Knowing the language of the place you’re traveling to is a bonus rather than a must for the most part. However, there are some phrases that you should take the time to memorize before you go to a new country. Some of them are matters of courtesy and others of practicality. Either way, commit the following phrases to memory in the language of your host country before you take an international trip.
– Hello, thank you, and please. All three of these words will help you to be more polite. Learning how to say them in the language of your hosts when they take the time to help you will make a good impression.
– Sorry or excuse me. It would be wonderful to be able to go an entire trip without doing anything that needed to be apologized for, but opportunities for social faux pas abound when traveling in a foreign country, and knowing how to say sorry is a must.
– I don’t understand. You may run into situations where someone tries to engage you in conversation in their language. In those cases, you’ll need to know how to express that you’re confused in a polite way.
– Do you speak English? Sometimes your conversational needs will exceed your limited vocabulary. In that case, it’s much more polite and helpful to ask someone whether they speak English in their own language than it is to switch to English and hope for the best.
– Where is the bathroom or toilet? Or, more simply: toilet? Knowing the word itself will be very helpful.
– How much is this? If you plan to do some shopping while you’re abroad, you’ll want to know how to ask the price of an item. A rudimentary knowledge of numbers will come in handy, as well.