By Evan Parker
English can be a very hard language to understand, and a nearly impossible language to master. If you are planning on traveling abroad to an English-speaking country, you may have moments when you do not understand what people are saying, or what you should be doing. Do not be afraid! Below are a few tips that will help you get around abroad when you are traveling.
Know the Basics
More often than not, English speakers will probably not be able to speak your language. This is particularly true in the United States, where the vast majority of native English speakers have very little experience with foreign languages. Instead, make sure you know the basics! Practice asking for simple things in English, including where the bathroom is, do you speak (language), and My name is. By memorizing a few sentences, you can make getting around a lot easier.
Many English speakers are loud, and are used to hearing other people speak very loudly. If you are trying to talk to someone, and they do not seem to understand you, try repeating what you said. Make sure you speak up and try your best to loudly and clearly say what you mean.
Use Your Hands and Head
Regardless of where you go, almost everyone understands hand gestures. Nodding your head means yes, and shaking your head means no. By pointing, gesturing, and repeating yourself, you will be able to get your point across.
Use Your Smart Phone to Help
Your smart phone or portable electronic device can also be very helpful. There are many free English translator applications that you can download. If you are trying to talk to someone and they do not understand, write it out on your smart phone instead and show the translation to them. Also, some phones come with spoken translations, where the app will speak the English translation out loud for you.
If All Else Fails, Bring Paper and a Pen
Just like hand and head gestures, many people will understand you if you draw it out. Bring a paper and pen, and try to draw what you need. This is very useful if you are looking for instructions to a location.
Getting around English-speaking countries can be a challenge. However, with the right preparation, you will be able to expertly navigate. Until then, good luck!
Now you can read Part 2 with more Traveling and Speaking Tips:
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