Traveling to foreign countries can be a bit overwhelming. Aside from new uncharted territory, tourists have to adapt to new culture, people and languages. Breaking the language barrier is probably the most difficult feat to get over when traveling.
There a few things that could remedy this traveling curb. While it wouldn’t necessarily make you fluent like the locals, learning some simple catch phrases would make getting around less difficult.
They say the best way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. This speaks truth to languages as well (well, at least you’d capture the hearts of locals). Fill your vocabulary with food words before you fill your belly. Locals working in restaurants would be more than happy to help with a few words here and there.
Listening to local music or news will automatically improve your efforts with the phonetic pronunciation of words. It also trains the ear and improves listening quality. While it’s not necessarily as effective as the Rosetta Stone, it definitely helps in building your vocabulary.
In this day and age of the digital world, everything can be learned through the internet. Google Translate is a great tool to use when stuck on a word that’s on the tip of your tongue.
How do you Say?
If all else fails, the opening phrase “How do you Say…in…” is the best way to learn a few words here and there. Here’s a nifty site that lists the opening phrase in an infinite amount of languages.