Traveling when You Don’t Speak the Native Language

Traveling when You Don’t Speak the Native Language

Traveling is one of the most remarkable activities attracting people from all walks of life. And, collecting new experiences is among the top rewards of traveling. But, the problem usually arises when you find out that you cannot speak the native language. The following are useful tips to enable you to cope and get the most of your adventures when you do not speak the local language. 

Try to Learn a Few Basic Words before Departure 

However difficult the native language may seem, you should try to learn some basic phrases to show an effort. Today, there are many online apps that you can use to learn foreign languages conveniently on your phone. Some of the basic words you should learn may include how to say thank you, hello, please and good-bye. 

Use Body Language 

Body language can be very effective when you are trying to communicate with someone who does not share your language. For instance, if you enter a restaurant and cannot read the menu, check for pictures or images of the foods that you want then, simply point to them. Other kinds of body language include smiling, nodding, and gestures. You may also want to carry some basic symbols of common things and activities to use in communicating with the locals. 

Use Gestures Cautiously 

While gestures are used for communication across the world, they may carry different meanings or interpretations in some cultures. An example is the thumbs-up gesture that most people consider to mean approval. In places like West Africa, Iraq and parts of Latin America, it is perceived as offensive and rude. 

Be Creative 

There are various ways through which you can still experience the destination without bothering the locals too much. Having Smartphone maps or GPS can help you to easily navigate the destination without always asking for directions. Besides, knowledge of popular landmarks could also enable you to remember your way around. Some things you can also learn by just observing people. 

Traveling when you do not speak the native language should not scare you. In fact, it should encourage you to indulge more in the culture. The above guidelines will help you to make the most of all your adventures in foreign destinations.