Don’t ever let your fear of not being able to speak another country’s language stop you from traveling again! It should never stop you from visiting a country that you’ve always wanted to go to. I’ve put together a list of tips and tricks to help you on your next international travel.
Break away the myths…
Myth #1 No one will speak English
First of all, this is highly unlikely in most countries. Obviously if you are in a small town off the beaten path, the odds of finding someone who speaks your language could be slim, but most cities do. A lot of economies depend on tourism, meaning speaking English is a must for tourism. Always ask around if someone can speak English.
Tip #1 Always go to a hotel concierge for help, typically there will always be someone on staff who speaks English. I always use a hotel for when I need a cab.
Myth #2 I can’t speak the language
Maybe picking up a foreign language before a trip could be bit of a stretch, but you definitely can do some things to prepare. Grab a book for useful words for your destination and read through them. If I am going somewhere for the long haul, I’ll even pick up a basic Rosetta Stone.
Tip #2 Download an app like Duolingo for on the airplane to get immersed in the language. Having a translating app on your phone is also very helpful when needing to ask questions.
Myth #3 I will not understand
It can be challenging to be in a place where you can’t understand anything that is being said. I’ve been there, quite often as well. I remember being in the Taiwan airport this past year and thinking to myself, how in the world am I going to understand what is being said. Watching body language, social cues, and how people react, this how one understands someone.
Tip #3 Use your body to express how you feel, though read up on social customs for a country before you go.
Travel well, travel often.