Lost in Translations

Through my travels I have found that it is often frustrating and difficult to be in a country where you don’t speak the language. However, I have learned that if I master 4 key phrases in the local language than I have much better success interacting with local people and navigating around a city or country. If you learn these simple phrases before visiting I can assure you your travels will be much easier and people will be more helpful!

1.      Hello

2.      Please

3.      Thank you

4.      Where is the bathroom?

(maybe this one is only for me but I know it is the worst feeling to be in a country and have to go to the bathroom but not know where it is or worse, not know how to use it!)

Here is a list of countries you may find yourself in and their translations for these 4 key phrases (Sorry I can’t provide an exhaustive list but I’ll take a chance in assuming most of you won’t find yourself in remote villages in Indonesia needing to ask where the bathroom is. I’m sure you can figure that one out yourself!)

SPANISH

Spain/Argentina/Bolivia/Chile/Peru/etc:

Hola

Por Favor

Gracias

Dónde está el baño?

(This phrase might be useful too: Mi aerodeslizador está lleno de anguilas. Translation: My hovercraft is full of eels.)

FRENCH

France/Morocco/Switzerland/Belgium/etc:

Bonjour

S’il vous plaît

Merci

pardon, où sont les toilettes?

(I would suggest not saying this phrase (unless it’s really true): “Mon Dieu, que vos enfants sont laids”. Translation: My God your children are ugly!”)

 

GERMAN:

Germany/Austria/Switzerland/Luxembourg/etc:

Guten Tag

Bitte

Danke

Wo ist die Toilette?

ITALIAN:

Italy/Switzerland:

Ciào

Per Favore

Grazie

Dov’è il bagno?

DUTCH:

Netherlands

Hallo

Alstublieft

Dank je

Pardon, waar is de W.C.?

RUSSIAN:

Russia

Zdravstvyte (formal) privet (informal – only to people you know, never adults you don’t know)

Pazhalsta

Spasibo

Gde toelette?

HINDI:

India

Namaste

Krupaya

Shukriyaa

saunchalay (pronounced "sawchaalay") kahan hain?

PORTUGUESE:

Portugal, Brazil

Olá

Por favor
Obrigado(a)

Por favor, onde é a casa-de-banho

AFRIKAANS:

South Africa

Haai

Asseblief

Dankie

Waar is die badkamer?

BRITISH ENGLISH

Britain

Hello

Please

Thank you

Where is the loo?

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1 Comment

Filed under World

One response to “Lost in Translations

  1. These phrases are definitely a good place to start; I agree that it is a very frustrating and embarrassing experience if you don’t know how to ask for a bathroom! I liked the extra phrase you threw in for the Spanish section as well! :)

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