Travelling to a different country and exploring new cultures is exciting and eye opening – but it isn’t easy when there’s a language barrier in the way. People who speak English are often spoilt when they go on holiday in terms of easy communication – as most workers in the tourist trade will learn to speak English to talk to a wide group of international travellers. However, if you travel to remote, exotic places or visit rural tribe towns in Asia or other parts of Europe, you may find that nobody can speak a word of English. What then?
Breaking down the language barrier is essential for visiting new places and understanding the culture and traditions. After all, even where people do speak a little English, they may be unwilling to do so all the time. Here are some top tips for overcoming communication issues when travelling.
- Learn the basics
English is the world’s most spoken language – however we shouldn’t just expect everyone to be fluent in the main Western dialect. It can appear rude and ignorant when an individual has made no effort to communicate in the home country’s tongue. Make an effort to learn the basics, even if you only use it as an icebreaker. It’s a small gesture which will be much appreciated by the locals. There are loads of apps you can download which can teach you the basics in many languages, so you don’t have to cart around books or dictionaries!
- Use your hands
There are many means of communication, and speaking is just one of them. If you are really struggling to be understood when asking for directions or ordering some food, then use body language to explain. Point where you want to go, or get an image up on your phone of the food or drink you would like. If both parties can’t speak to one another, you need to get creative.
- Use Mymanu Clik earbuds
Technology is increasingly being used to help overcome the language barrier. Google Translate can’t always be relied on for accuracy, but it has started a trend for machine translation. The brand new Mymanu Clik earbuds have a live translation feature, which can aid travellers and help them get around day to day. It supports 37 languages, and as well as one to one translation, the earbuds can also be used for multilingual calls to your new friends around the world.
If you’re planning a holiday to one country then you have time to prepare and learn the basics. But if you’re backpacking across the world, you’ll never learn all the languages you need. Take Clik as your travel companion and you’ll never be misunderstood again.