Language is a wonderful thing. Learning a new language has multiple health benefits, from preventing Alzheimers to improving your memory. There are nearly 7,000 distinct languages spoken around the world, so how can you be sure you can communicate clearly with anyone you come in contact with around the world?
Practice Key Phrases Ahead of Time
When preparing for your travels, download a language app like Duolingo to practice the basics. As long as you know standard words like “hello” “thank you” “bathroom” “help” “police” “restaurant” and “hotel”, a local will be able to point you in the right direction.
Look Up Crude Gestures
Did you know putting your hands in your pockets is considered rude in most Asian countries? Playing “I got your nose” with a baby may seem cute, but in Turkey it’s equivalent to flipping someone the bird. Do a quick search of what gestures are offensive in the country you’re visiting to avoid miscommunication.
Download a Translator App
If you have wifi, you hold all the world’s languages in the palm of your hand. I love the iTranslate app for a quick translation of words I can’t read on a menu abroad.
When in Doubt, Draw It
If the person you’re talking to doesn’t seem to get it, whip out a piece of paper and give it a quick sketch! So much communication is done without words, they’re more likely to learn what you mean.