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What are some essential phrases to learn when visiting a new country?

motoyen

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Joined: September 3rd, 2002

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  • Added on: August 20th, 2008
After spending a year traveling around Asia I have a much better understanding of what language skills are required to make my trip easier. I have composed a list of words I now memorize when visiting a new country. Some of these aren't necessarily words that I would say but words that people would say to me so being able to understand then was helpful. Anyone have suggestions on additions to my list?

The List:


Hello
How are you?
Fine, and you?

What is your name?
My name is ....

Where are you from?
I'm from ...
How old are you?
I'm 35
Guess how old I am

Can you speak English?
Sorry I don't speak ....
You speak English/... well

Where are you?
What are you doing?
Where are you going?
Have you eaten?

Who?
What?
Where?
When?
Why?

Excuse me
What is this?
What is that?
How much?
Do you have?

Here
There
Before
After

If
And
But
Because

Today
Tonight
Tomorrow
Yesterday

Last week
This week
Next week

Last month
This month
Next month

First time
Second time
Third time

1st
2nd
3rd

0 - 10000

Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

I'm hungry
I'm thirsty
I'm tired
I'm hot
I'm cold
I'm sick

EMH

Street Food Connoisseur
 
Posts: 609
Joined: May 24th, 2007

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  • Added on: August 21st, 2008
You've missed the most important one..."where's the bathroom?". Never leave home without it!!!
Follow my travels through Central and South America: www.talesofagringo.com

moniak

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Street Food Connoisseur
 
Posts: 580
Joined: November 23rd, 2007

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  • Added on: August 22nd, 2008
This is the shortest vocabulary from my experience with South America where English is rarely spoken:

Where - donde?
here - aqui
now - ahora
when - cuando
what time - que hora
how much - cuanto
with - con
without - sin
food - comida
sleep - dormir
for, to - par, para, a
open - obierto
closed - cerrado
toilets - baños, servicios, hombres/varones, mujeres,
station - estacion de
basic foodstuff like bread, meat, fish, chicken, drink, etc.
numerals 1-15 and the multiples of 10 and 100
weekdays

I assume that words like chica, chico, cerveza, holá are already known
__________________________
gdzie mnie wiatr poniesie

djmc

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Lost in Place
 
Posts: 88
Joined: April 5th, 2004

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  • Added on: October 3rd, 2008
the most important phrase when learning a new language is the phrase "how do you say ____?"

"como se dice Ham Sandwhich?" (used obviously when pointing to a ham sandwich)

lauracatherine

Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 268
Joined: July 25th, 2008

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  • Added on: October 5th, 2008
Gotta learn how the locals say "Cheers" when drinking.
"i'm on my way, don't know where i'm goin..."~Paul Simon, Me and Julio

Michael C

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Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 282
Joined: October 25th, 2006

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  • Added on: November 12th, 2008
I would add basic sentence structures for to be, to have, to go, and to want.
Michael C

travellingLite

Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 136
Joined: November 26th, 2007

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  • Added on: November 20th, 2008
a short must-know list that i normally follow:

greetings:
----------
Hello
Goodbye

adjectives:
----------
good
beautiful
delicious

nouns:
-----
bathroom
food

verbs:
-----
eat
sleep
go
want
like

pronouns:
---------
I
You
he/she/they

numbers

what is your name?
how much is this?

where?
what?
when?

yes
no
this
that
there
here

i don't understand
i don't know
(too expensive- to buy souvenirs)

A Joker

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Guidebook Dependent
 
Posts: 21
Joined: November 25th, 2008

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  • Added on: December 4th, 2008
Learning the word or characters for "men" and "Women" can be invaluable for trips to the W.C. as well.

Jabberwocky

Lost in Place
 
Posts: 97
Joined: April 10th, 2008

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  • Added on: December 19th, 2008
Some words I always try to learn before hand:
Numbers, time, how much, do speak English, how do you say (useful for expanding vocabulary), what is this (also useful for expanding vocabulary), food, eat, hostel/hotel, airport, train, bus, bank, thank you, and help (never had to use it but you never know)

sunflowerz

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Posts: 20
Joined: September 8th, 2008

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  • Added on: February 12th, 2009
Thai Language ;)

Basic greetings and phrases

Hello/Good morning Sawadee krup (male)/kaa (female)
Thank you Kop khun (krup/kaa)
Never mind Mai pen rai
How are you? Sabai dee mai?
Fine, thanks Sabai dee
Goodbye La gon
See you again Laew phob gan mai.
Pleased to meet you Dee jai thee dai phob gan.
Happy New Year Sawadee bi mai
Happy birthday Sooksan wan gerd!
Good luck! Kor hai chok dee


I cannot speak Thai Phoot Thai mai dai
Please speak more slowly Phoot cha-cha noi krub/kaa
I don't understand Mai kao chai
Do you understand? Kao chai mai?
Sorry/excuse me Kor thoad.
Does anyone speak English? Mee krai pood pasa angrit dai bang mai?
Do you speak English? Phoot pasa angrit dai mai?
I need a doctor Tong karn more ma raksa.
May I take a photograph? Tai ruup dai mai?
May I use the telephone? Kor chai torasap dai mai?

Where is…? …yoo nai?
Where is the restroom? Hong nam yoo nai?
Where is the airport Sanam bin yoo nai?

I want to go... Yaak ja bai...
I want to go to the bus station Yaak ja bai satanee rot may
I want to go to the …… hotel Yaak ja bai rong ram

Railway station Satanee rot fai
Police station Satanee tum-ruat
Embassy Sa-tantoot
Hospital Rong-payabaan
Post office Prai-sanee
Market Dalaat
Restaurant Raan aharn

Turn left Leeo sai
Turn right Leeo kwaa
Straight ahead Trong bai
Stop here Yuut tee nee
Slow down Cha-cha
Be careful Ra wang


How much does it cost? Nee tao-rai (krup/kaa)?
What is this? Nee arai?
Very expensive Paeng maak
Do you have something cheaper? Mii tuuk gwaa nee mai?
The bill, please Gep taang (krup/kaa).

Not spicy Mai phed
No chili Mai sai prik
Delicious Aroy
No, thanks Mai aow krub/kaa
I’ve already eaten. Gin laew
I am full. Imm laew

Call the police Riak tum ruat
Help! Chuay duay!
I got robbed Phom/Chun took plone
I was attacked Phom/Chun took tum rai

What time is it? Gee mong laew?
What time is the bus leaving? Rot aok gee mong?
What time is …… open? …… perd gee mong?
What time are you going/leaving? Pai gee mong?
What time will you arrive? Ma teung gee mong?


5 baht Ha baht
10 baht Sip baht
15 baht Sip ha baht
50 baht Ha sip baht

Number:
(1) = Neung
(2) = Song
(3)= Sam
(4) = See
(5) = Ha
(6)= Hok
(7) = Jet
(8) = Pad
(9) = Gown
(10) = Sip
(11) = Sip ett
(12) = Sip song
(13) = Sip sam
(14) = Sip see
(15) = Sip ha
(20) = Yee sip
(21) = Yee sip ett
(22) = Yee sip song
(23) = Yee sip sam
(24) = Yee sip see
(25) = Yee sip ha
(30) = Sam sip
(40) = See sip
(50) = Ha sip
(60) = Hok sip
(100) = Neung roy
(150) = Neung roy ha sip
(500) = Ha roy
(1000) = Neung pun
(1500) = Neung pun ha roy
(2000) = Song pun
(5000) = Ha pun



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