10 Important Phrases to Learn Before Traveling to a Foreign Country


Traveling to a foreign country can be a fun and exciting experience. However, having a language barrier can be stressful. Although most countries can understand and speak English, which is considered an international language, other countries aren’t well-versed in the English language. This can be a bothersome scenario especially if you are lost and the Wifi connection is not available

Our advice before you travel? Learn the native tongue of the country you are about to travel to— even just the basic ways of saying useful phrases and words. You can thank us later.

Here are 10 important phrases you need to learn before you travel:

1. Hi or Hello

You need to learn simple greetings like “Hi” and “Hello”. Some countries have specifics on what you’re allowed to say in certain areas of the country so read up on how you can greet the locals without offending anyone.

the hello word in different languages

2. Goodbye

Learning how to properly say goodbye in their native tongue is a sign of respect to the locals that you’ve encountered. This is also a common word and easy to remember, sometimes these words are well-known like adios in Spanish or sayonara in Japanese. Some countries have the same word for hello and goodbye, like “Ciao” when you visit Italy or “Aloha” in Hawaii.

the goodbye word in different languages

3. Thank you

Knowing how to say thank you in their language is a genuine way of showing gratitude and respect to the locals. You can say “Thank You” to street vendors, ticket receptionists, and many more. 

a wall full of the french word "merci"

4. Yes, No, Maybe

It is important to learn the basic words of responses like “Yes”, “No”, or “Maybe” to properly decline or accept a local’s offer. Sometimes, a nod to approve or a head shake to decline means the exact opposite for some countries. Learn the appropriate words for them to avoid confusion

three speech bubbles with the text yes, no and maybe

5. Please

Learning “Please” will be of great help along your trip because one way or another, you will encounter locals and ask for their help. Saying please in their native tongue will show that you are not rude.

two minions talking with each other

6. Can you speak English? 

Don’t assume that everyone you meet can speak in English. If you travel to a non-English speaking country, you should ask this first. It will spare you the hassle of talking to locals that don’t understand you.

three young people having a conversation

7. Where’s the nearby restaurant? 

Food is life and what better way to find out the best food joints from the locals? Learn this phrase if you travel for bizarre food trips.

people sitting in a restaurant

8. Where is the restroom? 

Most Asian hole-in-the-wall restaurants don’t have restrooms in them. You should learn how the locals say it to save time on the language barrier, especially when you’re answering the call of nature.

a yellow,, green, blue, pink and orange painted comfort rooms

9. Cheers

When you travel, especially for social events, you should also know the word for cheers. It can be used for different occasions and events. Being respectful to locals by greeting them will help you during travel.

people cheering their glasses up of champagne with strawberries

10. Where’s the nearest train station? 

When your phone’s battery is drained and you can’t access the internet, manually asking some locals where the nearest train station is will help you save time from getting lost. 

a subway train station with people carrying their luggages

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