It is a fact that many travellers will prefer to visit a country or destination where they actually understand the language. It is easier to interact and communicate with the people. However, there are circumstances that may warrant you to visit a country where you do not speak the language. Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, shares some tips that will help you have smooth and hitch-free getaway or trip regardless of your lingual abilities.
- Learn a few words/key phrases
Before you travel, learn some key phrases. This is because there may be situations where it’s important to communicate something complex more exactly. If you can’t, the locals may never fathom what you are saying.
- Speak with hand gestures
Gestures like pointing and miming can often get your message across and it is one of the effective ways to let people or locals know that you do not speak or understand the language.
- Use your smartphone camera to record your route
If you want to explore and do not want to get lost, use your smartphone to take pictures or videos of significant intersections, buildings and signs that might serve as landmarks along your path. This will assist you in retracing your steps.
- Use a translator app
Technology always has a solution for nearly everything. So, do not hesitate to download a good translator app. Google Translate app can be a lifesaver. Point the app’s camera at the text, and the app automatically translates it. It also lets you have a conversation with someone.
- Never assume that people speak English
You already know you are in a country where you do not speak the language. But, you may probably forget and assume that they speak your lingua franca. You may have started speaking before realising that they do not understand you. This can be frustrating. This is why it is important to learn the basic of the language.
- Have a plan for getting from the airport to your hotel
The moment when you arrive at the airport is often when you are at your most vulnerable because you do not understand what everyone is saying. Thus, it is essential to have a plan for getting from the airport to your hotel. The best option is to let your hotel car service, if they have one, pick you at the hotel.
- Carry a paper map in the local language
Paper maps in the local language can also help. You can easily point out where you are going on the map and since it is in the local language, it will be easier for people to offer assistance.