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AbitaFan08
LSU Fan
Boston, MA
Member since Apr 2008
16101 posts

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
No, it wouldn’t be insulting. But if your bill is 38.50 and you put down 40, they will bring you the change without a second thought.

Yes, your card will work everywhere you go, unless a specific place only accepts cash. That’s about as rare as it is in the US though. Just make sure you call your bank and tell them the dates you will be gone and what countries you will be in, including any layovers you may have. If you tell them you’re going to Italy, Germany, and France, and buy a snack during your layover in London, it might get flagged (as an example)


lordguill
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Dec 2005
27853 posts

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
If you’re not fluent or at least semi competent in French, don’t bother in Paris. They REALLY don’t like hearing their language unless it’s perfect. If you have to communicate with someone, just politely ask them in French if they speak English. As another poster said, many people in Paris speak English anyway (exceptions being many ethnic minorities in my experience).
This post was edited on 12/6 at 9:40 am


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txtigersw
LSU Fan
Where the west begins
Member since Oct 2011
444 posts

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
Advice I got years ago that has served me well all over Europe, esp France-learn to say
“Good morning, I only speak English. Can you help me please?”


EA6B
Navy Fan
TX
Member since Dec 2012
8387 posts

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
quote:

Advice I got years ago that has served me well all over Europe, esp France-learn to say “Good morning, I only speak English. Can you help me please?”


"Ich spreche kein Deutsch" (I don't speak German) is all you need in Germany, or just ask whatever you want in English, more than 80% speak English.


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UGATiger26
Georgia Fan
Athens, GA
Member since Dec 2009
6776 posts

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
quote:

No, it wouldn’t be insulting. But if your bill is 38.50 and you put down 40, they will bring you the change without a second thought.


Yeah, think of it this way. There, a tip is truly a tip (if that makes sense). You’re not generating the server’s livelihood with your tipping. Tipping is basically a way of saying “hey I think you did a really good job. Here’s an extra euro or two.”

Basically, this gif encapsulates tipping there.

This post was edited on 12/7 at 9:12 am


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UGATiger26
Georgia Fan
Athens, GA
Member since Dec 2009
6776 posts

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
quote:

hello/goodbye
please/thank you
I'm sorry
Where is the restroom
I don't speak [language]
Do you speak English


Add in how to ask for the bill/check.

In Italian "il conto, per favore" works just fine.


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Mikey P
Southeastern LA Fan
Gulfport, MS
Member since May 2017
211 posts

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
inb4 PIIHB


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Nole Man
Florida State Fan
Somewhere In Tennessee!
Member since May 2011
3216 posts

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
I use Google Translate but I found that many times the words translated aren't with the words used locally. Spanish particularly. My daughter lived in Spain for a year and I visited her and the Spanish I used to use in Florida is not the same words that they use over there in many cases. I use an application called Evernote and where I hear somebody say something I write it down phonetically so at least I know how to say it again. It is true that most people speak English but I think if you make an effort they appreciate it if you try to say something in their language. They will correct you immediately but it becomes something you can laugh at yourself about with them!

You have a good list above but I would say the one single thing you need to learn how to say in the language you want to learn is "how do I say...?". Write it down somewhere and the next time you'll sound like a local!
This post was edited on 12/7 at 10:06 am


MLU
Member since Feb 2017
209 posts

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
10% is customary and a couple bucks a bag at the hotel. A lot of places add it to the bill, so just pay attention to that. Dollars are accepted, but euros typically preferred.
This post was edited on 12/7 at 10:17 am


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Nole Man
Florida State Fan
Somewhere In Tennessee!
Member since May 2011
3216 posts

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
Other tips:

Go to your local bank and get some euros and possibly some other currency based upon where you're going so you have some on hand. Some countries like Croatia for example generally don't take euros. Nothing worse than being stuck in a toll booth with no bills or coins to get out. And not all booths will take credit cards most don't in fact.

Regarding tipping that something that Americans are starting to create as a dynamic in Europe in general.

I think most Europeans and Italians do not expect a tip. If you do either round up the bill or cash out and hand them something separately and tell them it was for great service. I found that they will take your money but sometimes it seems like they're uncomfortable with you doing that so it's a case-by-case basis.
This post was edited on 12/7 at 9:24 pm


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
7725 posts
 Online 

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
quote:

Nothing worse than being stuck in a toll booth with no bills or coins to get out. And not all booths will take credit cards most don't in fact.

1)ATMs at the airport when you land are the easiest, most economical way to get local currency. I admit, I like to land with a little local money in my pocket, but it’s usually small bills and change left over from my last trip.
2)toll booths in some countries do take credit cards, though you need to be in a credit card lane. In France & Italy, at least, your US issued credit card will work on the national highway system toll booths (I’ve swiped thru both w/my Visa in the last 12 mos).


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UGATiger26
Georgia Fan
Athens, GA
Member since Dec 2009
6776 posts

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
quote:

It is true that most people speak English but I think if you make an effort they appreciate it if you try to say something in their language.


I can't speak to France, but this is definitely true in many parts of Italy. They are so used to vacationing Americans (they can spot an American from a mile away) simply expecting natives to speak English, that when one actually attempts to speak their language beyond things like "buongiorno" and "grazie", they are extremely receptive.

I didn't know any Italian the first time I went to Italy, but I started learning it prior to my subsequent trips there. Even though my vocabulary was very elementary at first and I was constantly mispronouncing things, my wife and I have been treated very warmly everywhere we've gone, even with non-hospitality workers.

In most cases, the conversation quickly turns into English, but it's easy to tell how excited they are that you're at least trying. Nearly everyone would always ask how long I've been learning Italian and give me some pointers on lingo and casual banter.
This post was edited on 12/7 at 1:46 pm


Nole Man
Florida State Fan
Somewhere In Tennessee!
Member since May 2011
3216 posts

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
quote:

I can't speak to France, but this is definitely true in many parts of Italy. They are so used to vacationing Americans (they can spot an American from a mile away) simply expecting natives to speak English, that when one actually attempts to speak their language beyond things like "buongiorno" and "grazie", they are extremely receptive. I didn't know any Italian the first time I went to Italy, but I started learning it prior to my subsequent trips there. Even though my vocabulary was very elementary at first and I was constantly mispronouncing things, my wife and I have been treated very warmly everywhere we've gone, even with non-hospitality workers. In most cases, the conversation quickly turns into English, but it's easy to tell how excited they are that you're at least trying. Nearly everyone would always ask how long I've been learning Italian and give me some pointers on lingo and casual banter.


EXACTLY! Although my last two trips to Europe (and Italy) is we didn't find a lot of English speaking people outside of the major cities where there are lots of tourists. Eastern Europe? Croatia and Slovenian all over. Czech Republic? Certainly in Prague.


WG_Dawg, for what it's worth, here a "dump" of my "go to phrases" in Italian I saved in Evernote. Guaranteed they work!

Uno, Due, Tre, Quattro, Cinque ("Chinkque"), Sei, Sette, Otto
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

I'm ready - "Sono pronto"

Let's go - "Andiamo"

Yes please - "Si, grazie!"

How are you - "Come sta"?

I don't speak Italian - "Non parlo Italiano"

Do you speak English - "Parla inglese?" (PAR-lah een-GLAY-zay)


I'm from the United States - "Sono degli Stati Uniti" ("Sono daylee Staahti Uniti")

I don't understand - "Non capisco"

Excuse me - "Scusi"

I like - "Mi piace" (mee pee-AH-chay)

Please - "Per favore" ("PAIR")

Where is the bathroom - "Dov'è il bagno"

Where's the taxi station - "Dov'è la stazione dei taxi"

How much - "Quanto costa?"

My name is in Italian - "Mi chiamo" or "Sono XXX" (I'm XXX)

Do you have WIFI - Avete Internet? ("A vay tee")

What is the WiFi password? - Qual'è la password per Internet?"

Write your destination and time on a piece of paper as many don't speak English

Your ticket (biglietto)
The station (stazione)
Track (binario or bin)
Seat number (Posto)

Restaurant Words:

Quanti (They'd ask you for how many?)"
"Quattro, Grazie" (4 please)
"Acqua" (Water)
"Birra" (Beer)
"Vino Bianco" (White wine)
"Vino Rosso" (Red wine)
"Un altro vino" (Another wine)
Can I have the menu, please? - "Il menu, per favore" ("Ill maynew")

What do you recommend? - "Cosa consiglia" ("Coza consillia")

The check please - "Il conto, per favore".
This post was edited on 12/7 at 5:37 pm


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northshorebamaman
Washington Fan
PNW
Member since Jul 2009
24871 posts
 Online 

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
I made it through four years in Germany with the following:

ja (yes)

nein (no)

bitte (please)

danke (thank you)

entschuldigung (excuse me)

sprechen sie Englisch? (do you speak English?)

tschuss- sounds like chuice (bye)

and 1-10



WG_Dawg
Georgia Fan
Atlanta
Member since Jun 2004
70397 posts
 Online 

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
All this is awesome thanks everyone. I'm gonna compile 3 separate notes with all these phrases and words to know for each country


Nole Man
Florida State Fan
Somewhere In Tennessee!
Member since May 2011
3216 posts

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
You can pay it forward by telling us how it went!


WG_Dawg
Georgia Fan
Atlanta
Member since Jun 2004
70397 posts
 Online 

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
quote:

Nole Man


I made 3 separate notes in my phone for each language with a bunch of phrases each. So far I. Germany so many people have spoken English, the only thing I've had to say to any body was "bill please" and honestly that probably wasn't even necessary.

Stuttgart is very English which has been awesome. I know Rome and Paris won't be the same but im enjoying this for now


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choupic
LSU Fan
Somewhere on da bayou
Member since Nov 2009
1655 posts

re: Helpful phrases to know when traveling abroad?
Download Google translator app. Then open app and load which ever language you think you will need while inEurope. There is a feature which uses your camera that reads printed words on paper, and shows it to you in English. Very helpful when at Restaurants.


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