With a recent poll confirming that 14% of British tourists refuse to speak the local language when on holiday, we thought it was time to put together a blog post that gives you all the tips and tricks you need to at least attempt some key phrases while you’re on holiday.
While nobody’s expecting you to become bilingual overnight, it’s polite to visit a new country with a few basic phrases in your arsenal – whether you pronounce them correctly or not is a different story, but hey, at least you’re trying!
If you’re looking to learn a few words of the language spoken in the country you’re visiting, why not try your hand at the following?:
- General greetings (hello, goodbye, good morning etc)
- Please, thank you, sorry
- Where is the…?
- Can I have…?
- How much does this cost?
And, if you’re really struggling, you might want to throw this one into the mix:
- Do you speak English?
If you can master the above phrases you’ll be able to greet people, ask for directions and order a meal, which should get you off to a good start.
There are plenty of resources online that will help you get up to speed with the basics of pretty much every spoken language, with some of our favourites being Omniglot (with more language choices than you can shake a stick at), Infoplease and IE Languages.
Online tutorials can be a great way to brush up on your skills before you leave, but what about when you’re at your destination? For those on the go, apps are likely to be much more helpful.
Duolingo is the obvious choice, with millions of users from round the globe logging on every day. Whether you want to learn the basics, or brush up on your A-level speaking skills, this fun app provides a series of tutorials and quizzes that will help improve your reading, writing and spoken skills in your chosen language.
While Duolingo will certainly help you improve as a speaker, there are a couple of other apps that can be used in conjunction to cover all bases. First up: iTranslate. The award-winning translation tool, iTranslate features more than 90 languages and allows you to obtain word perfect translation either through speaking or typing, so you’ll get the results you need whether you’re relaxing before bed or scrambling to remember how to order a beer at a busy bar.
Finally, Phrasebook is the last app on our list. Totally free, this little gem contains over 800 commonly-used phrases and words in thirteen widely-spoken languages. Break down the language barriers and learn authentic pronunciation on the go. Plus, Phrasebook works perfectly without an internet connection – so you can still talk the talk wherever you are in the world.
We hope our handy guide has you learning the lingo before you travel, just follow our top tips and you’ll manage just fine, whether you’re visiting the Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel and Spa in Vietnam, or France’s Hotel Du Cap Eden Roc. And if all else fails, just remember than a smile is universal!