Important words and phrases every world traveler should know
It’s important to make a serious attempt to learn the language of new countries you visit. Not only does it make the logistics of getting around much easier, but it also will endear you to locals, who appreciate the effort. It’s a sign of respect and the hallmark of a culturally sensitive, smart traveler.
However, it doesn’t really make sense to become fluent in a new language if you’re only going to need it for a very short amount of time. I typically travel for about two weeks at a time and visit two to three countries each trip. I definitely make a solid effort to learn as much as I can, but it’s not realistic to drop hundreds of dollars and many hours on something like Rosetta Stone for a four-night stay. In fact, many language-learning programs are geared toward people who want to become fluent, not travelers and, as a result, don’t focus on the words and phrases you’ll need right away.
As a traveler, I find myself saying certain things over and over in each country — it’s these key phrases you need to learn how to say in each language before you leave.
Note: In 2014, I wrote a weekly blog series on budget travel for eHow. This post is from that series, so you'll have to head over to their site to read it in full. Thanks for reading!