English is an international language and you can get by with it in many countries. But there are a few exceptions and you need to be prepared for them.
Whether you’re traveling, studying or living in a foreign country, there are some words or phrases that you absolutely need to know in the local language.
Here are 5 core conversation elements that you need to know when traveling to a foreign country:
1. Hello and Thank you
It all starts with ‘hello’. Even if you plan on asking something in English, make sure that you know how to greet people in the country’s local language. At the end remember to say ‘thank you’, also in the country’s language. Oh, one more thing – such greetings go well with a smile.
2. Ask for directions
If you find yourself lost in the labyrinth-like old towns of Morocco, asking locals for directions is the only way to reach your hotel before sunset. Anyone can help you with that, but very few will speak English. Therefore knowing the words for “left” and “right” in Arabic or French can be of great use in such a situation.
3. Ask for emergency aid
“Help!”, “Call an ambulance!”, “Police!”. It is preferable not to ever need such expressions, but if you do need them in a foreign land, make sure that you know the words in that particular language. Alternatively, the only international word for help is · · · – – – · · ·
4. Order a meal
Knowing how to order at a restaurant in a foreign language will get you smiles, respect and appreciation. However, this is not necessarily vital in a foreign country, as pointing your finger at a dish in the menu will do just fine. Unless you order a steak in France and you want it well cooked.
5. Present yourself
What’s your name and where do you come from? This is the most common way to kick-start a conversation with a local, no matter where you travel. It’s also an ice-breaker for more in-depth conversations.
People appreciate when foreigners go the extra mile and learn a couple of core words and expressions in the country’s language. This can earn a traveller more respect, better taxi fares, better food and a more authentic experience in a foreign land.
If you plan on traveling to a foreign country, now’s the time to learn some core words and phrases to help you get by.