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Communicating when you travel abroad

We often travel abroad and we have learned the hard way of communicating with the Chinese in Hongkong. In our most recent trip to Japan, we were ready with our weapon – a list of words and phrases in Japanese. That was a neat trick since we were able to roam around Tokyo for 3 days all by ourselves with the help of the Nihonggo list.

  • How do you talk with a foreigner?

    • By crooked English
    • By hand gestures
    • Using body language
    • I have a list of words


What do you think?


Written by Alex Socorro

Content AuthorYears Of Membership


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  1. I’ve never been abroad so I can’t tell. It’s important to know the local culture before leaving. Sometimes locals don’t speak English, so it helps to learn basic words and phrases or use an app that translates instantly (though it is not always accurate). It can be truly necessary when visiting rural areas or meeting the elders. Unless they only speak dialect, that would make things even more complex. In that case, I suppose you would need a bilingual guide.
    Hand gestures can be tricky as they don’t always mean the same thing everywhere. ?

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