• Teelesia Martin

Helpful Words/Phrases to Learn Before Traveling Abroad

While many of us are not fluent in several languages of the land, it is extremely helpful to know a few basic words and phrases to help navigate your travels through the unknown. Let’s face it, it can be frustrating trying to speak to someone who has no idea what you’re talking about and vice versa. Nevertheless, you are in their country. You should be somewhat prepared before your travels. Make a great impression and make your life easier. Here’s a quick translation of the most common words you will need to know when traveling abroad:

Hi (English):

German: Hallo

French: Bonjour

Italian: Buongiorno

Spanish: Hola

Goodbye (English):

German: Tschüss

French: Au revoir

Italian: Arrivederci

Spanish: Adiós

Yes (English):

German: Ja

French: Oui

Italian: Si


No (English):

German: Nein

French: Non

Italian: No

Spanish: No

Please (English):

German: Bitte

French: S'il vous plaît

Italian: Per favore

Spanish: Por favor

Thank You (English):

German: Danke dir

French: Merci

Italian: Grazie

Spanish: Gracias

You’re Welcome (English):

German: Bitte

French: De rien

Italian: Prego

Spanish: De nada

Turn Left (English):

German: Biegen Sie links ab

French: tournez à gauche

Italian: gira a sinistra

Spanish: Girar a la izquierda

Turn Right (English):

German: biegen Sie rechts ab

French: tournez à droite

Italian: Girare a destra

Spanish: girar a la derecha

Help (English):

German: Ich brauche Hilfe. / Hilfe!

French: J’ai besoin d’aide. / À l’aide!

Italian: Mi serve aiuto. / Aiuto!

Spanish: Necesito ayuda. / ¡Ayuda!

Emergency (English):

German: Notfall

French: Urgence

Italian: Emergenza

Spanish: Emergencia

Time (English):

German: Zeit

French: Temps

Italian: Tempo

Spanish: Hora

Where (English):

German: Woher


Italian: Dove

Spanish: Dónde

Pharmacy (English):

German: Apotheke

French: Pharmacie

Italian: Farmacia

Spanish: Farmacia

Taxi (English):

German: Taxi

French: Taxi

Italian: Taxi

Spanish: Taxi

Food (English):

German: Essen

French: Aliments

Italian: Cibo

Spanish: Comida

Hospital (English):

German: Krankenhaus

French: Hôpital

Italian: Ospedale

Spanish: Hospital

Bank (English):

German: Bank

French: Banque

Italian: Banca

Spanish: Banco

Basic words are always helpful but there are a few cases where you may need to know some key phrases to tie into a conversation. Learn these too:

  • Numbers 1 thru 10

  • How are you?

  • Call the police!

  • I am hurt!

  • I don’t know!

  • Where is the bathroom?

  • How much?

  • Do you have change?

  • Do you speak (your language)?

  • How do I get to the airport?

  • Do you take credit cards?

In all situations, I always recommend the Google Translate app. It provides instant translations in 100+ languages. You can type the phrase for immediate translation or record yourself speaking and it will respond in translated audio. Such a great tool to have! If you plan on spending a few days or more in a country, why not immerse yourself into the culture, it can only enhance your trip. Keep this handy tool available too, Help Me Help You!!!

Buena Suerte! 😊

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