How many languages do they speak? What are the most useful languages for travel? It is easy to imagine backpacking in countries or cities where we share the same language. But what if we want to travel to Albania, China or Tanzania?
How do I communicate with people in the street? Can I visit the same if I can’t speak other languages?
Although there is no single and universal answer, it all depends a lot on the country where you want to travel – the truth is that, as many languages you speak, the more chances you have to tour better.
What languages should I learn while touring the world?
As a generalization, if you ask me for an opinion, these are the most useful languages when traveling:
Without a doubt, this is the standard tongue for everyone in the universe, and to an extent, English is one of the dominant languages across the globe and the most useful of all European languages.
With over 400 million native speakers, and 1.6 billion people who have it as a second language, English is the most useful languages for travel . Where no one speaks your tongue, it will always be possible to find someone who speaks English and can give us a hand.
A Romantic Language (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, or Romanian)
French: It is not among the ten most spoken languages in the world about the number of inhabitants, but due to a large number of countries that were a colony, speaking French can be a significant and one of the most useful languages for travel.
Thirty-three countries use it as the first or second official language, and most are in Africa. From Togo or Benin to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti or Madagascar, planning a trip to the black continent cannot miss some basic French lessons.
Spanish: I sense that if you go to study here, it is because you speak the same language, but I put it anyway because I feel that many times people belittle their language, without realizing how important it is worldwide, and the advantage that they have to speak it natively.
Spanish, being the second-highest spoken language in the world after Mandarin Chinese, with more than 496 million speakers. And it is the first language of twenty countries around the globe, and although it may seem difficult to understand, particularly if you want to learn it while traveling, the number of international students grows year by year this is why every traveler thing that Spanish is also one of the most useful languages for travel.
Due to its Latin origin, the knowledge of Spanish will help you in learning other useful languages, which are similar in structure and grammar, like Italian and Portuguese.
Being the fifth most spoken language in the world, with 22 countries that have it as the official language, Arabic is an ace up its sleeve when traveling. There is no denying how difficult- I read out there that a child does not reach language proficiency until the age of seven – in addition to so many variations that studying it correctly can be frustrating.
However, since it is the language of the Quran, speaking a little Arabic is extremely useful not only in Middle Eastern countries but also in those where Islam predominates, such as Sudan, Indonesia or Morocco.
It is the eighth in the world and, together with those mentioned in this list, one of the official languages of the United Nations. In addition to Russia (which is no small matter), speaking Russian is a great door to handle in all the countries of Eastern Europe as well as in those that were part of the Soviet Union.
However, it is not the first language of these countries; it is not difficult to find individuals who speak it as their second tongue. From the Czech Republic, Moldova or Bulgaria, to all of Central Asia likes Kyrgyzstan or Turkmenistan.
It can even be helpful in Mongolia. Although the Cyrillic alphabet can discourage, at first sight, Russian is not a difficult tongue for those of us who speak Spanish.
Germany is near the heart of Europe where the financial and political power resides; therefore, it is understandable this great country’s likewise great tongue penetrates all over. The native-speaking nations are Switzerland, regions of Luxembourg as well as Belgium, Austria, and then Germany herself; however, the German dialect comes in helpful significantly across its borders.
Youths parts of Europe are trying to learn German a lot more since the country significantly provides work openings and careers to young Europeans; nevertheless, young people are not solely the particular ones who understand the language.
A large number of individuals from the eastern parts of Europe worked in the country and also Austria for decades, which explains why many of the recent generations speak German proficiently.
An Asiatic Language (Cantonese/Mandarin Chinese, Korean, or Japanese)
Mandarin: Nearly all tourists to China plan to use organized trips, usually guided by Mandarin-native speaking individuals. Although there are English organized tours, talking in some Chinese will probably most likely ingratiate one to the guide and even some natives you come across.
And if you are much more adventurous, a substantial degree of the language will assist you to get around the massive region more by yourself (even though lots of individuals in the Western provinces don’t converse with the same tongue).
It is as well the official verbal communication of Taiwan, an excellent vacation option for China. However, the small island country doesn’t formally exist per majority of the globe, a bit of Mandarin will let you have fun with the warm weather, advanced of growth, and also the pretty cost-friendly expense of travel and cost of living.
Cantonese: The most renowned kind of the Yue verbal communication (and various other languages with which it’s collectively intelligible) is commonly spoken by sixty million people stretched across the Macau and Hong Kong and the southern part of China.
It stretches across more geographic regions compared to Mandarin since the overwhelming population of Chinese people ex-pat cities within the Southeast and East Asia and in many around the globe beyond are Cantonese speakers.
The Japanese language is one significant world language, having one hundred and twenty-five million speakers; however, the restriction to tourists is the fact that it is not spoken beyond the borders of Japan.
The Korean language is likewise vast and also limited; however, the progressive development of tourism in North Korea could provide sufficient motivation for several adventurous tourists to decide to learn the language.
Other Means of Communication
So we share with some of the most useful languages for travel But When you don’t understand another language or the natives of your destination do not converse in your tongue, it is important to use:
Hand gestures are a whole piece of interaction; especially in cases where we will be communicating in a language, we do not speak. These are smart ways of ensuring we’re driving our intention across as well as underpin the things we want to say.
However, some of these signs have different meanings in each part of the world, and it is a good thing good to find out about them before leaving to avoid getting into trouble.
Facial Expression: A smile means the same in Japan, Thailand, Germany, Peru, or Mexico. The same for discontent, anger, sadness, etc., there are indeed non-verbal expressions that are culturally conditioned, that is, they vary from the country or region of the world that you belong to, but in general terms, any desire or emotion that you want to transmit can be done without speaking.
Even when your trip is briefly to any city or country wherein you don’t converse in the tongue in any way, what has worked continuously well, in my opinion, is always to understand at the least the essential words or phrases in the language.
for example “How are you”, “Please”, “Thank you”, It actually does amazing things and also produces an attachment to individuals you wouldn’t be in a position to connect in any way, which is often interpreted as an indication of a careless character or disrespect.
Learning the native language of your destination helps you discover and explore more, and also, understanding many tongues saves you from using a foreign language translator.
And also, figure out how to say “Excuse me,” this is essential if you run into anybody in the stores which will make you stay away from trouble.