Language barriers can be very difficult when traveling to countries that communicate differently. At times, it very well may be frustrating to try and find your way around or complete basic tasks. Traveling to Korea, I applied my self-taught Korean and mandarin (as there are many Chinese working at MyeonDong) and spoke to the locals to order food. It was especially useful in the old restaurant where the Ahjumma can only speak Korean and my basic phrases empowered me to order Tuna Kimbap effortlessly. As I learned the language by watching Korean shows, sadly I had picked up informal Korean and got lashed out once by an elderly lady for being discourteous.
With that in mind, I took the opportunity to figure out how to verbalize correctly the next trip to Korea. To add on, it is important to speak simple greetings as you would not want to portray yourself as rude. It’s always good to know how to greet others. Don’t forget about other greetings as well. For example, good morning/afternoon/night/evening.
Here are 20 Common Travel Phrases to Learn while on the plane
- Do you speak English? (substitute with your native language)
- Where is ….? Where is the bathroom?
- How much does this cost?
- Speak slowly, please. I do not understand.
- Do you take credit cards? Is there a bank/ATM nearby?
Finding your way around is intense, in a country that doesn’t communicate in English. Learn directional words and expressions to help you explore.
- How far is…?
- Airport/Bus/train/metro stop/station
- How long does it take to get to….?
- How far away is…..?
- What time is it?
- Where can I find a taxi?
While travelling, hiccups may occur and it can be exceptionally stressful. Below phrases may help you deviate stress of not being able to communicate.
- I lost my passport. Where is the ____ embassy?
- I am lost. Where is the Hotel/hostel/resort/house/room
- How do I access the internet?
- I need help. Where is the hospital?
- I need a doctor.
- I’m having an emergency.
- I’m allergic to…
- Please call the police.
Have a notebook and spelt it out the manner in which it sounded to you and this will be your guide all through the trip! You may visit the library to get a book or just simply search using Google Translate!