China, France, Ukraine, and Botswana are vastly different nations, however, they have one thing in common: Almost no one in these countries speaks English. That makes a trip to these and other non-english speaking countries a complete nightmare. Not anymore!
At Tripoto, we believe that travel can break all kind of barriers, including language. Therefore, we have come up with nine key solutions that can help you find your way through Mandarin, Norwegian, Afrikanaas (the whole lot).
1: Use Visual Aids
It makes a sense to carry visual aids that can compliment any smart phone translation app you have downloaded. If you are not getting anywhere with verbal communication just point to the location in the map in your hand or photos of restaurants and monuments.
2: Slower is Better
Travelers often make the mistake of speaking louder as oppose to slower. Choose simple words and clearly pronounce the syllable to maximize the chance of being understood.
3: Hand Gestures
Gestures can sometimes do the tricks where words fail. Get your hands out of the pocket and motion at what you need be it water, food and directions.
4: Learn a Few Phrases
There is no getting around without knowing basics of a language. Learning how to say good morning, hello and thank you will help you connect better with the locals. More importantly, learn the right phrases to ask for help in an emergency, directions, way to the bathroom and how to apologize.
5: Learn About Local Customs
These are the wordless rituals and customs of great importance that vary from country to country. In Japan, you don’t walk into the house with your footwear and in Russia you don’t show up empty handed to a dinner invitation.
6: Technology Helps
Translations applications are more sophisticated than ever before. Download a local app on your smartphone which can articulate the local phrases for you. They particularly come in handy when looking for a quick go-to word.
7: Take a Deep Breath & Smile
There are bound to be some difficulties in a foreign country. Some locals might try to get under your skin with negative comments and rude gestures. Don’t let that get to you. Take a deep breath, smile and go about things your way.
8: Ask For Clarifications
It is okay to ask people (politely) to repeat themselves especially when you haven’t understood them correctly. Make sure you are clear on the subject.