When we take a vacation, especially abroad, we will meet people who speak different language. The worst case is that they really don’t speak English. In that situation, what can you do? Do you have to master the language or what? To a traveler, language barriers is not supposed to be a serious problems. With some tips below, you can still get the best out of your vacation and gain maximum value from your visit. Some great Fodors.com’ members had given us these tips on what to do when you don’t understand the language of the people you visit. Hopefully, they will be useful to you as it is to me…
- Bring a cheat sheet of paper.
"I usually carry an index card (or write a list on the back cover of your dictionary or handbook), the words that I would normally see on a marker board, especially words that are opposites, such as: entry-exit, top-down; out- entrance; push-pull; wait-go. " (From Kayd)
- Back to school
"Sign up to language courses in the language institute in your area. I learn Italian for 9 months in my area several years ago and learned so many things. Later, you can continue to listen to tapes. The course will help you understand grammar and how form a sentence. " (From Grassshopper)
- Always smiling
'Remember that a smile is always understood in all languages. Many people (especially young people) can speak English and will be happy to try to talk to you in English if you try to use the words Please and thanks in the local language. " (From Iowa_Redhead)
- Mastered the basic phrases
'I always try to understand 50-100 words in the language of the country I will visit. Especially phrases like' in which ...', 'please ...',' thank you ',' sorry, I'm not good speaking ...'." (From Daveesl)
- Eat at local restaurants
"For some foods, avoid a restaurant that uses two languages because it is usually a trap for tourists who are not only offers delicious food at a great price. Find someone who can interpret the menu for you, and you'll get better food and more authentic. " (From Nytraveler)
- Do not hesitate to ask for help
"I also know how to say 'What do you call in here, or how you say it in ...' so I can point to something and local people will teach me new vocabulary. I also say 'please write to me', ask someone write a new word. " (From Suze)
- Make learning the language so your travel destination.
"Fighting a few years in night school once a week, and finally gave up the foreign language learning. Intensive two-week trip really opened my eyes. I did not make a big step in the 'formal learning'. However, after a few days, I no longer nervous when speaking in that language. For me, this is a tremendous progress.”