I was always fascinated with other languages. Amazed about the different accents, hand gestures and vowels which sounds seem physically impossible to pronounce at first. It somehow gives you a brief taste of the country itself.
I tried many times to learn a new language. French, Italian, Japanese, Romanian. I failed in all of them. I failed miserably in every single one of them. It was like a gypsy witch cursed me and I was on a quest to go find the cure. Even though I don’t speak those languages fluently, the basics have helped me communicate and made my travels much easier.
Many times you find yourself in situations where you are too far away from the tourist spots in the bazaar, in a remote area or simply trying to ask for directions from somebody who doesn’t speak English. Learning phrases from the local language could help you make a good impression and make your experience much smoother.
Greetings: Good morning, good evening, good night, hello, goodbye. Words that will help you greet and break the ice.
Introduce yourself: In many cases you would like to introduce yourself and get to know the other person. You appear friendly without having to make a long conversation.
Numbers: For me the most important from the list. Numbers could be really useful and you will use them on a daily basis. Especially during budget travel, negotiating prices happens is as common as a spaniard taking a siesta. This can save you a lot of money and time!
Food allergies: Equally important. If you have food allergies I would highly suggest you that you learn the word allergy in the local language as well as the words for the things you are allergic to.
Other random words could be words that you will be using very often such as water, toilet and your favourite food.
Learning so many words can be intimidating but a great way to memorise them is by finding words or phrases that sound similar into your local language so every time you try to recall a word, you remember the story you made in your mind. Pretty handy!
Too hard? There are plenty of exchanging language groups on Facebook for many cities so you can connect with a native speaker and besides the language, get some inside tips about your destination :)
Don’t worry though. You will not get perfect in the language. Just make a plan and study a few minutes every day and you’ll get it in no time!
Roo Tip: A great FREE website to help you learn languages on a basic and intermediate level is duolingo.com
Was there a time for you where a few words you learned turned up to be handy? I’d love to hear some other stories!