to me and didn’t require a long time to memorize.

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