Welcome to our comprehensive language guides, where we provide essential phrases and etiquette tips for popular travel destinations. Immerse yourself in the local culture by learning key phrases and understanding the customs and expectations. From France to Japan, India to Brazil, and Russia to Indonesia, we’ve got you covered. Let’s explore the fascinating world of languages and travel etiquette!
II. French – France
- Basic phrases: Bonjour (Hello), Merci (Thank you), S’il vous plaît (Please), Où est…? (Where is…?)
- Etiquette: It’s customary to greet everyone in shops, elevators, etc., with a simple “Bonjour”. When dining, keep your hands on the table (but not the elbows), and always say “Bon appétit” before starting a meal.
III. Spanish – Spain
- Basic phrases: Hola (Hello), Gracias (Thank you), Por favor (Please), Dónde está…? (Where is…?)
- Etiquette: Spaniards value their siesta time (mid-afternoon rest), so be mindful of this period. In conversation, maintain direct eye contact as it shows your interest and sincerity.
IV. Italian – Italy
- Basic phrases: Ciao (Hello), Grazie (Thank you), Per favore (Please), Dov’è…? (Where is…?)
- Etiquette: Italians appreciate formal greetings. For example, ‘Buongiorno’ (Good day) in the morning, and ‘Buonasera’ (Good evening) from afternoon till night. Dress well when you go out, as Italians have a strong sense of style.
V. German – Germany
- Basic phrases: Hallo (Hello), Danke (Thank you), Bitte (Please), Wo ist…? (Where is…?)
- Etiquette: Punctuality is crucial in Germany. Handshakes are common for both greeting and parting, and always wait for your host to start eating before you do.
VI. Mandarin – China
- Basic phrases: Nǐ hǎo (Hello), Xièxie (Thank you), Qǐng (Please), Zài nǎlǐ…? (Where is…?)
- Etiquette: Avoid pointing with your finger; use an open hand instead. Also, it is seen as polite to decline a gift before eventually accepting it.
VII. Japanese – Japan
- Basic phrases: Konnichiwa (Hello), Arigato (Thank you), Kudasai (Please), Doko…? (Where is…?)
- Etiquette: Bowing is a common form of greeting. Remember not to tip in restaurants as it can be seen as disrespectful. Slurping noodles is considered a compliment to the chef.
VIII. Hindi – India
- Basic phrases: Namaste (Hello), Dhanyavaad (Thank you), Kripya (Please), Kahan hai…? (Where is…?)
- Etiquette: Use your right hand to eat and pass items to others. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious places.
IX. Portuguese – Brazil
- Basic phrases: Olá (Hello), Obrigado/Obrigada (Thank you – male/female), Por favor (Please), Onde é…? (Where is…?)
- Etiquette: Brazilians are warm and friendly. It is common to greet with a kiss on each cheek (beginning with the right), and don’t be surprised by close personal contact during conversations.
X. Russian – Russia
- Basic phrases: Privet (Hello), Spasibo (Thank you), Pozhaluysta (Please), Gde…? (Where is…?)
- Etiquette: Russians are very direct in their communication. Always remove your shoes when entering someone’s home and remember to bring a small gift as a token of appreciation.
XI. Arabic – United Arab Emirates
- Basic phrases: Marhaba (Hello), Shukran (Thank you), Min Fadlak (Please – Male)/ Min Fadlik (Please – Female), Ayna…? (Where is…?)
- Etiquette: Dress modestly in public places, and always use your right hand for eating or passing things to others. Avoid public displays of affection.
XII. Turkish – Turkey
- Basic phrases: Merhaba (Hello), Teşekkür ederim (Thank you), Lütfen (Please), Nerede…? (Where is…?)
- Etiquette: Shake hands when you meet someone, and it’s common to kiss on both cheeks. Always remove your shoes when entering a home.
XIII. Dutch – Netherlands
- Basic phrases: Hallo (Hello), Dank je (Thank you), Alsjeblieft (Please), Waar is…? (Where is…?)
- Etiquette: Dutch people are very direct and straightforward. Don’t be surprised by very personal questions. Punctuality is highly appreciated.
XIV. Greek – Greece
- Basic phrases: Γεια (Yia – Hello), Ευχαριστώ (Efharisto – Thank you), Παρακαλώ (Parakalo – Please), Που είναι…? (Pou einai… – Where is…?)
- Etiquette: Greeks are very hospitable. If offered something, it is polite to accept.
XV. Thai – Thailand
- Basic phrases: สวัสดี (Sawadee – Hello), ขอบคุณ (Kob khun – Thank you), กรุณา (Karuna – Please), ที่ไหน…? (Tee nai – Where is…?)
- Etiquette: Show respect to the monarchy and Buddha. Do not touch anyone’s head, as it is considered sacred.
XVI. Vietnamese – Vietnam
- Basic phrases: Xin chào (Hello), Cảm ơn (Thank you), Làm ơn (Please), Ở đâu…? (Where is…?)
- Etiquette: When meeting someone, the younger person is expected to greet the older person first. It’s customary to refuse a gift before accepting.
XVII. Korean – South Korea
- Basic phrases: 안녕하세요 (Annyeonghaseyo – Hello), 감사합니다 (Kamsahamnida – Thank you), 제발 (Jebal – Please), 어디…? (Eodi – Where is…?)
- Etiquette: Respect for elders is crucial. When handing over items to someone older, use both hands.
XVIII. Swedish – Sweden
- Basic phrases: Hej (Hello), Tack (Thank you), Snälla (Please), Var är…? (Where is…?)
- Etiquette: Swedes respect personal space. Maintain some distance during a conversation. Punctuality is highly valued.
XIX. Hungarian – Hungary
- Basic phrases: Szia (Hello), Köszönöm (Thank you), Kérem (Please), Hol van…? (Where is…?)
- Etiquette: When clinking glasses in Hungary, make eye contact. It’s also polite to bring flowers when you’re invited to someone’s home.
XX. Indonesian – Indonesia
- Basic phrases: Halo (Hello), Terima kasih (Thank you), Tolong (Please), Dimana…? (Where is…?)
- Etiquette: Shake hands when meeting someone, but avoid direct eye contact for extended periods, as it can be considered aggressive.