One question I get repeatedly asked about my round the world trip (RTW) is about the language ‘barrier’. How we communicate on a trip of any length makes a huge difference in how well we travel and how others perceive us, both by other tourists and natives of the country we are visiting.
As I have stated before, I had no problem going from country to country with just English. But I would recommend learning some of the local language. It breaks down barriers and opens people up. You get more respect as a foreigner who took the time and effort to learn some of the language instead of leaning on English. As you get outside of major cities, you’ll find less and less English used.
There are many resources on the Internet for learning languages. If you have an iPod there are numerous free podcasts that teach language. One I subscribe to via iTunes is
If you want to go a little more in depth, I have used Pimsleur language courses on CD in the past with great success. When I traveled to Brazil I picked up the Conversational Brazilian Portuguese before the trip and was able to ask for directions and find the bathroom easily and confidently. No stumbling for words in Salvador after listening to those CDs for a few minutes every day before my trip.
Here are some of the Conversational Pimsleur Courses on Amazon.com
Whether you are planning a trip for next month or just wanted to pick up a few words to impress your friends, use the language resources above to get to your goal.