It is a very common problem of the travelers as many of them don’t know the language of the country they want to visit. Being a traveler, I have faced such problems many times in my life specially during the starting.
After visiting a lot of places, I found the right way to solve this problem. This whole article is based on my personal experience.
English is a common language to communicate : English is a language of tourism. If you are reading this article that means you know enough English to communicate. Believe me it is not necessary to know very good English. A little bit English can make you more comfortable during travelling.
I think everywhere in this world, people get Western tourists. So, people at least understand this poor English. Even china, the country which is shamed for not knowing English properly, also understand English. Tibetan autonomous region of china has some citizen who are actually belong to western country.
During my visit, I found many of them talking good English. So, don’t worry if you don’t know good English or other language. A little bit English can help you to have a smooth journey.
Get help from local people : though people often get worried about pickpocket or cheater, everyone does not have the same mentality. Maximum time I found the local people are so helpful towards the foreigner.
During my travelling, I was just on the middle of the road, thinking where and how to go now. Some people noticed me and found me as a new comer. So, they found a bus for me to go to my destination, even I didn’t asked for help.
So, if you get puzzled or confuse, then ask help from local people. I think they will never disappoint you. In restaurant people get more puzzled to order the unknown food. Ask the waiter to know about the food you want to order. Try to take some foods with universal taste.
Unknown foods often does not have delicious taste even their name seems to be awesome. So, ordering some foods of known taste is safe. But for experience, you can try the signature foods.
Point and shrug method : when you Don’t know the language, it’s better to use hand gesture and smiling face. Believe me, it really works. I have applied this many times in my life and succeed to communicate.
Once I was about to open an bank account in abroad but i could not understand the language written on the papers. So, with a smiling face I asked help to the desk lady. She understood that I have some difficulties to fill up the forms.
So, she did it by herself. Again, I was in the middle of the road and couldn’t find the way to my hotel. I just use my hand and tried to make understand the roadside people that I am lost. They wanted to know the name of the hotel and then, they guided me till I found the door. So, Don’t worry.
Good people are always near us. Just ask help, make a smiling face and try to make them understand what you are tiring to say.
Simple pleasantries can go a long away : I found it very helpful to say at least one or two local words, i mean at least hello and thank you. It is very easy to learn. You can learn this even from your taxi driver, hotel boy or any other person you want. Believe me, it makes people feel respected and shows your effort to adopt their culture even in your short duration of stay in that country.
Travelers often face difficulties during shopping as shopkeepers use to take more price of usual things finding them foreigners. If you start your shopping by saying hello to the shopkeeper in local language, then they will show more amicable behavior to you. Even the taxi driver will not try to fraud you if you show more caring behavior.
Learn the hand gesture : it is very important to learn the hand gesture of that country before you visit that. Hand gesture means knowing the meaning of different hand movement. Even, eating food with right or left hand is also a matter of understanding.
Though people try to be friendly with the foreigner, not everyone like them to do something that is not acceptable in their culture. I usually study a little about the hand gesture just before travelling in a place. It helps me to be more comfortable with the local people and people often find it as a symbol of respect if you are trying to learn their culture.
Ask for help whenever you want it: This might seems crazy to ask for help to the strangers, but believe me this is the best way to communicate. Help will generally find you if you really want it. My experience says that not even in Asia or Europe, but in every country of the world has same time of culture.
If you ask for help, at least you will find one person to help you. Once my visit in Berlin, I had to do an office work in their government office. But, unfortunately, the lady didn’t know English. I was in great trouble.
Then I asked for help if anyone knows English. Suddenly a man with good heart came and help me to make the lady understand what I wanted to say. So, wherever you are like in bus, train, market or office, just ask help whenever you need and you will always find a way to got helped.
These all tips are based on only my experience. These had helped me a lot, I think you will be also benefitted by it. Comment and share your opinion and experience so that we could help you more for your journey.