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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Top 20 Phrases to Learn when Travelling

When travelling to a new country, it makes such a difference if you can speak a few words in their language.

On our travels, we have found that people appreciate our effort when we speak to them in their language, even if they do reply in perfect English!

Currently, we are learning Spanish using the Duolingo App. Have you tried it? I must say that Spanish is much easier than learning Japanese. I didn't get very far. Do feel free to connect with us on the App. My username is LindseyGrownUpTravellers (I am sure there is only 1 of me!)

We've also found Google Translate App is useful. If you have wifi, you can use the functions of voice recorder and camera where it translates text. Very clever. More info at

However, don't rely on Google Translate too much. I remember one time in Argentina when we had picked up a couple of hitch-hikers. I was using the App and passing my mobile back and forth to communicate. The answers to my questions were often very random.

It wasn't until someone mentioned that this app American rather than English. Ah, that is why some of our translations didn't make sense. For example, in America, a jumper is a person who jumps rather than a pullover, as it is in English.

During our travels, we have taken note of some phrases that we regularly use. Many are obvious, such as yes, no, please, thank you, hello, goodbye and 1 to 10 to learn.

Some are a bit random such as "How long have you been an Uber driver for?" Yes, we do only ask this to Uber drivers, not some random person we meet in the street. Here are our top 20 phrases.

* What's your name? My name is...

* Nice to meet you

* Where are you from? I am (from England)

* Do you have a family? We have two sons

* It is lovely (this always goes down well)

* You are welcome

* Where is the (station/atm/bathroom)

* I don’t understand; I only speak a little ....

* I do not eat (meat/bread/guinea pig)

* Please can I have (wine/beer/a seat)

* How much is it? How much?!

* Do you have change?

* I am sorry (I am thankful I learnt this See

Looking at the history of our Google Translate we also have:

* What are good places to visit?

* What is the address, please? Can you write it down?

* Do we go left or right?

* We are travelling around the world

* This is an excellent (place, meal, view)

How long did it take you to make? (I think that was from when we were in a beautiful tapestry museum in Cusco)

* Good luck

What phrases have you found useful to learn? Please do add them in a comment below. We'd love to know.

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