You do not necessarily need to be fluent in the language to convey your message and truly get your point, whatever it may be, across. It is true that learning a few of the most relevant key phrases will save you a lot of time and hassle, it makes a great impression, and it will make your travel experience far smoother.
Below, you will find a list of some of the most universal and most popular phrases for a foreigner to a country to learn. You will definitely want to check them out and consider learning them before you go traveling!
Before we dive into the list of phrases, you need to figure out how exactly you are going to learn them! You can use online web tools like Translate, Google Translate, and many other small community-fed and community-based voluntary online translating tools. One of our favorites is Duolingo, and it’s free!
If this is not your preferred way to learn (and we are not sure why it would not be, because it seems that it is the easiest way to learn a new phrase, and it saves a lot of time and hassle), then you can always go to your local library and pick up a small book or two on the language.
There are also other forms of translating tools that are not web-based or strictly online. You can go to the application store on your Apple or Android device and get many different auditory and visual language translating tools. Having one of these handy (no pun intended) will make you’re crossing the language barrier far smoother than if you did not have them at all! With all of this out of the way, let’s dive into some of these phrases, and see why they would be important for you to learn.
- Do You Speak English?
This phrase will most likely be the one you use the most. In Europe, the overwhelming majority of city-goers (that live in the city) and people that work in restaurants tend to speak English. By asking, the person you are talking to might just know enough to get you on your way, or they could be completely fluent! They might also (in our experience) be American!
- Hello and Goodbye
While it is true that there are tons of different ways to say hello and goodbye, i.e., good morning, good night, etc. you will certainly want to know how to greet other people in their language! It comes across as flattering, polite, and kind!
- The Numbers
Imagine that you get into a taxi or an Uber, and you want to go to a particular street name, but you don’t know the figures. Just imagine that.
- Please, I’m Sorry, Thank you
These are just a few of the necessary interruption phrases and responses that you will want to know when traveling to a foreign country, not just Europe. They can and will make your experience far smoother.
- Where Is The Restroom? If you need to excuse yourself, or if you are having an emergency, you will want to know this phrase. Asking someone this phrase in their language will help the person you are speaking to understand your situation, and they will most likely point you in the right direction.
This phrase can be critical, and sometimes imperative to your survival, whether your situation be dire or not. Also, if you do not want to drink beer or soda, asking for water at a restaurant or cafe might just be perfect for you.
As you can see, there are a lot of things you should know before traveling to a country! These phrases will help you out a ton, I promise you. We recommend that you sit down and take the time to learn some of these phrases before you go on your next adventure.