Boulder City Magazine® August 2007 Issue
by Ihla Crowley
Last month we talked about how valuable it is to learn some of the customs of the country to which you are traveling. Another aspect of thoughtful travel is spending some time learning a little of their language.
Boulder City Magazine®
|I know the idea seems daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s surprising how far a few simple words or phrases, such as please and thank you will take you on this journey. Excuse me might come in handy, as well as good morning, and good night. Where is… and What is it? are important. And where would the American traveler be without knowing the answer to How much does it cost? Include I don’t understand; Where is the restroom?; Go away; and help to feel more comfortable and safe, and you will have your minimum working vocabulary.
And don’t wait until you are there. A pre-trip visit to the library or local bookstore will give you access to foreign language dictionaries, in which you can look up a few of these helpful phrases. Jot them down on a little card that you can carry around in your pocket during your trip. The added effort will pay off.
And I’ll tell you what else impresses the ‘natives’ not just knowing these phrases, but how to pronounce them. Those planning on spending more than just a day or overnight in a country might want to take this pronunciation part of the equation a bit more to heart.
Recently I was introduced to a technique that gives you the tools to pronounce any foreign language like a pro. Easily Pronounced Language Systems, Inc. (EPLS) has developed a phonetic system that can be used for many languages, and they are working to add more. They provided their guide to the entire media covering the US Olympics in Greece (to rave reviews) and will be providing Chinese communication for Beijing in 2008. EPLS has developed a series of little (and luckily for us inexpensive) books entitled, Say It Right in [fill in a country]. Since I am leading tours to Tuscany twice a year, I have been perusing Say It Right in Italian, and it has already proven helpful. Find out more, and how to order the books, on their website, www.eplsworld.com.
Catch the wind, taste the rain, and touch all of your tomorrows…
Be sure to check out www.driftersister.com for more information and handy hints.
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