Traveling to a foreign country is an exciting adventure, but it can still be frightening when your destination is a country where English is not even a second language. Yes, it is a great experience to be immersed in a different culture that is unfamiliar, but there are downsides to it. Just like how you meticulously prepare for your trip, down to your sleep wear, you should also prepare for the daunting task of landing in an unfamiliar territory where you do not speak the language and know no one. So how do you prevent yourself from floundering and making mistakes?
It is good if you are one of those people who can easily pick up words here and there and be able to converse with the locals quickly. Otherwise, if you do not know at least some basic words and phrases, you might find yourself struggling. The best thing to do is to be a good girl or boy scout and come prepared. Arm yourself with some basic phrases. It will be better if you can memorize them so you do not fumble while looking for the right words in your phrase book.
One of the best ways for getting people to extend help is to be polite. Some of the basic phrases you should memorize include pleasantries such as hello, goodbye, please, thank you, no, and yes. These are very essential, these short words that can go a long way for you to get better service. It can even open doors for you. You must remember that just like yourself, people appreciate cordial and polite treatment. Likewise, keep in mind that you are the foreigner, not them. Know how to introduce yourself in their language. Even if you make a mistake, they will not mind and will appreciate that you took the time to learn their language.
Learn some essential questions
As a tourist, you will definitely have several questions all the time. Should you get lost, even if you have a map, it is great to know how to ask for direction, or how far the destination is. One of the most basic questions would be asking for the price of an item you want to buy. Others may say that you need to know how to ask for the time, but then again, in all probability you are wearing a wristwatch and have set it to local time. Your mobile phone tells you the time, as well. You should also learn to ask where the bathroom is.
Names of locations
You visit a foreign country because you want to see the different places the country is known for, so you would be dealing with so many different places, monuments, museums, galleries, hotels and restaurants. These might be known or written in the local language, therefore it is best that you know them as well. Since you will be going around and needing transport, memorize the terms for bus, taxi, train and airplane.
Do this before your trip. Read your phrase book while in flight. Get a translation dictionary and study. You'll appreciate the benefits later.