Communicating in a Foreign Country

Travelling is one of the most enriching things you can do. It opens you up to a completely new world of excitement and adventure, not to mention that it also broadens your cultural knowledge. One concern that a lot of people have when they travel is the language barrier, but with these tips, you won’t ever have to worry about that again.

Point Rather than Speak
Pointing is a simple gesture that is universally understood. It conveys the most information in a very short space of time, and it can help you out a lot when you don’t speak the language at all. You can point to a menu item that you want this way as well, and the restaurant staff will know exactly what you are trying to say. If you are in a train station and need to buy a ticket, you can point to the map and then show the officer. Usually they would be more than happy to help you to purchase the ticket, and then help you to find the right terminal. So pointing is universally understood, but how you point does matter. Some countries do accept single finger points, but others may feel as though you are being rude by not using the full hand. Hand gestures are also universally understood, but make sure that you do your research before you start using them. For example, in Bulgaria, shaking your head means yes and nodding means no.

Maths is Always the Same
Maths is a universal language as well. If you are in a new place and you don’t see the numerical system, then it is quite easy to memorise the numbers 1-9. Relying on numbers can help you out a lot, such as when you are trying to ask for one drink, two meals at a restaurant or even when you ask the price of something.

Use your GPS
Not speaking the language can lead to issues, such as not being able to read the signs. If you are in a country that doesn’t even use the same alphabet as your own, then this can make things even more difficult. This is where GPS comes in handy. You can use your phone data to try and find directions to your hotel and you can also find local services. If you are getting on public transportation then you can try to count the stops on your GPS device, so you know when to get off. The possibilities really are endless, and it can really help you to feel more confident when you actually arrive.  If the idea of public transportation spooks you then why not look into the cheapest car rental rates? This way you can have complete control over your travel experience, and you can also get anywhere you want in a very short space of time. The only thing that you have to know is where the fuel stations are, and what side of the road you need to be driving on.

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