Top Travel Phrases to Know When Visiting Foreign Countries

sign that says bienvenue welcome in french_top travel phrases to know when travelingIt used to be that when you traveled to a foreign county, your only resource was to take along a travel language phrasebook and desperately flip through it searching for just the right phrase to help you find the train station or order a meal. Now, there is a bounty of options to help you get around—and communicate your needs—before and while traveling.

Whether you take a language class before you leave, use language translation apps, practice some of the popular phrases we’ve provided below, or still pack your tried-and-true phrasebook, you’ll feel confident that you can express your needs and get around in a foreign country.

Start Learning Now

The trip is scheduled and you’re ready to go. Before you take off, start familiarizing yourself with the language and dialect of the country you’ll be visiting.

For a free language learning app, try Duolingo, a science-based language education platform. Their mission at Duolingo is to make language education free, fun, and accessible for everyone in the world.

Duolingo makes learning a new language fun by turning it into a game. You can compete with friends, get points, level up, and even earn virtual currency while you learn. The lessons are intentionally created in bite-sized, five-minute increments to fit anyone’s schedule. You can practice with reading, writing, listening, and speaking exercises.

An independent study conducted by the City University of New York found that 34 hours on Duolingo are actually equivalent to a university semester of language classes. So, take advantage of this free resource to start learning a new language.

While You’re Traveling

While you’re on the go, we recommend downloading a language translation app like Google Translate. The same tool that helps you when you Google “happy birthday in Spanish” can be extremely useful in its app form. You can instantly translate written and spoken words, phrases, and websites in more than 100 different languages, and the app even has an image option that allows you to take a photo of a sign or other literature and receive an automatic translation. For those who want to save on data usage charges, download English and your new language while on Wi-Fi so the app can access its dictionary even while you’re on Airplane mode.

TripLingo is another language-learning app that was designed specifically for travel. When you input a phrase to translate, the app will provide multiple translations and even give you slang versions so that you can chat like the locals. TripLingo can translate text, spoken words, images (such as street signs or menus), and provides access to a 10,000-word offline dictionary so that the right word will always be at your fingertips. The app also includes a tip calculator, currency converter, built-in flashcards, and a “culture crash course” to help you get familiar with local customs.

Best Travel Phrases to Know in Foreign Languages

Below are some common phrases you’ll want to know—no matter which country you’re visiting. The most important words, like “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me” are included plus some other popular travel phrases to give you a head-start in getting comfortable with the language.

Spanish

Countries where Spanish is an official language: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela

  • “Hello” – Hola
  • “Goodbye” – Adiós
  • “Please” – Por favor
  • “Yes/No” – Sí/No
  • “Thank you” – Gracias
  • “I’m sorry” – Lo siento
  • “Excuse me” –
    Perdóneme or Discúlpeme
  • “I’m doing well” – Estoy bien
  • “Do you speak English?” – ¿Habla usted inglés?
  • “Can I have…?” – ¿Puedo tener…? (when asking for something) or ¿Puedo pedir…? (when ordering food)
  • “I am from…” – Soy de…
  • “What’s your name?” – ¿Cómo te llamas?
  • “How are you?” – ¿Cómo estás?
  • “Again, please” – De nuevo por favor
  • “I don’t understand” – No entiendo
  • “I’m lost” – Estoy perdido
  • “I’m looking for…” – Estoy buscando
  • “Where is (the)…?” – ¿Dónde está (el/la)…?
  • “Where are the toilets?” – ¿Dónde están los baños?
  • “Where can I get internet access?” – ¿Dónde puedo obtener acceso a internet?
  • “How do you say… in Spanish?” – ¿Cómo se dice…en español?
  • “Can you help me?” – ¿Me puedes ayudar?
  • “I would like the check, please” – Quisiera la cuenta, por favor
  • “How much does it cost?” – ¿Cuánto cuesta?
  • “Where is the train station? – ¿Dónde está la estación de trenes?
  • Where is the airport?” – ¿Dónde está el aeropuerto?
  • “I’m allergic to…” – Soy alérgico a…
  • “Call the police” – Llame a la policía
  • “Call an ambulance” – Llame a una ambulancia

German

Countries where German is an official language: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland

  • “Hello” – Hallo
  • “Goodbye” – Auf Wiedersehen (formal) or Tschüss (informal)
  • “Please” – Bitte
  • “Yes/No” – Ja/Nein
  • “Thank you” – Danke
  • “I’m sorry” – Es tut mir leid
  • “Excuse me” – Entschuldigung
  • “I’m doing well” – Mir geth es gut
  • “Do you speak English?” –
    Sprechen Sie Englisch?
  • “Can I have…?” – Ich möchte…bitte
  • “I am from…” – Ich komme aus…
  • “What’s your name?” – Wie heißt du?
  • “How are you?” – Wei geht es dir?
  • “Again, please” – Bitte wiederholen Sie das (for “Can you repeat that?”) or Noch eins…, bitte (for “Another one, please.”)
  • “I don’t understand” – Ich verstehe nicht
  • “I’m lost” – Ich habe mich verirrt
  • “I’m looking for…” – Ich suche…
  • “Where is (the)…?” – Wo ist (der/die/das)…?
  • “Where are the toilets?” – Wo ist die toilette?
  • “Where can I get internet access?” – Wo kann ich ins internet gehen?
  • “How do you say… in German?” – Wie sagt man…auf deutsch?
  • “Can you help me?” – Kannst du mir helfen?
  • “I would like the check, please” – Ich möchte bezahlen
  • “How much does it cost?” – Was kostet das?
  • “Where is the train station? – Wo ist der bahnhof?
  • Where is the airport?” – Wo ist der flughafen?
  • “I’m allergic to…” – Ich bin allergisch gegen…
  • “Call the police” – Rufen sie die polizei
  • “Call an ambulance” – Rufen sie einen krankenwagen

French

Countries where French is an official language: Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Guinea, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo, Vanuatu

  • “Hello” – Bonjour
  • “Goodbye” – Au revoir
  • “Please” – S’il vous plait
  • “Yes/No” – Oui/Non
  • “Thank you” – Merci
  • “I’m sorry” – Je suis désolé
  • “Excuse me” – Excusez-moi
  • “I’m doing well” – Je vais très bien
  • “Do you speak English?” – Parlez-vous anglais
  • “Can I have…?” – Je voudrais…?
  • “I am from…” – Je suis de…
  • “What’s your name?” – Comment vous appelez-vous?
  • “How are you?” – Comment allez-vous?
  • “Again, please” – Répétez s’il vous plaît
  • “I don’t understand” – Je ne comprends pas
  • “I’m lost” – Je suis perdu
  • “I’m looking for…” – Je cherche…
  • “Where is (the)…?” – Où est (le/la)…
  • “Where are the toilets?” – Où sont les toilettes?
  • “Where can I get internet access?” – Où est-ce qu’il y a un accès wifi?
  • “How do you say…in French?” – Comment dit-on…en français?
  • “Can you help me?” – Pouvez-vous m’aider?
  • “I would like the check, please” – L’addition, s’il vous plaît?
  • “How much does it cost?” – Combien est-ce que ça coûte?
  • “Where is the train station?” – Où est la gare?
  • “Where is the airport?” – Où est l’aéroport?
  • “I’m allergic to…” – Je suis allergique à…
  • “Call the police” – Appelez la police
  • “Call an ambulance” – Appelez une ambulance

Italian

Countries where Italian is an official language: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, Sovereign Military Order of Malta

  • “Hello” – Ciao
  • “Goodbye” – Ciao
  • “Please” – Per favore
  • “Yes/No” – Sì/No
  • “Thank you” – Grazie
  • “I’m sorry” – Mi dispiace
  • “Excuse me” – Scusami
  • “I’m doing well” – Sto bene
  • “Do you speak English?” – Lei parla inglese?
  • “Can I have…?” – Posso avere…?
  • “I am from…” – Io vengo da…
  • “What’s your name?” – Lei come si chiama?
  • “How are you?” – Come sta?
  • “Again, please” – Di Nuovo, per favore
  • “I don’t understand” – Non capisco
  • “I’m lost” – Mi sono perso
  • “I’m looking for…” – Sto cercando…
  • “Where is (the)…?” – Dov’è (il/la)…
  • “Where are the toilets?” – Dove sono I bagni?
  • “Where can I get internet access?” –Dove posso avere wifi?
  • “How do you say… in Italian?” – Come si dice…in italiano?
  • “Can you help me?” – Mi potete aiutare?
  • “I would like the check, please” – Vorrei il contro, per favore
  • “How much does it cost?” – Quanto costa?
  • “Where is the train station?” – Dove si trova la stazione ferroviaria?
  • “Where is the airport?” – Dov’è l’aereoporto?
  • “I’m allergic to…” – Sono allergico a…
  • “Call the police” – Chiami la polizia
  • “Call an ambulance” – Chiami un’ambulanza

Portuguese

Countries where Portuguese is an official language: Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Portugal, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Macau, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe

  • “Hello” – Olá
  • “Goodbye” – Tchau
  • “Please” – Por favor
  • “Yes/No” – Sim/Não
  • “Thank you” – Obrigado
  • “I’m sorry” – Eu sinto Muito
  • “Excuse me” – Com licença
  • “I’m doing well” – Estou bem
  • “Do you speak English?” – Você fala inglês?
  • “Can I have…?” – Posso ter…or Eu gostaria de…
  • “I am from…” – Eu sou (do/da)…
  • “What’s your name?” – Qual o seu nome?
  • “How are you?” – Como você está?
  • “Again, please” – De novo, por favor
  • “I don’t understand” – Eu não entendo
  • “I’m lost” – Estou perdido
  • “I’m looking for…” – Estou procurando por…
  • “Where is (the)…?” – Onde é o/a…? or Onde fica o/a…?
  • “Where are the toilets?” – Onde estão os banheiros?
  • “Where can I get internet access?” –Onde posso obter acesso à internet?
  • “How do you say… in Portuguese?” – Como se diz…em português?
  • “Can you help me?” – Pode me ajudar?
  • “I would like the check, please” – Eu gostaria da conta, por favor.
  • “How much does it cost?” – Quanto custa isso?
  • “Where is the train station?” – Onde é a estação de trem?
  • “Where is the airport?” – Onde é o aeroporto?
  • “I’m allergic to…” – Sou alérgico a…
  • “Call the police” – Chame a polícia
  • “Call an ambulance” – Chame uma ambulância

Mandarin

Countries where Mandarin is an official language: China, Taiwan, Singapore

  • “Hello” – 你好 (Nǐ hǎo)
  • “Goodbye” – 再见 (Zàijiàn)
  • “Please” – 请 (Qǐng)
  • “Yes/No” – 是 (Shì) / 没有 (Méiyǒu)
  • “Thank you” – 谢谢 (Xièxiè)
  • “I’m sorry” – 对不起 (Duìbùqǐ)
  • “Excuse me” – 劳驾 (Láojià)
  • “I’m doing well” – 我很好 (Wǒ hěn hǎo)
  • “Do you speak English?” – 你会说英语吗?(Nǐ huì shuō yīngyǔ ma?)
  • “I am from…” – 我来自(Wǒ láizì…)
  • “What’s your name?” – 你叫什么名字?(Nǐ jiào shénme míngzì?)
  • “How are you?” – 你好吗?(Nǐ hǎo ma?)
  • “Again, please” – 再来一次 (Zàilái yīcì)
  • “I don’t understand” – 我不明白 (Wǒ bù míngbái)
  • “I’m lost” – 我迷路了(Wǒ mílùle)
  • “Where are the toilets?” – 洗手间在哪里?(Xǐshǒujiān zài nǎlǐ? )
  • “Where can I get internet access?” – 我在哪里可以上网?( Wǒ zài nǎlǐ kěyǐ shàngwǎng?)
  • “How do you say… in Mandarin?” – 怎么说…用普通话?(Zěnme shuō… Yòng pǔtōnghuà?)
  • “Can you help me?” – 你能帮助我吗?(Nǐ néng bāngzhù wǒ ma?)
  • “I would like the check, please” – 我想要支票 (Wǒ xiǎng yào zhīpiào)
  • “How much does it cost?” – 它要多少钱?(Tā yào duōshǎo qián?)
  • “Where is the train station?” – 火车站在哪里呢?(Huǒchē zhàn zài nǎlǐ ne?)
  • “Where is the airport?” – 机场在哪里?(Jīchǎng zài nǎlǐ?)
  • “Call the police” – 报警 (Bàojǐng)
  • “Call an ambulance” – 叫救护车 (Jiào jiùhù chē)

Japanese

Countries where Japanese is an official language: Japan

  • “Hello” – こんにちは (Kon’nichiwa)
  • “Goodbye” – さようなら (Sayōnara)
  • “Please” – お願いします (Onegaishimasu)
  • “Yes/No” – はい (Hai)/いいえ (Īe)
  • “Thank you” – ありがとうございました (Arigatōgozaimashita)
  • “I’m sorry” – ごめんなさい (Gomen’nasai)
  • “Excuse me” – すみません (Sumimasen)
  • “I’m doing well” – 私はうまくやってる (Watashi wa umaku yatteru)
  • “Do you speak English?” – 英語を話せますか?(Eigo o hanasemasu ka?)
  • “I am from…” – 私は_出身です(Watashi wa)
  • “What’s your name?” – あなたの名前は何ですか? (Anata no namae wa nanidesu ka?)
  • “How are you?” – お元気ですか?(Ogenkidesuka?)
  • “Again, please” – もう一度お願いします (Mōichido onegaishimasu)
  • “I don’t understand” – わからない (Wakaranai)
  • “I’m lost” – 道に迷いました (Michinimayoimashita)
  • “I’m looking for…” – を探しています (O sagashiteimasu)
  • “Where is (the)…?” – どこですか (Dokodesu ka)
  • “Where are the toilets?” – トイレはどこにありますか?(Toire wa doko ni arimasu ka?)
  • “Where can I get internet access?” –どこでインターネットにアクセスできますか?(Doko de intānetto ni akusesu dekimasu ka?)
  • “How do you say… in Japanese?” – は日本語で何と言いますか?(Wa nihongodenantoiimasuka?)
  • “Can you help me?” – 手伝って頂けますか?(Tetsudatte itadakemasu ka?)
  • “I would like the check, please” – チェックをお願いします (Chekku o onegaishimasu)
  • “How much does it cost?” – Qそれはどれくらいしますか?(Sore wa dorekurai shimasu ka?)
  • “Where is the train station?” – 駅はどこですか?(Eki wa dokodesu ka?)
  • “Where is the airport?” – 空港はどこですか?(Kūkō wa dokodesu ka?)
  • “I’m allergic to…” – アレルギーがある (Arerugī ga aru)
  • “Call the police” – 警察を呼ぶ (Keisatsu o yobu)
  • “Call an ambulance” – 救急車を呼んでくれ (Kyūkyūsha o yonde kure)

Arabic

Countries where Arabic is an official language: Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

  • “Hello” – مرحبا (marhabaan)
  • “Goodbye” – وداعا (wadaeaan)
  • “Please” – رجاء (raja’)
  • “Yes/No” – بلى (balaa)/لا (la)
  • “Thank you” – شكرا لكم (shukraan lakum)
  • “I’m sorry” – أنا آسف (‘ana asif)
  • “Excuse me” – عفوا (efu)
  • “I’m doing well” – انا بحال جيدة (‘iinaa bihal jayida)
  • “Do you speak English?” – هل تتحدث الانجليزية؟ (hal tatahadath alanjlyzia?)
  • “I am from…” – أنا من (‘ana min)
  • “What’s your name?” – ما هو اسمك؟ (ma hu asmak?)
  • “How are you?” – كيف حالكم؟ (kayf halikm?)
  • “Again, please” – فضلا، مرة أخرى (fadla, maratan ‘ukhraa)
  • “I don’t understand” – أنا لا أفهم (‘ana la ‘afham)
  • “I’m lost” – انى تائه (ana tayih)
  • “I’m looking for…” – أنا أبحث عن (‘ana ‘abhath ean)
  • “Where is (the)…?” – اين ال (‘ayn al)
  • “Where are the toilets?” – أين هي المراحيض؟ (‘ayn hi almarahid?)
  • “Where can I get internet access?” –أين يمكنني الوصول إلى الإنترنت؟ (‘ayn yumkinuni alwusul ‘iilaa al’iintarint?)
  • “How do you say… in Arabic?” – كيف يمكنك أن تقول … باللغة العربية؟ (kayf yumkinuk ‘an taqul … biallughat alearabia?)
  • “Can you help me?” – هل يمكنك مساعدتي؟ (hal yumkinuk musaeadatay?)
  • “I would like the check, please” – أود التحقق ، من فضلك (‘awadu altahaquq , min fadlik)
  • “How much does it cost?” – كم يكلف؟ (kam yakalf?)
  • “Where is the train station?” – أين هو محطة القطار؟ (‘ayn hu mahatat alqatar?)
  • “Where is the airport?” – أين هو المطار؟ (‘ayn hu almatar?)
  • “Call the police” – اتصل بالشرطة (‘atasil bialshurta)
  • “Call an ambulance” – اتصل بالإسعاف (‘atasil bial’iiseaf)

Russian

Countries where Russian is an official language: Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan

  • “Hello” – Привет (Privet)
  • “Goodbye” – Прощай (Proshchay)
  • “Please” – пожалуйста (pozhaluysta)
  • “Yes/No” – да (da)/нет (net)
  • “Thank you” – Спасибо (Spasibo)
  • “I’m sorry” – Мне жаль (Mne zhal’)
  • “Excuse me” – Извините меня (Izvinite menya)
  • “I’m doing well” – У меня все хорошо (U menya vse khorosho)
  • “Do you speak English?” – Вы говорите по-английски? (Vy govorite po-angliyski?)
  • “Can I have…?” – Можно мне (Mozhno mne)
  • “I am from…” – я из (ya iz)
  • “What’s your name?” – Как вас зовут? (Kak vas zovut?)
  • “How are you?” – Как твои дела? (Kak tvoi dela?)
  • “Again, please” – Снова, пожалуйста (Snova, pozhaluysta)
  • “I don’t understand” – Я не понимаю (YA ne ponimayu)
  • “I’m lost” – я потерялся (ya poteryalsya)
  • “I’m looking for…” – я ищу (ya ishchu)
  • “Where is (the)…?” – Где (Gde)
  • “Where are the toilets?” – Где туалеты? (Gde tualety?)
  • “Where can I get internet access?” –Где я могу получить доступ в интернет? (Gde ya mogu poluchit’ dostup v internet?)
  • “How do you say… in Portuguese?” – Как сказать…по-русски (Kak skazat’…po-russki)
  • “Can you help me?” – Вы можете мне помочь? (Vy mozhete mne pomoch’?)
  • “I would like the check, please” – Я хотел бы проверить, пожалуйста (YA khotel by proverit’, pozhaluysta)
  • “How much does it cost?” – Сколько это стоит? (Skol’ko eto stoit?)
  • “Where is the train station?” – Где находится вокзал? (Gde nakhoditsya vokzal?)
  • “Where is the airport?” – Где аэропорт? (Gde aeroport?)
  • “I’m allergic to…” – У меня аллергия на (U menya allergiya na)
  • “Call the police” – Вызовите полицию (Vyzovite politsiyu)
  • “Call an ambulance” – Вызовите скорую (Vyzovite skoruyu)

However you decide to familiarize yourself with the language before you travel—whether through Duolingo classes, an online app, a travel phrasebook, or all of the above—it’s important to be sure you’re comfortable with words and phrases that relate to travel, health concerns you may have, shopping, emergencies, and basic communication. Practice your language skills, load up on apps and phrasebooks, and then you’re ready to take off.

At Roomkey, we’re ready and waiting to help you book with one of our partner hotels around the world. We make it easy to compare hotel prices against lower loyalty rates from multiple brands all in one place. When you’re ready to book, we take you straight to the hotel’s website to finish your booking.

Bon Voyage! Gute Reise! Avere un buon viaggio!