Brush Up on the Basics
The English language has several key phrases that help you get through many common social situations that you encounter while traveling. For instance, you should know how to say your full name along with where you are going. You should also know some proper greetings and polite sayings such as how to ask for help or directions. Remember that the smallest amount of vocabulary can help you handle the largest amount of social interactions.
Put Essential Information in Writing
There are times when it is easier to communicate with pre-written language. For example, you can get custom engraved luggage tags that list important information such as your name, home address, and destination. This can help you to avoid trying to navigate your way through a conversation with people at the airport who may not understand your language. You can also pre-print a few of those key phrases that you have trouble remembering. This way, you can just point to them when you encounter a challenging conversation.
Use a Language App
Technology is an asset for international travelers. Make sure to keep your cellphone powered up so that you can access your favorite language translation app. You should make sure to download the app and practice using it before you head out for your trip. In a pinch, Google tends to have a translation function in the search bar that is easy enough for most students to use.
Practice Talking as Much as Possible
Finally, don’t get so hung up on being nervous that you forget to try out your English speaking skills. Go ahead and try to speak the language to the people that you meet. It’s okay to let them know that you are still learning, and remember that most people can understand you if you take your time to get most of the words right. Practice helps to give you confidence as you spend more time in your new country.
As you travel, most people that you meet will be excited to hear that you are learning English. You’ll also discover that immersing yourself in a new culture allows you to experience the language in ways that you cannot at home. From making your way through the airport to sitting down in your brand new classroom, using every method that you have available to communicate enhances your experience.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan