A language barrier shouldn’t affect where you choose your flights for, because you don’t need to learn an entire language to go to a foreign country. Whilst you may opt to download one of the best foreign language apps, there are also a few helpful tips that will help you learn basic language skills without much effort at all. Here are a few tips to help you communicate on your next holiday!

Speak clearly and simply

If you’re talking to someone who understands basic language, our natural instinct is to then raise our voice and repeat in English… why? We’re not sure either. Any language communication skill should be how to communicate with others and that is clearly and using simple sentences.

Make a game out of it

This is particularly helpful if you’re after a product in a shop for example, toilet roll. Everyone loves charades so repeat the word clearly and then make a motion of what you’d do with this product. You’re on holiday so you might as well make a laugh out of the situation.

Phrase Book

There are many excellent phrase books which have the basic language skills in and offer some simple sentences or suggestions for communicating with others. Carry one of these around and you can simply look up what you’re attempting to say.

woman with a phrase book on holiday

Research the destination

The power of the internet means we can get the answers to pretty much instantly, and the world is full of globe trotters so you will be able to find some tips on learning a foreign language to a specific destination.

Don’t Panic

Whether you’re learning a foreign language or not, don’t panic. It’s not an exam talking to the locals, and majority of people will understand the language barrier and do their utmost to try and understand your request. As soon as you start panicking, you could confuse them more. Just remain calm and if you’re confused, gesture to your phrase book and search what you’re looking to say.


If you’re heading abroad to a touristy area, most of the time you don’t even need a foreign language skill. Often enough, you’ll find signs are in the language of the country and then it translated into English below. This saves you a world of hassle, especially if you’re driving!

Book a guided day tour

Another task where you can see the city without requiring any language communication skills is to book a day tour. Have a research of the possibilities and you can book an English-speaking tour guide which will show you the most important landmarks. If you want to learn some basic language skills, just ask them and they will probably be able to help you out.

Particularly in tourist sites, locals and workers will expect people to not speak the same language and you are both in the same boat. Remember that talking clearly and using gestures really do help the other person. It’s all part of the fun of travelling somewhere abroad!