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Love travelling? Chances are you’re almost guaranteed to end up visiting somewhere where you don’t speak the local language at some point or another. Here are some very useful tips for visiting a country where you don’t speak the language!

Learn a few phrases before you go

If I could just give you one language tip for when you’re visiting a country where you don’t speak the language, it’s this: learn the basics before you go. There are four words I absolutely recommend learning before travelling to a place where you don’t speak the language and they are: “please”, “thank you”, “sorry” and “hello”. Just learning these four simple words and phrases will go a long way!

Bring a phrasebook

Although you could probably just save a few phrases to your phone, when you’re travelling technology can (and often does) fail you. Smartphones run out of battery (especially since the invention of Snapchat and Instagram Stories) and chargers often break. If in doubt, go old-school and pick up a phrasebook to carry on your travels with you. Alternatively, jot a few phrases you think you’ll need down (e.g. please, thank you, hello, etc.).

Planning is key!

When it comes to travelling to a country where you don’t speak the language (or indeed, travelling anywhere) planning beforehand will ensure less stress and more enjoyability on your trip. Plan itineraries in advance and print them off to carry around in your bag. Having addresses etc to hand will also help you point to places where you need to be and make getting directions when you don’t speak the language that much simpler.

Your smartphone is your friend

Technology! Today, there are plenty of apps and translation tools that can be reached at the swipe of a smart screen. Download a few apps before you go to practice your knowledge of the local language, and to help you out when you get stuck on a sentence or phrase!

Use Body Language

Never underestimate the prompt of body language. Whether it be hand gestures or finger pointing, small uses of body language can go a long way in getting your point across (particularly when your accent skills aren’t ‘on point’ at all!)

Smile and be kind

Just like using body language, the power of a smile goes a long way when you’re asking someone for help. Be kind and you’ll find people are a lot more willing to help you!

Pin Tips for visiting a country where you don’t speak the language

6 Great Tips for visiting a country where you don't speak the language

About Author

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she's not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet food. Currently based in Paris after studies in London, she's spent most of her life living in the beautiful Devonian countryside in South West England!

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