Learn a Language: Travel Phrase Books

Learn a Language: Travel Phrase Books

When I was in high school and college, I took several years of Spanish and thought that I had a pretty good grasp of the language. That was until I actually went to Mexico for a vacation and discovered that I had not only forgotten most of everything I learned, but also that I couldn't ask many simple questions.

That's why I decided that whatever country I visited, I would always bring a travel phrasebook for their native language. It's not worth hoping that most of the people, even in a tourist destination, will speak English. It's easy to get lost while on a sightseeing trip or to get cutoff from your tour group. A travel phrase book will insure that you will not only be able to find a bathroom or a restaurant, but also your hotel and call for a cab.

They have books for almost every language you might encounter, so don't be afraid to take more than one if your touring several countries. If you enjoy traveling abroad, but can't seem to grasp languages, then a travel phrase book can literally be a lifesaver.

After my initial trip, I went back a few years later with my travel phrase book. I was much more confident and was able to ask basic questions. They won't make you a master of the language or let you have a general conversation, but if you're stuck and need some emergency information, then you can't beat them.