Communicating Effectively on Holiday
There are few things worse than not being understood, but going on a vacation to a foreign country is one way to ensure that you’re going to spend a lot of time trying to get people to understand you. While it is simply impossible to learn the language of every new place you’re going to visit, there are some ways to ensure that you’ll be understood correctly. If you keep these tips in mind you can make sure that you’ll have a fun vacation.
One way to make sure people understand you is fairly simple, but it’s something that people tend to forget really easily, and that is to stop using slang words. Slang words are basically terms that are very local in use and which differ from place to place. If you’re very habitual with your use of slang then you’re going to have trouble because people in new countries are simply not going to understand what you’re asking for.
A variant of that advice is to use internationally recognized terms that you know other people will understand. For example use the word auto instead of car – that’s a word that’s used in place of car or vehicle in many countries. In fact, use no words at all if possible – keep it simple and use gestures and pictures of things to indicate your needs.
The most important thing though, is to speak clearly and slowly. People don’t realize how much accents and varied pronunciations can change the sound of a word and make it harder for people not familiar with the accent to understand them. But words spoken slowly and clearly enunciated – especially carefully chosen simple words – are easier to understand.