7 tips to travel when you don’t speak the language


7 tips to travel when you don’t speak the language

  • Be practical:

You don’t need to be bilingual to travel around, but make sure you pack a phrase book and take note of emergency telephone numbers and important addresses, in case you get lost or need some help.


  • Ask for help:

Don’t be afraid to approach the locals and ask them for help. In general, people are usually willing to help; even if they don’t speak your own language, they’ll try to understand and help where they can. Give it a go: you never know who you’ll meet!


  • Use sign language:

You’ll find yourself pointing at everything: when ordering food, asking for an address, shopping… But be careful with hand gestures: some of them have different meanings around the world.


  • Don’t say yes to everything:

When we’re in a place where we don’t speak the language, we sometimes tend to say “yes” a lot. But this isn’t always the best option. What about smiling and seeing if you can understand something else?


  • Louder isn’t always better:

Most of us are guilty of it… when you’re talking to someone and they don’t speak your language, you speak slowly and loudly. Extremely loudly! This can come across as patronising – they can hear you just fine thank you very much.


  • Learn some key phrases:

Take a look at our travel course and learn the essentials! Prepare yourself for when you get to the train station, or the coffee shop, and you need to ask for help. The locals will appreciate you making an effort to speak their language. This can help you to meet new people and discover amazing places.


  • Don’t get too frustrated:

Not speaking the same language means that you’ll need to come up with creative solutions to communicate in different ways. But don’t focus on how difficult it is; try to find a solution! Getting to know people will enrich your experience!


See you on busuu  🙂 

Leave a Comment:


  1. Michael Leech

    We would like to subscribe to Portuguese, but must be the Europe version.

  2. Lois

    Learning French is fun.

  3. Abdelkrim Miloudi

    So what I can say it’s ok I Greet you which I can Learn on busuu thanks for you againe ,

  4. Jeanine Cobb

    Good instructions!!

  5. Joseph Zohar

    excellent advice, I surley will use it in Italy

  6. Tom Hawker

    the email address is in my office and I wanted to get some information and maybe learn Spanish but it will not register me as the email address is already registered

    • Anna - busuu

      Hi Tom,
      If you have any problem you can send us an email to team@busuu.com and start learning a new language!

      See you in busuu! 🙂

  7. Jafar

    Tahank U Busuu,team,I got good information of u and like to continue wiith Busuu.
    Best regards.Jafar Mossavi

    • Anna - busuu

      Great Jafar!
      Thanks a lot for your kind words! 🙂
      See you on busuu.


  8. mashier ahmed

    Busuu you are best program
    Thanks you very much

    • Anna - busuu

      Thank you for your kind words!
      Continue learnng with busuu! 🙂

      • Roberta

        Super exeictd to see more of this kind of stuff online.

  9. Habib

    it’s nice to be your member. I also thank you for your instructions.

    • Anna - busuu

      Hi Habib,
      Thank you for your kind words!
      Continue your language learning with busuu!:)

  10. oscar

    This is wonderful, but I miss someone to help me improve my enlish language.

    • Anna - busuu

      Hi Oscar,
      Thank you for your comment!
      You can meet native speaker on busuu to help you to improve your English.
      Thanks! 🙂

    • yash gupta

      Add me over busuu.

  11. SMITH

    Thank you very much for this program!

    • Anna - busuu

      Thank you for your comment Smith!
      Continue learning with busuu! 🙂

  12. Roy

    Thanks for the instruction

  13. Haider

    There’s free course on location I don’t know why can not allowing internal that’s location. Sorry about my comments because I don’t write well

  14. Aisha

    This is very easy and useful knowledge for everyone thanks

  15. allan douglas

    I am keen to follow up on my beginners German?

  16. Blaine

    I’m learning Spanish with Busuu’s mobile app. I got notified that someone corrected my writing exercise but the “See comment” email link opens Busuu.com and I cannot log in. SO, I can’t get the benefit of the correction. There should be a way for me to see corrections through the mobile app. Otherwise, am enjoying the lessons!

    • Anna - busuu

      Hi Blaine,
      Thank you for your message, could you please get the latest version of the app?
      If it doesn’t work please email team@busuu.com so we can help you.

      The busuu Team

  17. Shirazqutub

    Thank you busuu team I am trying to English and French laungage thank u again

  18. nohelia

    quiero aprender ingles y estoy muy motivada

    • Anna - busuu

      ¡Genial Nohelia!
      Prueba nuestro curso de inglés y verás como 10 minutos al día pueden marcar la diferencia!
      Un saludo y continúa aprendiendo con busuu.com 🙂

  19. nuevomar

    It’s fun when you encounter with kind local people. It’s also a great chance to make new friends.