How To Cope In A Non-English Speaking Country

Travelling to a new country is exciting – it can open your eyes to new cultures and new experiences, but if you don’t know the language it can also leave you feeling flustered and could turn your dream holiday into a terrible nightmare.

English is a widely spoken language throughout the world so it means that most places we travel to will have locals that understand at least a few English phrases.  But if you’re travelling to a country where you know no one speaks a word of English, remember these tips to help you along the way.

  • Before you travel, do some research and learn some basic phrases and words.  Even knowing small words such as hello, thankyou, goodbye or how much can really help you out and it’s a way of showing respect.  Locals will also appreciate the effort you’ve put in to try and learn their language.
  • If you’re travelling for a long time, consider taking a class before you go so you can immerse yourself in the language and pick up on some useful phrases.
  • Download an app for your smartphone that will translate words and phrases.  Just type the phrase into your app and voila!
  • Carry a phrasebook for your target language which can be a lifesaver if you’re in a bind and are having no luck communicating with your very limited vocabulary.
  • Consider purchasing a picture dictionary which have images of everything you could possibly need to ask for whilst travelling.  ‘This, Please. The Tourist Picture Dictionary’ is an extremely handy tool to have around when you’re at a loss of how to ask for something.
  • Play charades and use hand gestures to try and communicate.  Yes, you may look a little silly but if it gets you where you need to be, then who cares!

Going to a non-English speaking country can be intimidating, but it definitely shouldn’t stop you from travelling, because there are always ways and means of getting by.

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