Thank You: Feel It, Express It & Have Fun with It When Traveling
Updated: Jan 10
“Thank you” is one of the earliest etiquette guidelines we teach our children. It’s our way of expressing gratitude, whether we’re responding to receiving a grand gift or even a simple gesture such as a kind word or someone holding the door for us.
January 11 is International Thank You Day.
It was the impetus for writing this article. What better day to make a commitment to learning how to say thank you and a few other important words to convey our thoughts as we travel?
I’m going to share with you:
Why Learn How to Say Thank You in Another Language
I have five good reasons to learn how to say “thank you” and a few other words in the language of the area you’ll be visiting:
Knowing how to say “thank you” as well as some other keywords and phrases when you are traveling separates you as a visitor with mindfulness to the people whose home you are visiting from one of those “ugly travelers” who take things for granted or assumes everyone should speak our language. Note that when I refer to “home,” I don’t mean their house or apartment. Instead, I mean the locale and culture of where we’re visiting.
Knowing how to say a few important specific words can be instrumental in an emergency.
When traveling, you become an ambassador for your home country. Whether or not you want that position, an entire culture may be judged by the only interaction someone may experience -positive or negative- with you about your country.
Attempting to speak even a few simple thoughts in a local language can create rapport. They may go more out of their way to assist you. Or maybe it’s just a moment in time connecting with someone. At the very least, it will be greeted with appreciation. You might even make a new friend!
There are multiple studies and articles about how learning a new language can help with brain development and also brain health as we get older. Not that I think learning a handful of words is going to help me remember where I set down my keys, but it can’t hurt, right?!
17 Words and Phrases to Know in the Local Language
Do you speak English?
Where is ...?
I don’t understand
What is the cost?
There are also two medical phrases everyone with a medical condition should know:
I am allergic to …
I am … or I have … (example: I am diabetic)
Additionally, if you will be renting a car, be sure to learn words pertaining to driving instructions and signs.
With the internet, there are many resources available in print and audio to learn how to say something in a foreign language.
Busuu offers free and subscription language learning plans including opportunities of speaking with native speakers.
Duolingo is fun way to learn a language and likely as addictive as they claim.
Babbel has a long-standing reputation and a low monthly cost.
YouTube is an incredible resource for all kinds of things, including how to actually learn foreign words.
A simple search on your favorite internet browser, iTunes, or Google Play will supply more options.
If you prefer to learn in a physical classroom with other students, consider your local high school or community college. Both often offer beginner and intermediate language courses available at inexpensive prices. These are great for people who need structure and accountability as well as an opportunity to socialize.
Fun with Thanks
CGTA’s Multi-Language Thank You Word Search Puzzle. I’ll warn you- this is challenging with 30 words you mostly won’t be familiar with! Just visit the link, print the puzzle and see if you can find them all.
YourDictionary offers many fun and fascinating blog posts about languages around the world.
What better way to close this post than to thank you for taking the time to read it? Danke! And for those of you who are our clients, arigato for your loyalty and patronage. We appreciate you!