Habla Ingles?: Useful Phrases While Abroad

Habla Ingles?: Useful Phrases While Abroad

Apr 3, 2014| by administrator


When planning to travel abroad, it's a good idea to conduct some research on the various places you'd like to visit, the best ways to get around, and some highlights of your destination's culture. But in order to really get to know anything at all about your host nation, it's essential to learn a few words in their language.

Knowing a few key words in another language is a sign of respect for those whose country you're visiting. If you ever get lost, want to ask a specific question, or just want to be polite to the native speakers, there are a few phrases that will really come in handy. Here's  a short list of useful words and phrases in different languages.

1. "Hello" /  "Goodbye"

Spanish: Hola / Adiós

Swahili: Jambo / Kwa heri

Chinese: Nǐ hǎo / Zàijiàn

Hindi: Namastē / Alvidā

Icelandic: Halló / Bless

Portuguese: Olá  / Adeus 

Arabic: Marḥaban / Ma’a salama

2. "Please"/ "Thank you"

Spanish: Por favor / Gracias

Swahili: Tafadhali / Asante

Chinese: Qǐng / Xièxiè

Hindi: Kr̥payā  / Dhan'yavāda

Icelandic: Vinsamlegast / Takk

Portuguese: Por favor / Obrigado

Arabic: min fudlika (male) or min fudliki (female) / Shokran

3. "Do you speak English?"

Spanish: Habla ingles?

Swahili: Unazungumza kiingereza?

Chinese: Nǐ huì jiǎng yīngyǔ ma?

Hindi: Kyā āpa aṅgrēzī bōlatē haiṁ?

Icelandic: Talarðu ensku?

Portuguese: Você fala Inglês?

Arabic: Hal tatahadath Al Englyzeyah?

4. "Yes" / "No"

Spanish: Si / No

Swahili: Ndiyo / Hapana

Chinese: Shì de / Bú

Hindi: Haan / Nahi

Icelandic: Já / Nei

Portuguese: Sin / Não

Arabic: Naam / Laa

5. "Where is the bathroom?"

Spanish: Dónde está el baño?

Swahili: Choo kiko wapi?

Chinese: Cèsuǒ zài nǎlǐ?

Hindi: Tāyalet kahāṁ haiṅ?

Icelandic: Hvar er klósettið?

Portuguese: Onde é o banho?

Arabic: Ayn al-ḥammām?

Even if you are unsure of your pronunciation, try to speak the native language anyway. People appreciate it when visitors try their best to at least attempt speaking the language, and will generally be more willing to help you. Besides, the ability to speak Swahili is a neat party trick.

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