I’m lucky. With working knowledge of English and Arabic, and un poco Español, I can navigate a good number of countries quite easily. Your girl is cultured, okurrt! I would say I had the hardest time in Italy, possibly France. In France, I just assumed that all French people hate Americans and everyone was trying to force me to speak French. Rightfully so, I was in France at the end of the day. In Italy, if you stepped an inch outside of the tourist traps, not many people spoke English. I loved it! Gives a place an authentic feel. Sadly, I know no Italian. I was walking around bewildered, wide-eyed, and awkwardly laughing and shrugging my shoulders when people asked me questions.
Sound familiar? Want to travel, but scared that the language barrier will be, well….a barrier? Have no fear, WanderlustWad is here! Here are some tools, apps, and suggestions I’ve found for those of you looking to wander into foreign lands with no knowledge of said foreign language. You brave, courageous souls! Here is your list:
I love this app! It helped me learn a wee-bit of French (see what I did there) before I was off on my European adventure. This app is useful because it helps you learn some of the basics of the language, and it only takes about 10 minutes a day. This is definitely something you’ll need to work on before you head to your foreign land though. You can’t be trying to find a restroom going through DuoLingo trying to figure out which lesson teaches you about asking where the bathroom is. It doesn’t work that way. If you like to plan ahead, this is the app for you.
This is a good one if you whether you’ll have internet connectivity or not. Download the app onto your phone, and download the language onto your phone so you can get translations offline. I also love this app because it lets you take pictures of signs, highlight the words you want translated, then it spits out the translation. This was wonderful when I was looking at menus talking about ‘fromage’ and ‘du boeuf’. Bonjour that heauxs.
Old Fashioned Dictionary
Haha, what a joke, right? Yeah, no, I’m really not kidding. I’m serious. No matter how archaic this may seem, a personal dictionary may be your best bet! I honest to goodness wish I had one at times during my Cuba adventure. Do you know how difficult it was to use the poco Español that I knew and the zero internet connection to get around a Spanish speaking country for a week. Imagine all that I had to ask about. Directions. Roads. Food types. Prices. RESTROOM LOCATIONS. You know what would have been useful? A damn dictionary.
Google Pixel Buds
Many of you may not know about this, and I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t used it myself, but if it works like Google says it does, we are going far with this my friends. These are earbuds, specifically designed for the Google Pixel phone, that can translate languages for you in real time, as in when someone is speaking to you in French, your Pixel Buds will be in your ear translating what they are saying to you, as they say it. When you respond, the Pixel Buds will also translate your English into French (or whatever language you choose) through your phone’s speaker. Available in over 40 languages and counting. Mind. Blown.
This is a messaging, calling, video-calling app all wrapped in one. Use it to call a friend who knows the language. Let them translate for you. Good luck and God bless!