7 Easy Tips to Overcome Language Barrier When Travelling
Travelling overseas is definitely an exciting moment. But what if you travel to countries that English is not their main language.
Especially when you do not understand the conversations around you, the menus, signboards; You feel vulnerable or just afraid to miss some interesting experience or topics because of the unknown language.
We have been living in France for more than a year, our French is still half past six. We are still learning however, it takes awhile I guess.
Travelling around France without knowing French is a daunting tasks. But with these tips, sure you can travel like a Pro.
1. Save the Important Information
Before you depart, prepare a small travel document with all the essential information. Address of your accommodation, your printed itinerary, places to visit and recommended restaurants.
2. Learn a Few Basic Words
It is difficult to learn a new foreign language before each trip, but you can memorize a few simple words that will help you a lot on the spot. Merci and bonjour are the simple words in day to day conversation. If you want to accomplish more, you can even buy a small guide book.
“May I know where is the toilet?” This is one of the most important phrase to learn.
3. Your Hotel Card
Usually, the hotel’s address will be on your hotel keycard. Bring it along with you, in the case you get lost, just ask around for directions using the address on the card. Fairly simple.
4. Body Language
You can easily express yourself through smiles, gestures and your body language. Like example, ordering food in a restaurant. If you are unfamiliar with the words, you can mimic the animals gesture. It may looked funny, but at least you get your food order correct.
5. Google Translate
One of my best mobile buddy. This is an app you must download in your handphone. And remember to download the language in Offline Translation. So when you do not have connection, at least you are able to translate the words.
6. Be Polite
Politeness is still a key to a happier holiday. It is very common to have tourist that do not speak French. But if you are polite enough, sometimes you get the assistance needed.
Sometimes when you make an effort to learn their language, they will also help you better.
I will usually start of saying
“Mon français n'est pas bon. Parlez vous anglais?”“My french is not good. Do you speak English?”
7. Opt for Guided Tour
When you tour with a guide speaking the same language as you, definitely you feel at home. This will definitely help you to understand the place of interests you are visiting and keeps you interested to explore.
Especially for museums, without guided tour, the monuments or paintings are just some artwork. But with guided tour, you can understand their facts and history. Makes your tour more fulfilling.
End of the day, I hope these tips will help you more if you are afraid to travel because of language barrier.
You can also refer to my post on some basic French.
Have you ever been afraid of language barrier while traveling? Have you ever experienced a situation where you could not communicate in a language? Share your experience in the comments!