How to Get By in a Foreign Country When You Don’t Speak the Language

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Unless you have a super brain, you’re probably not going to learn a whole new language every time you visit a different country. But with the right tools in your arsenal, you can get by. Here’s how to survive when you don’t understand the native tongue.

To bridge the gap, you’ll need to rely on more than just a phrase book. Many countries and major cities that expect tourism from English speakers (which we assume you are if you’re reading this) are somewhat English-friendly, which helps—but of course, your mileage may vary. I recently spent a week in Japan without knowing the language. Here’s what I learned during my trip.

Hand gestures are almost universally understood. Before you start playing charades however, learn the local meanings of common gestures. In Bulgaria, for example, nodding means no, and shaking your head means yes. Yikes! Search up some local gestures beforehand to make sure you’re not insulting your waitress when trying to gesture for water.


So, Eric Ravenscraft wrote this really cool article on how to communicate properly whenever you visit a new country and you don’t know the language.

Of course, the solution would be to learn the language! But in some cases, that’s not a possibility. What are some useful tips?

Read the full article on Life Hackerhttp://lifehacker.com/how-to-get-by-in-a-foreign-country-when-you-dont-speak-1694739589

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Fotografía: Ente de Turismo del Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.

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