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How To Deal With Language Barriers When Traveling Abroad

How To Deal With Language Barriers When Traveling Abroad 2

When traveling abroad, we often think about the beautiful sceneries, cultures, mouthwatering meals and other adventures we are going to do. It is an alluring feeling that you can’t help but look forward to your flight date. Most travelers even start reading about their destinations, especially what to do weeks before traveling. As important as this is, the various hurdles, like the language barrier that comes with traveling, are always overlooked. 

What Problems Can Language Barrier Cause When Traveling?

Language barrier is a major hurdle that come with traveling. It hampers navigation and communication, and trust me; it’s intimidating! Even ordering food in a café is an uphill task with language barriers. Most native English speakers think English is spoken worldwide, but that’s not the case. Even though you might be lucky to find some locals who speak English, it is always good to have an effective language barrier-bridging plan. Below are some tips to overcome language barrier while traveling.

What Are 4 Ways To Overcome Language Barriers?

1. Know The Most Important Phases In The Local Dialect

When traveling to a foreign country, doing your homework is vital, especially on the most commonly used phrases. The good thing is that courtesy of technology, the internet is awash with these phrases. For instance, you must eat and meet people regardless of where you visit. To avoid feeling out of place, it is advisable to learn at least some phrases like salutations and how to order food. Suppose you are planning to visit Africa, where Swahili is the most spoken language; make sure you know some Swahili words like how to say “thank you,” “please,” “yes,” and other important phrases in Swahili and that applies to all other destinations in your timeline. 

2. Use Digital Translation Tools 

Have you ever thought how can I travel without speaking a language? Well, using digital translation tools can be very useful. The world is increasingly getting digitized, and so is traveling. There are several translation apps on the internet like google translate, iTranslate and Linguee, that can help you communicate with people easily. Even when making calls with locals, you can download a free Call Recorder for iPhone to save incoming and outgoing calls for easy translation. Digital translation apps are the perfect go-to solutions, especially when talking to local tour guides or when closing business deals. Even though not all translation apps are accurate, you can always scout for the best cell phone call recorder app online. One major advantage of having a cellphone recorder app is that it can act as a reference source. You can just keep the voice notes with you for future reference. 

3. Save The Essential Phrases On Your Phone

Learning a new language is not a walk in the park. It even gets more complicated when you are touring a place, and you will be there for only a short while because you will not find it necessary to strain. However, saving the most important phrases on your phone can be very handy. You can do this a few days before your traveling date to avoid forgetting them so that the phone can just be a reference point. Some people often look for a tour guide a week before traveling and speak with them. In such cases, you should download a call recording app before the guide takes you through the most important phrases in the country you are visiting. Aside from saving essential phrases to your phone, you should also be open to learning after jetting in. Whenever you interact with the locals, feel free to talk with them. The most useful ones are those that speak the same language since you can ask them what something is called in their local language. When you show interest in learning the local language, the locals will be more welcoming and warm in your presence. 

4. Sign language is always an option

Regardless of where you are, always have in mind that sign language is an option where there is a language barrier. Verbal communication is a very divisive way of communication since there are thousands of dialects worldwide. However, you can always opt to sign language instead of communicating verbally. When you are in a hotel, pub, or on the streets, you can point at anything you want, and someone will definitely understand you. You can accompany the sign language with body language to make yourself clearer. However, to avoid putting locals in an uncomfortable situation, you must be mindful of the cultural differences, if any. It is also good to remain friendly and smiley even when you are not on the same page communication-wise. In this case, you can contact your tour guide and ask him to translate what you want and record calls which you can share with a shopkeeper, hawker or waiter. After getting what you want, just smile, thank them and tip them to make them happy. 

Now you know that language barrier should not deter you from exploring the world!

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