Phrases to Know For Traveling: 50 Important Phrases to Learn

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While learning every language and being fluent in a country’s native language before traveling is something that you are not likely to do, there are some key phrases to know for traveling to the area that will make the journey more enjoyable.

Below find some of the most commonly used terms that you may need to know while traveling in four of the most commonly used languages and some recommended phone apps for translation while abroad.

Tip: Make some note cards with the commonly used phrases you may need to use while visiting a country and have them handy. The last thing you want is to be in a foreign country and have no way to communicate!

General Terms

When visiting a foreign country, there are some basic phrases to know for traveling to that country. Below is a list of general terms you should familiarize yourself with.

1.) Hello

  • German: Hallo
  • French: Bonjour
  • Italian: Ciao
  • Spanish: Hola

2.) I don’t speak ________. Do you speak English?

  • German: Ich spreche kein deutsch, sprichst du englisch?
  • French: Je ne parle pas allemand, parlez-vous anglais?
  • Italian: Non parlo tedesco, parli inglese?
  • Spanish: Yo no hablo, habla usted Inglés?

3.) Please

  • German: Bitte
  • French: S’il vous plaît
  • Italian: Per favore
  • Spanish: Por favor

4.) Thank you

  • German: Danke
  • French: Merci
  • Italian: Grazie
  • Spanish: Gracias

5.) Help

  • German: hilfe
  • French: Aidez-moi
  • Italian: Aiuto
  • Spanish: Ayuda

6.) Excuse Me

  • German: Entschuldigung
  • French: Excusez-moi
  • Italian: Mi scusi
  • Spanish: Perdóneme

7.) I’m sorry

  • German: Es tut mir Leid
  • French: Je suis désolé
  • Italian: Mi dispiace
  • Spanish: Lo siento

8.) Where is the ATM?

  • German: wo ist der geldautomat
  • French: où est le guichet
  • Italian: dov’è il bancomat
  • Spanish: donde esta el cajero

9.) Can I have ________?

  • German: kann ich haben
  • French: puis-je avoir
  • Italian: posso avere
  • Spanish: puedo tener

10.) Yes

  • German: Ja
  • French: Oui
  • Italian:
  • Spanish: Si

11.) No

  • German: Nein
  • French: Non
  • Italian: No
  • Spanish: No

12.) I am ________

  • German: Ich bin
  • French: Je suis
  • Italian: Sono
  • Spanish: Yo soy

13.) What is your name?

  • German: Wie heißen Sie?
  • French: Quel est votre nom?
  • Italian: Come ti chiami?
  • Spanish: ¿Cuál es tu nombre?

14.) How are you?

  • German: Wie geht es dir?
  • French: Comment ça va?
  • Italian: Come stai?
  • Spanish: ¿Cómo estás?

15.) Sorry, I don’t understand

  • German: Entschuldigung, ich verstehe nicht
  • French: Désolé, je ne comprends pas
  • Italian: Scusa, non capisco
  • Spanish: Lo siento, no entiendo

16.) Goodbye

  • German: Auf Wiedersehen
  • French: Au revoir
  • Italian: addio
  • Spanish: adiós

17.) Nice to meet you

  • German: Freut mich, dich kennenzulernen
  • French: Ravi de vous rencontrer
  • Italian: piacere di conoscerti
  • Spanish: Encantad(a/o) de conocerte

18.) What time is it?

  • German: Wie spät ist es?
  • French: Quelle heure est-il?
  • Italian: Che ore sono?
  • Spanish: ¿Que hora es?

19.) Could you repeat that?

  • German: Kannst du das wiederholen?
  • French: Pourriez vous répéter ça?
  • Italian: Può ripetere?
  • Spanish: ¿Podría repetir eso?

20.) I need a police officer

  • German: Ich brauche einen Polizisten
  • French: J’ai besoin d’un policier
  • Italian: Ho bisogno di un agente di polizia
  • Spanish: Necesito un(a) oficial de policia

21.) Where is the bathroom?

  • German: Wo ist die Toilette?
  • French: Où se trouvent les toilettes?
  • Italian: Dov’è il bagno?
  • Spanish: ¿Dónde está el baño?

22.) I need a towel

  • German: Ich brauche ein Handtuch
  • French: J’ai besoin d’une serviette
  • Italian: Mi serve un asciugamano
  • Spanish: Necesito una toalla
translating phrases to know for traveling
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Medical Terms

Phrases to know for traveling in regards to medical care/conditions:

1.) I am allergic to ________

  • German: ich bin allergisch gegen
  • French: Je suis allergique à
  • Italian: Sono allergico a
  • Spanish: Soy alérgic(a/o) a

2.) I need a doctor/dentist

  • German: Ich brauche einen Arzt / Zahnarzt
  • French: J’ai besoin d’un médecin / dentiste
  • Italian: Ho bisogno di un medico / dentista
  • Spanish: Necesito un(a) doctora / dentista

3.) Is there a pharmacy nearby?

  • German: Gibt es eine Apotheke in der Nähe?
  • French: Y a-t-il une pharmacie à proximité?
  • Italian: C’è una farmacia qui vicino?
  • Spanish: ¿Hay una farmacia cercana?

4.) Call an ambulance

  • German: Rufen Sie einen Krankenwagen
  • French: Appelle une ambulance
  • Italian: Chiama un’ambulanza
  • Spanish: Llama una ambulancia

5.) I’m not feeling well

  • German: ich fühle mich nicht gut
  • French: Je ne me sens pas bien
  • Italian: non mi sento bene
  • Spanish: No me siento bien
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Image by ar130405 from Pixabay

Budget Phrases

Phrases to know for traveling in regards to budget and expenses:

1.) How much does it cost?

  • German: Wieviel kostet das?
  • French: Combien ça coûte?
  • Italian: Quanto costa?
  • Spanish: ¿Cuanto cuesta?

2.) Can I pay by credit/debit?

  • German: kann ich per kredit / lastschrift bezahlen
  • French: Puis-je payer par crédit / débit?
  • Italian: Posso pagare con carta di credito / debito?
  • Spanish: ¿Puedo pagar con crédito / débito?

3.) Where can I exchange money?

  • German: Wo kann ich Geld umtauschen?
  • French: Où puis-je échanger de l’argent?
  • Italian: Dove posso cambiare denaro?
  • Spanish: ¿Dónde puedo cambiar dinero?

4.) It’s to expensive

  • German: Es ist zu teuer
  • French: C’est trop cher
  • Italian: È troppo caro
  • Spanish: Es muy caro

5.) Do you have anything cheaper?

  • German: Haben Sie etwas günstigeres?
  • French: Avez-vous quelque chose de moins cher?
  • Italian: Avete qualcosa di più economico?
  • Spanish: ¿Tienes algo más barato?

6.) What is the entrance fee?

  • German: Was ist der Eintritt?
  • French: Quel est le prix d’entrée?
  • Italian: Qual è il biglietto d’ingresso?
  • Spanish: ¿Cuál es la tarifa de entrada?
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Transportation Phrases

Phrases to know for traveling in regards to transportation:

1.) Here’s my passport

  • German: Hier ist mein Reisepass
  • French: Voici mon passeport
  • Italian: Ecco il mio passaporto
  • Spanish: Aquí está mi pasaporte

2.) What time does the train/plane/bus leave?

  • German: wann fährt der zug / flugzeug / bus ab
  • French: A quelle heure part le train / avion / bus?
  • Italian: A che ora parte il treno / aereo / autobus?
  • Spanish: ¿A qué hora sale el tren / avión / autobús?

3.) I’d like to go to _______

  • German: Ich würde gerne nach gehen
  • French: J’aimerais aller à
  • Italian: Mi piacerebbe andare a
  • Spanish: me gustaría ir a

4.) Could you call me a taxi?

  • German: Könnten Sie mich ein Taxi nennen?
  • French: Pouvez-vous m’appeler un taxi?
  • Italian: Potresti chiamarmi un taxi?
  • Spanish: ¿Podrías llamarme un taxi?

5.) Could you let me know when to get off?

  • German: Könnten Sie mich wissen lassen, wann ich aussteigen soll?
  • French: Pouvez-vous me dire quand descendre?
  • Italian: Potresti farmi sapere quando scendere?
  • Spanish: ¿Podrías hacerme saber cuándo bajar?

6.) I’d like to rent a bike/car

  • German: Ich möchte ein Fahrrad / Auto mieten
  • French: Je souhaite louer un vélo / une voiture
  • Italian: Vorrei noleggiare una bici / macchina
  • Spanish: Me gustaría alquilar una bicicleta / coche

7.) Do you have a map?

  • German: Haben Sie eine Karte?
  • French: Avez-vous une carte?
  • Italian: Hai una cartina?
  • Spanish: ¿Tienes un mapa?
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Food/Drink

Phrases to know for traveling in regards to food and drink (who would want to miss out on some great food?):

1.) Could you recommend a good restaurant?

  • German: Könnten Sie ein gutes Restaurant empfehlen?
  • French: Pouvez-vous recommander un bon restaurant?
  • Italian: Potresti consigliare un buon ristorante?
  • Spanish: ¿Podría recomendarme un buen restaurante?

2.) Can I see the menu please?

  • German: Kann ich bitte das Menü sehen?
  • French: Puis-je voir le menu s’il vous plaît?
  • Italian: Posso vedere il menu per favore?
  • Spanish: ¿Puedo ver el menú, por favor?

3.) Can I have a beer/tea/coffee?

  • German: Kann ich ein Bier / Tee / Kaffee haben?
  • French: Puis-je prendre une bière / thé / café?
  • Italian: Posso avere una birra / tè / caffè?
  • Spanish: ¿Puedo tomar una cerveza / té / café?

4.) Could I get my bill please?

  • German: Könnte ich bitte meine Rechnung bekommen?
  • French: Puis-je recevoir ma facture s’il vous plaît?
  • Italian: Potrei ricevere il conto per favore?
  • Spanish: ¿Puedo recibir mi factura por favor?

5.) I’m a vegetarian/vegan

  • German: Ich bin Vegetarier / Veganer
  • French: Je suis végétarien / végétalien
  • Italian: Sono vegetariano / vegano
  • Spanish: Soy vegetarian(a/o) / vegan (a/o)
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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Accommodations

Phrases to know for traveling to a destination in regards to accommodations:

1.) I need a room

  • German: Ich brauche ein Zimmer
  • French: J’ai besoin d’une chambre
  • Italian: Ho bisogno di una stanza
  • Spanish: necesito un cuarto

2.) I’d like to stay for ____ nights

  • German: Ich würde gerne __ Nächte bleiben
  • French: J’aimerais rester __ nuits
  • Italian: Vorrei restare per __ notti
  • Spanish: Me gustaría quedarme __ noches

3.) Is breakfast included?

  • German: Ist das Frühstück inbegriffen?
  • French: Le petit déjeuner est-il inclus?
  • Italian: La colazione è inclusa?
  • Spanish: ¿El desayuno está incluido?

4.) The TV/air conditioner/heater/internet isn’t working

  • German: Der Fernseher / die Klimaanlage / die Heizung / das Internet funktioniert nicht
  • French: Le téléviseur / climatiseur / chauffage / Internet ne fonctionne pas
  • Italian: La TV / aria condizionata / riscaldamento / internet non funziona
  • Spanish: El televisor, el aire acondicionado, la calefacción o el Internet no funcionan

5.) Could I get a different room?

  • German: Könnte ich ein anderes Zimmer bekommen?
  • French: Puis-je avoir une chambre différente?
  • Italian: Potrei avere una stanza diversa?
  • Spanish: ¿Puedo conseguir una habitación diferente?
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Image by Vincent Ciro from Pixabay

The Best Language Translation Apps to Have on Hand

1.) Itranslate

Itranslate has a basic, free version and pro version. The free version includes a phrasebook with predefined, useful phrases and translations in more than 100 languages.

The pro version includes  features language packs to download and use offline, website translation, camera translation, voice-to-voice conversations, and verb conjugations.

2.) Google Translate

Google translate allows you to translate phrases into 108 languages by typing in a word or a phrase and offers access to 59 languages offline. The app also allows handwriting translation in 95 languages and camera translation in 90 languages.

Speech translation is also available with the app in 43 languages. The app is free to download and use.

3.) TripLingo

TripLingo will not only translate for you, but will also help you to experience the culture like a local. The app has destination specific packs including voice translators, image translator, key phrases in the chosen language, a Wi-ffi dialer (you will have to add credits to make calls), and safety and cultural norm tips.

The app is free to download and use, but there is also a pro version. The pro version will give you access to a live translator, audio lessons, and additional phrases.

4.) Microsoft Translator

The Microsoft Translator app allows you to translate text, voice, and photos in more than 60 languages. The app also works great for business trips/meetings as it allows you to talk with and translates for more than 100 people at a time.

The app also allows you to download language packs for offline use. Pronunciation help is also available through the app. The basic app is free to download and use.

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Communicating with locals in a foreign country can be difficult. Here are 50 phrases to know for traveling to any country.
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