Our Language Primer discusses
language resources for tourists and travelers for languages they might
encounter on their trip. It also offers some advice from
experienced world travelers about learning a few phrases of another language.
This includes some simple techniques you can use to learn and remember a few phrases
once you are on your trip. Remember, the best phonetics to capture the sound
are the ones you invent yourself. We'll show you how.
Before You Go -
Part 1 of 2
Here are some tips for learning a language using a combination of
traditional and online sources and methods. Learning a few
phrases of the language of the countries you visit will enhance your travel experience.
Yes, some travel experts say that you will get along just fine only speaking
English, especially if it is a place that
caters to tourists. But experienced travelers know you will have
more wonderful experiences if you can speak a little
of the local language. It is called being polite and friendly when
out and about in the global village. So what are you waiting for?
need 5 basic words and phrases to be polite and friendly and about 50 to
convey basic needs.
Module™ and you will be speaking 10 words and phrases in 5 languages
in no time.
1. Local Classes
If you are planning to spend a month or more in other countries, you
might want to consider taking a language course. The
yellow pages will probably have a section under Language Schools
you can check out. And if your city or town has a college or other
higher learning institute, ask them about continuing education
courses. Other local resources include cultural organizations that
may offer classes or you may be able to get a private tutor.
Many paperback travel
guides include a section, typically in the back of the book, with some
basic phrases in the languages of the country or countries that are
covered. Of course you don't want to pull out the book every time you
need to say something. That is too cumbersome. Some people copy or
tear out the pages with the phrases and stick them in their purse or
wallet. They need to be handy to be useful.
A Phrasebook will
either cover one language or several languages. If
it covers several languages, it will typical be for languages for a
region of the world, like Europe.
Sections for Everyone. Almost all phrasebooks are
divided into sections (e.g., basic phrases, shopping, dining,
transportation, etc.) This is based on the assumption that you
will become familiar with the content before you need to find
something. Otherwise, your vacation may be over before you find the
phrase you want! (Make sure to
find the page with "Where is the restroom?" before you need it!
They may have hidden it somewhere other than in the Basic Phrases
Phonetics. Almost all phrasebooks have the English text,
the text of the other language and a phonetic pronunciation. The
phonetics are usually either a transliteration, some other phonetic
pronunciation approach, or they will use the International Phonetic
Alphabet. If phonetics are used, some may be easier to
understand than others. A phrasebook will typically have a
section up front with an explanation of their phonetic codes. Check
this out and thumb through some pages to see if you will be
comfortable with their approach. Otherwise, you will probably not be
able to use them to get the sound right by merely looking at the
phonetics. Then you will be reduced to just using the phrasebook in an
emergency when you need to point to some word in the native language
to get your meaning across.
Take along a small
bi-directional dictionary. Some dictionaries include phonetic
pronunciations as well.
Part 2 of 2