Planning a trip abroad? Try to learn a bit of the local language before you head out. Based on our travels throughout the years, we found locals are more inclined to help you out if you make an effort and be more than the average American tourist.

Below you will find we have covered basic travel words and phrases to know for countries on our travel bucket list: England, France, Italy, Japan and South Korea. These basic foreign language phrases should help you navigate through common situations on your trip.

Hello

… in French
Bonjour

… in Italian

Ciao

… in Japanese

おはようございます (Ohayou gozaimasu): use this greeting only in the mornings

こんにちは (Konnichiwa): use this only in the evenings.

… in Korean

안녕하세요 (An-nyeong-ha-se-yo)

… in English?

Hello

Pretty simple for British English, right?

Goodbye

… in French

Au revoir

… in Italian

Arrivederci

“Ciao” means goodbye as well, but it’s more of an informal salutation.

… in Japanese

さようなら (Sayounara)

… in Korean

안녕히계세요 (Ahn-nyeong-hee gye-se-yo): use this only if you are leaving first.

안녕히가세요 (Ahn-yeong-hi gah-se-yo): use this only if another person leaves first.

… in English?

See you (later)

“Laters” is another way to say goodbye, but it is mostly used by teens.

Thank you

… in French

Merci

… in Italian

Grazie

… in Japanese

ありがとうございます (Arigatou gozaimasu) is best used for formal or polite conversation.

ありがとう(Arigatou) is the casual way of saying thank you.

… in Korean

감사합니다 (Gamsa-hamnida)

… in English?

Thanks

“Cheers, mate” is another useful phrase you might want to familiarize yourself with. Mate stands for friend.

Where is the embassy?

… in French

Où est l’ambassade?

… in Italian

Dov’è l’ambasciata?

… in Japanese

大使館はどこですか? (Taishikan wa doko desu ka?)

… in Korean

대사관이 어디에 있어요? (Daesagwan-i eodie-isseoyo?)

… in English?

Where is the embassy?

Where is the bathroom?

… in French

Où sont les toilettes?

… in Italian

Dov’è il bagno?

… in Japanese

トイレはどこですか?(Toire wa doko desu ka?)

… in Korean

화장실이 어디에 있어요? (Hwajangsil-i eodie-isseoyo?)

… in English?

Where’s the loo?

Does this dish have ___?

… in French

Est-ce que ce plat a du ___?

Or you could say “Y en a-t-il dans le/la ___?” which means “Does this contain ___?”

Food words that may apply to this common phrase:

  • poisson: seafood
  • cacahuètes: peanuts
  • gluten: gluten
  • viande: meat

… in Italian

C’è / Ci sono ____ in questo? (Is there / Are there ___ in this?)

Food words that may apply to this common phrase:

  • frutti di mare: seafood
  • noci: nuts
  • glutine: gluten
  • carne: meat

… in Japanese

この料理は___がはっていますか? (Kono ryouri wa ___ ga hatte imasu ka?)

Food words that may apply to this common phrase:

  • 魚 (sakana): fish
  • ピーナッツ (piinattsu): peanuts
  • グルテン (guruten): gluten
  • 肉 (niku): meat

… in Korean

이 음식에 ____ 들어가요? (I eumsige ___ deuleogayo?)

Food words that may apply to this common phrase:

  • 해산물 (haesanmu): seafood
  • 견과류 (geongwaryu): nuts
  • 글루텐이 (geulluten-i): gluten
  • 고기가 (gogiga): meat

… in English?

Does this have ___?

Another simple one. In case you’d like another go at learning English words, try this: Fancy a cuppa? It means “Would you like a cup of tea?”

This train (subway) goes to ___, doesn’t it?

… in French

Ce métro va à ___, n’est-ce pas?

… in Italian

Questo treno arriva a ___, giusto?

… in Japanese

この電車は___に行くのですか?(Kono densha wa ___ ni iku no desu ka?)

(I used the term for train I’m more familiar with, 電車, or densha, which means electric train – Honey)

You can also use:

列車 (ressha): train

地下鉄 (chikatetsu): subway

… in Korean

이 전철 ___ 가죠? (E jeoncheol ___ gajyo?)

… in English?

This tube train is heading to ___, isn’t it?

Take note that the phrase above may be helpful if you’re riding via one of London’s Tube lines.

 

There you go! Look at you being a cultured adult. Now you have some useful foreign language phrases in your skill arsenal.

Regularly practicing with a real person fluent in the language you want to learn makes a huge difference. Learning a new language using apps like Duolingo and Lingvist are helpful, yet to an extent. Hit up a local language exchange meetup and find a partner to converse with. Maybe even convince them to play a game of rock-paper-scissors in French, Italian, Japanese or Korean.

 

What language are you interested in learning? Any particular foreign language phrases you want to know?

Tell us in the comments or get in touch with us. We’re @honeynfox on Twitter.