Learning will do good no matter what the subject is and same goes for learning a foreign language. No matter where we travel, speaking the local language can be a task of its own, even if we practice before hand. Knowing the local language could help us better understand our surroundings. This is why learning a foreign language could open up new opportunities and could give us perspective that we might never encounter otherwise. It is as simple as knowing key phrases in a foreign language that makes it easier for us to communicate, with a rickshaw driver in Bangkok for example.
Learning A Foreign Language
It is quite common among Americans, especially among young adults to travel abroad. Until recently, people rarely ventured beyond their home states. Now, a large number of people travel to other North & South American countries, Europe and even to Asia and Africa. Knowing the language locals speak is not a requirement for travel. Besides, it’s impossible to learn the languages of every country we visit. Nevertheless, travelers who know the foreign language are at an advantage. They can solve everyday travel problems with ease and can have a more pleasant experience in learning the foreign cultures.
A few years back I stayed in an elegant Quebec hotel in Canada. My French was not all that good at the time and I wasn’t sure how best to communicate with tuxedo staff with French accents. But I made it a point to initiate every interaction with few key French phrases I knew. That sure worked wonders during my stay. Now I learn the same key phrases in foreign languages of countries I travel to. So even if I know the waiter at the fancy restaurant speaks flawless English, I’d place my order in their native language.
Here are some keywords and phrases that I always try to learn in a foreign language before traveling. Of course you can carry a cheat sheet with you or better yet, download a translator app to your phone to help you along the way.
- Hello / Bonjour
- Goodbye / Au revoir
- Thank you / Merci
- Please / S’il vous plait
- Sorry / Desole
- Yes / Oui
- No / Non
- OK / D’accord
- I would like… / Je voudrais
- Do you speak English? / Parlez vous anglais?
- How much? / Combien?
Give it a try, learn a few phrases in a foreign language before you travel and see how your language skill could go a long way. Have you tried learning a foreign language? What phrases do you find most useful when traveling to other countries? Leave your comments below.