Wednesday, 22 February 2017

How to Cope with Language Barriers

Local Map

Language is the mode of communication between people. When you travel abroad, it is important that you communicate with the locals. This helps in getting along with them. The locals not only guide you, but also help you understand their culture. Thus, communication in the correct language is important. English is the universal language, but there are many countries where English is not well spoken. Countries like Japan, China, Korea, Spain, Russia, Hong Kong, France and Germany have less English speaking population. This makes it difficult for travellers to communicate with the locals. This Language barrier may confuse people, and break communication. Thus, it is important to cope with these Barriers while travelling. In this Blog, we will share some tips on how to cope with Language Barriers. Let’s get started…..

Tourist Guide

1.  Research:  The First thing you should do is research about the place you are visiting. Find out what percentage of people speak English. This will help in figuring out how big the language barrier can be. If the country you are visiting has less than 25% English speaking population, you will face a lot of problem.

2.   Tour Guide: it is always advisable to have a Tour Guide who understands both English, as well as the local language. A Tour Guide or Local can be very helpful, especially when you are travelling alone. If you are on a pleasure trip, book yourself on a group package. They are very good in countries with language barriers.

3.   Common Words: Learn some basic words and phrases in the language. A few of them will help you in connecting with the locals.  Knowing basic sentences will help solve some of your queries. Basic sentences may include Introduction, Hi, good morning, where is this place, how to, etc.

Language Books

4.   Translation Books: If you are on a long trip, it is advisable to purchase a Translation Book. They come in different forms. Some of them are made for travellers having direct translations without any grammar lessons. These are very good, as they serve your purpose with ease. They have a few hundred Basic English sentences with their translation and pronunciation. Many Hotels in China provide these Books to their guests in the rooms.

5.   Translation Apps:  in this age of Smart Phones, there are a lot of Language Translation Apps available. Google Translator is very famous. Apart from that some companies have also launched their own Translation Apps. Apps also differ from Place to Place. Some Apps are developed for specific countries. Apps change from time to time. So, make sure you enquire about the right one.

6.   Use Gestures: Include Gestures while communicating. Half of your message can be understood by gestures. Gestures and Body language compliment your words to make the message clear. Gestures must be practiced well in order to communicate.

Language Translation APPs

7.  Listen- Be a good  listener: Listening and paying attention to the other person can help you understand the message more clearly. Active Listening and Body Language helps understand 70% of the message.

These are some ways in which you can cope with Language Barriers while travelling. If you have more suggestions, please comment down below. Your suggestions will further enhance the Blog…..

Hand gestures

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