Having language struggles while traveling? Here are a few tricks

Traveling abroad has become generally like a world-class movement, with people holding their luggage ready to get on a plane, to their planned travel countries, but while traveling abroad you’ll often encounter language problems and communication barriers. If you are traveling to a country similar to your country, you usually do not have a language barrier, at best, the accent tone is not adapted to the problem, but basically the same language, ask the other person to speak a little slower and you’ll probably understand, like when Americans to travel to the United Kingdom, Australia, Taiwanese travel to China, Malaysia, Singapore.

Russian, spanish dictionary

Of course, English is currently recognized as a global language, with nearly 1.4 billion people worldwide using English as their mother tongue or a second foreign language. In addition to the English-speaking countries, such as Sweden, Norway, Germany, France, and other European developed countries, thanks to the implementation of universal English education, basically to find English-speaking passers-by is not difficult, so non-English-speaking countries and tourists think of the above-mentioned English-speaking travel to a country that can speak English or before traveling learn some basic English conversations, it can help you reduce your chances of running into trouble during your trip.

But have you ever wondered what to do if you go to a country where your mother tongue and English don’t make sense? After all, there are 7 billion people in the world, and even if you speak both English and Chinese, you can only communicate with about one-third of people in the world. But you cannot do that in all countries, especially in Arab, South America, Eastern Europe, Russia, and other countries, and most local residents in other regions do not speak English except for tourists or service people who can find English in tourist’s areas. 

Ranking of the number of people used in the world’s top ten languages (data from Wikipedia):

girl reading

Language# of people using it
1. English1,390,000,000


Here are seven specific solutions you can use to travel abroad in the face of language difficulties, hoping to help you get to your destination when you are in trouble.

Recite a few words of local language prior to departure:

 It’s Absolutely helpful to learn a few local words before departure, such as greetings, needs to order, thank you and other everyday languages, make it into a table and attach a common pinyin, so that you can take it out when you need to read or point to a sentence please explain to the other person that is helping you, so as to help you solve a problem when you encounter it.


In addition, remember to write down in the local language of the hotel address, in case of an emergency. Of course, some people would suggest a trip to a language class, but if they don’t particularly love that country and language, individuals don’t think it’s really necessary. The reason is that there is only one period of time, it is best to know just the basic pronunciation of that language, it will be great to speak a few basic terms, of course, certainly more or less will help, but the degree of help is very limited.

Why is that? He or she may understand what you say, but you can’t understand what they say! Only one issue of time to understand what the locals are talking about, how can it be! Therefore, do a good job in advance to the common statement of the form of the way to carry, usually coping with the most basic situation.

Please understand the main point, we are traveling to the country rather than living in the country, so coming across the most prioritized options for travel conditions is definitely how you quickly solve the current problem of being in the language pronunciation problem.

Make the best use of translation apps and carry pocket dictionaries

Google Translate is a very easy-to-use translation software, as long as you have a mobile phone, you can input your text or photo, it will translate the language you don’t know for you.

And with the continuous progress of Google translation algorithms, now the degree of translation is still not very smooth, but it can definitely understand a great percentage, the amount of text you input does not matter, so Google Translate is a really useful tool. So, why carry a pocket dictionary? What if there are always areas where there is no network or WiFi, or your phone is out of power or suddenly dies? This is when the pocket dictionary can help you solve the problem, although it will be a little slower as long as there is a piece of paper and pen, even without them you can still communicate, you can use branches and soil, that’s only one option.

Keep in mind that the main purpose of language is to use the tools of communication, as long as you can help yourself solve problems regardless of the method you use, you are going in the right direction.

Pictures are definitely the best language tools to understand

Research shows that humans are better at understanding images than words, so when you need some help, the quickest way is for you to draw or illustrate your current needs, or you can use Google, so when Google switches your text into a picture, you can present better what you want to express.

An example is when you want to eat but can’t find a restaurant, you can first look for a picture of a restaurant and ask the people passing by. If you suddenly want to eat spaghetti or sashimi, you can search for an image of both foods. I believe that the vast majority of people will understand what you want to say.

Body language is the best language tool for man

Man in airport

Do not underestimate the power of body language, when you lost something important, body language is definitely your life-saving rope. I remember when I was a kid, I played a game called hand-drawn feet? Although you cannot guess the correct answer every single time, a lot of times in fact you are very close to the answer. And from the local standpoint, assuming that when you are approached by strangers and them are not in your country, your intuitive response must be that he or she is a foreigner, and then when he/she asks the place with his mobile phone, pointing at a picture, don’t you think he or she is here to ask for help? So you’re going to look for the place that person is asking for, find someone to help them too, get a trip to the airport, find a police station, and so on, right? 

Of course, if you run into a bad guy, that’s another story.

Thick-skinned and looking for a store to ask


Don’t feel embarrassed to ask for help or find a place, this may harm you to go in the wrong direction, waste your unnecessary time and money, and do not just ask one person just once, because sometimes there will be people, although not intentional, pointing at the wrong direction, so you need to ask more people to get to the right destination. 

In addition, asking the store is definitely a good way, because businessmen are definitely the most likely to speak English, because they have to do business that must attract guests, so asking the merchant to speak English, the chance will be higher than any other people on the streets.

Of course, some businesses may be busy or just don’t want to talk to you, don’t be afraid to ask a few more, you will always have good people willing to help.

Schedule a little looser and bring some small gifts with you

Do not schedule the itinerary too tight, the basic schedule is of two to three trips a day, it is good enough, so that when there is an accident, there is enough spare time to solve it. In addition, bring some small gifts of your own country, it can be candy biscuits and other gifts, this way, if you need help in your journey you have something to give to the other person, and if you’re lucky, you can even make a new friend.

american and England flag

Mobile communication software

Some mobile phones have the function of shacking to recognize nearby users, or even has the sweep function, at this time you may send a message to the other side of the inquiry, it is also a great opportunity to help you solve a problem.