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10 Phrases to Know Before You Travel

By February 12, 2019Travel Tip Tuesday


Visiting a country without knowing the local language can be daunting. When you need to ask for directions, order food, or even say “thank you,” it’s frustrating when you can’t communicate the simplest requests. For Travel Tip Tuesday this week, we’ve made you a cheat sheet! Below are 10 common phrases you can learn in ten common languages.


1. Where is the restroom?

French: Où sont les toilettes?

Hindi: Vishraamagrh kahaan hai?

Arabic: ‘ayn alhamam?

Japanese: O tearai wa dokodesu ka?

Chinese: Wèishēngjiān zài nǎlǐ?

Filipino: Nasaan ang banyo?

Portuguese: Onde é o banheiro?

Punjabi: Raisaṭarūma kithē hai?

Swahili: Msalani ni wapi?

Spanish: ¿Donde esta el baño?

2. Hello

French: Bonjour

Hindi: Namaskaar

Arabic: Marhabaan

Japanese: Kon’nichiwa

Chinese: Nǐ hǎo

Spanish: Hola

Swahili: Hujambo

Portuguese: Olá

Filipino: Kamusta

Punjabi: Sata srī akāla

3. Good bye

French: Au revoir!

Hindi: Alavida

Arabic: Wadaeaan

Japanese: Sayōnara

Chinese: Zàijiàn

Filipino: Paalam

Portuguese: Tchau

Punjabi: Alavidā

Swahili: Kwaheri

Spanish: Adiós

4. Thank you

French: Merci!

Hindi: Dhanyavaad

Arabic: Shukraan jazilaan

Japanese: Arigatōgozaimashita

Chinese: Xièxiè

Filipino: Salamat

Portuguese: Obrigado

Punjabi: Tuhāḍā dhanavāda

Swahili: Kwaheri

Spanish: Gracias

5. I would like…

French: Je voudrais

Hindi: Main pasand karoonga

Arabic: ‘awadu

Japanese: O onegaishimasu

Chinese: Wǒ xiǎng yào

Filipino: Gusto ko

Portuguese: eu gostaria

Punjabi: Maiṁ cāhāṅgā

Swahili: Ningependa

Spanish: Me gustaría

Knowing even a few phrases in a foreign language will boost your confidence!

6. How much?

French: Combien?

Hindi: Kitana?

Arabic: kam althamana?

Japanese: Ikura?

Chinese: Duōshǎo?

Filipino: Magkano?

Portuguese: Quantos?

Punjabi: Kinē hō’ē?

Swahili: Kiasi gani?

Spanish: ¿Cuánto?

7. Help!

French: Aidez-moi!

Hindi:  madad!

Arabic: musaeadat!

Japanese: Tasukete!

Chinese: Jiùmìng!

Filipino: Tulong!

Portuguese: Socorro!

Punjabi: Madada karō!

Swahili: Msaada!

Spanish: ¡Ayuda!

8. Excuse me

French: Pardon

Hindi: Maaf keejiyega

Arabic: Efu

Japanese: Sumimasen

Chinese: Láojià

Filipino: Pakiulit

Portuguese: Desculpe

Punjabi: Mainū māfa karō

Swahili: Samahani

Spanish: Perdóneme

9. I’m sorry

French: Je suis désolé

Hindi: Mujhe maaph kar do

Arabic: ‘ana asif

Japanese: Gomen’nasai

Chinese: Duìbùqǐ

Filipino: patawad

Portuguese: Eu sinto Muito.

Punjabi: Mainū mu’āpha karō

Swahili: Samahani

Spanish: Lo siento

10. I don’t understand

French: Je ne comprends pas

Hindi: mujhe samajh nahin aa raha hai.

Arabic: ‘ana la ‘afham

Japanese: Wakaranai

Chinese: Wǒ bù míngbái

Filipino: Hindi ko maintindihan

Portuguese: Eu não entendo

Punjabi: Mainū samajha nahīṁ ā’undī            

Swahili: Sielewi

Spanish: No entiendo

Pro Tip

Carry a notebook and pencil with you. If you’re trying to convey a more complicated message, you can draw a picture. Also, it’s great for haggling in local shops and markets. You avoid confusing different numbers because once you know how much something is, you can write down what you’re willing to pay for it

Ready to test out your new linguistic abilities? Call Jaya Travel!

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