Travel Tips
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Avoiding Awkward Language Barriers


When travelling in a country with a foreign language I find the google translate app really helps I’m trying to communicate with locals. This is all good if you have wifi or a local sim card. If you don’t, I suggest you translate and save common expressions (and your address) in the Google translate app before you go sightseeing.

I learnt this the hard way in Lisbon when I was trying to tell a taxi driver in Portuguese where we were staying. He turned around and said to me in English “Oh my just stop! Your accent is Orrible!” While we laughed most of the way home you can save yourself this embarrassment. So when you’re out you can ask for a bill, say please, thank you and the most important phrase “Can I have another beer please!”



  1. Beris lyons says

    Good idea to have someone write down certain sentences you might need while you are out and about to give to a taxi driver or whoever you need to communicate with – hand them the piece of paper to read. Only problem with that is how do you interpret their response .. Is there an app for that???

    • Graze the Earth says

      There are app’s to understand language in real time, but you would need wifi to use them. I would hope that a taxi driver would just follow your directions and not need any further follow up! Otherwise you might want to change taxis :)

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