Traveling abroad but worried about language barriers? Our team has tried its fair share of multilingual dictionaries and image translation apps, and while these tools are perfect for practical needs, they don’t get you beyond the basics. Whether you’re looking to experience places more intimately for leisure or want to arrive prepared for business, we’d like to share two quick ways to get more out of your travels by translating.
Reading and writing reviews
Translating locals’ reviews of hotels, restaurants and other destinations will help you uncover the best spots, wherever you find yourself in the world. User reviews, which can direct you to the best dishes on the menu and help you discover fun places off of the beaten path, are more up-to-date and detailed than what you’ll find in curated travel guides. Don’t hesitate to create your own, too, leaving a glowing review for your favorite local shop.
Creating a custom phrasebook
Travel guides rarely have everything you need as you need it—sometimes “good morning” just doesn’t cut it. A good alternative to buying a guide is creating your own (or pairing your custom guide with a pre-made one) and including just the information that you need, whether for business or leisure.
Maybe you speak just enough Russian to get by, but want to know how to greet business partners with a more detailed self-introduction. Making an effort will make you seem more polished and professional with overseas partners, even if they speak your language, and this can make for better business.
Both casual and business travelers unfamiliar with the local language might find it useful to translate simple yes/no questions for uncommon or specific questions, including phrases like, “Is this store open yet?” or “Could you take me back to my hotel? It’s located at…” This small boost of confidence from being able to better communicate with those around you might give you the courage to venture out, see more sights and have a more memorable stay.
If you’re going overseas soon and want to give our tips a shot, click here to get $10 in free credit towards your first order at Gengo—enough to create a sturdy starter’s guidebook, translate around ten tweets or read through reviews for a restaurant you’re eyeing.
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