Key phrases to learn when traveling abroad

united states passport on top of a map of northern America showing intent to travel abroad and how to prepare such as learning Key phrases in the native languages of your destination

Pro tip: you don’t have to learn an entire language when you visit another country. But when you travel to a destination where you don’t speak the language, I suggest you always learn a few words or phrases. It doesn’t need to be complicated (by the way, Google translate is pretty lovely!).


Words and phrases to learn:

  • Hello
  • Good bye
  • Good morning / day
  • Good night / evening
  • Thank you / no thank you
  • How much
  • Where is a taxi?
  • Directional words (i.e., right, left)
  • Where is the bathroom / nearest bar or pub / restaurant?
  • May I have more, please? (I’m all about the food and use this often lol)
  • One or 2 curse words. Why? ‘Cause you never know when you’ll need to throw one or 2 out there.
  • And, according to a client of mine:  Where’s the ice cream?


Obviously there are tons of words in everyone’s language but it’s good to have a few basics to get started. When you have a guide in the various places you go to, use them as a language resource. They will be more than happy to help.


Ok, grab your Google translate next time you travel to another country. Because, why not speak to the folks in their language? It’s a sign of respect. I find the relationships I have fostered developed a lot easier when I was able to break the ice by speaking the language.


Go forth, y’all, and travel!

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