How To Deal With Communication Barrier When You're traveling

macchiata
Mac @macchiataAugust 2018 · 3 min read

There are times when you don't speak the same language and communication can be a problem. It can be a challenging experience. Especially, when you're trying to make a deal about renting a property or a motorbike. It happened to my travel mate and I recently. We had a misunderstanding with our landlord because he speaks neither English nor the official language properly. He tend to say yes to whatever we said without being concise about the agreement. I wasn't pleased about the situation.I stepped up just to find out, he is only fluent with the local language, something unknown to me. Then, I realized that this is something common when one's travel to a foreign place with a foreign language. Since this has been a recurring problem, I thought to write down my tricks while dealing with this situation.

I understand, catching up a language is not easy but the latest technology advancement has partially helped us solve this problem. Google translator is there and fascinatingly enough, it comes even with several local languages. But, often it doesn't help that much. So, I have two other ways to be dealing with a communication problem.


Picture Courtesy Peter Cors

The first thing that I will do, is to use images if I want to explain something. I find out, people are very visual. They will easily understand thing and utter the name when the see an object. They will say it in their language and we will also learn a new vocabulary. It helps me understand better and whenever I want to convey similar thing, I will use the exact word.


Picture Courtesy Jetshoot

The second thing I do is using hand gestures and describing how it looks, sounds, or taste. I think it's another useful ways to explain something or events that happens to us when we don't know a thing. I practiced this while trying to fix our motorbike that was broken. The repairman understood what I was trying to convey through sound mimic I made.

It has helped me better experience and solving problems with the people who doesn't speak the same language as I do. I think you can also implement those in one of your travel. I hope those two trick will do wonders to you.

Cheers!

Macchiata.

Do you have any experience dealing with communication barrier while traveling?

Feel free to tell me your experience down below!


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I know how hard it is, I too travel around the Globe almost every month. Since, I am not familliar nor have a few knowledge with different language, google translate is the only tool I rely on.


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macchiata
Mac @macchiataAugust 2018

@cloudspyder

ha ha Google Translate only reliable when the other party speaks the national language but it gets tricky when they only speak local language. Not to mention, sometimes just because we are a "tourist" they are will always say yes to almost everything.


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