The Best Ways to Communicate with the Locals When Traveling

Most people fear communicating with locals when traveling because they might misunderstand them. Essentially, many people are concerned about the language barrier when traveling. If this is a concerning issue for you, these tips should help you communicate better with local people when traveling.

Talk to Appropriate People

Not everybody will be willing to talk to you or answer your questions. Therefore, identify the people to talk to very carefully. Perhaps, the best person to approach is a local aged less than 40 years. Also, consider talking to university students because they are likely to be more open-minded. Consider workers in a 5-start hotel, banks, or pharmacies if you can’t find such people. Such places are likely to have educated people who can understand and speak the English language.

Use Simple Language

If unsure about the language skills of the locals you approach when traveling, use simple nouns, verbs, and adjectives. For instance, instead of asking “when’s the train due,” ask “when does the train come.” Essentially, “due” might not be in a non-native English speaker’s vocabulary. However, they might know the meaning of “come.” Thus, they will quickly understand your question. Always look for ways to simplify your sentences and words. However, don’t patronize. Also, use correct grammar.

Don’t Ask Leading Questions

Don’t assume that you can’t find good people when traveling. Some people are eager to help travelers. In some cases, a person will answer your question with a “yes” or a “no,” yet they didn’t understand your question. Therefore, consider open-minded questions instead of leading ones. That way, you can even start a conversation and get genuine answers to your questions. And you will quickly know if the locals didn’t understand your question.

Write Stuff Down

Perhaps, the staff at the hotel speaks a little English. In that case, you can opt to write down your questions instead of asking them verbally. Your accent can also hinder their understanding. Thus, writing down the questions can enhance their comprehension.

The language barrier shouldn’t hinder you from traveling. Follow these tips to communicate better with the locals when traveling.