Traveling allows you to interact with people belonging to different cultures, learn about their traditions, their lifestyles, their spending patterns and events, and also about language they use for communicating. While traveling may require budget, visa and your time, one important factor which many ignore is the language barrier. Many people, for instance, Chinese, only speak in their native language and not in English which makes it extremely difficult for you to communicate and defeats your purpose behind traveling. Due to this reason, many people ask themselves this question, “How can we overcome language barriers when traveling?”.
This article will guide you as to how you can overcome language barriers to make your travel experience a memorable one.
What are 4 ways to overcome language barriers?
There are many ways in which you can overcome language barriers while traveling. Some of these useful tips are:
- Find out which language(s) are used in that country: The first and foremost tip is to find out the official language of that country and which languages are often spoken by the citizens. In many countries, while the official language may be English, natives like to speak in their own language which may differ in each province or state. Thus, before visiting the country it is better to do your homework and find out the main languages that you might want to understand in order to communicate with them effectively.
- Learn the important sentences from that Language: Once you have identified the language that you will be communicating in after reaching there, it is important to learn few main sentences like, “greetings”, “how are you”, “please show me directions of xyz place”, “how do I make a call?”, etc. These are some of the most important lines which each person should know before visiting a country that they have never been to before.
- Use technology for translation: It is impossible for anyone to learn the entire language fluently within a few days. It is thus recommended that you use technology to translate their native language into one you know of. There are many apps available which help you in translating whatever text you enter or speak. You can also translate your calls by using the best call recorder app on your phone. This application once downloaded will automatically record calls made from your phone. This app is free to download on your phone. The Call Recorder for iPhone App will translate all your calls into your desired language and help you communicate with hotels, train stations and other people without knowing their language.
- Keep your tone friendly: While communicating with the citizens of that country you must keep your tone friendly and should seem interested in what they are talking about. This will help you in understanding and even translating many important points.
These are some of the important points which will help you in overcoming the barriers in another country. There are also some more tips that might be helpful while communicating with foreigners:
- Look for visual cues: You should look for visual cues and body language of the other person. This will help you in understanding many things and you may not need to translate each and every thing they say.
- Take notes: If someone is providing you with any useful information which you can translate later on to fully understand it, it’s necessary to take note of it. Keep a small notebook with you where you can write all important information that you have received during the day. This will help you in remembering many important stuff which may be useful to you in your future travel
- Learn to enjoy and laugh: When we are trying a new language, it is obvious that there are going to be a lot of mistakes even while translating it from expert apps. Don’t be disheartened or become disappointed if you are not able to completely understand how to speak their native language, but learn to laugh and enjoy the moment. With time and experience once you are back from the trip you will realize how many valuable memories you have made especially those where you made fun of yourself by translating out of context.
- Take lessons: If you are planning to stay for a long duration of time, you can invest in language lessons. Learning the language in the country where it is fluently spoken opens new pathways for the learner as they are able to learn directly from the experts, not just the direct language but also their accent in which they pronounce each word. This will help you in learning the language easily and once you are back you can polish your linguistic skills through many apps available online.
Travel may be a passion for many people but many people avoid traveling to places where different languages are being spoken regardless of the vast experience that place offers. They make travel plans to their favorite countries but then wonder, “How can I travel without speaking a language?”.
From our article, you must have collected valuable tips like finding out the official language of that country, learning a few phrases, taking help from technology like using call recorder apps for translation, and investing in language courses to avoid the language barrier which is stopping you from exploring the world. So what are you waiting for now? Happy Travels!