What essential phrases to learn while travelling.

As an Englishman I have it quite easy-there’s barely a corner of the globe that doesn’t speak English. However it shows a deep respect and gains you a lot of goodwill if you at least try to go native.

Before moving to Italy, I only really knew English- a poor reminder of the lack of language emphasis in Britain. Since moving, however, I’ve started to learn both Italian and German, both of which have fascinated me and are applicable every day, from when I get up to going to bed.

Before we set out anywhere that doesn’t have a handy bilingual child to translate, we always make sure we learn a few key phrases (or practice them!)

I’ll jot down some of these in English, German, Spanish and Italian in case you’re ever over our way.

Can I have…please? Kann ich …. habe, bitte. Podría por favor… Posso avere…. Per favore.

Is…open? Ist das…geöffnet? El … está abierto? È….. aperta?

Thank you. Danke/Dankeschön. Gracias. Grazie.

The check please. Die Rechnung bitte. La cuenta por favor. Il conto per favore. 

Where is the…? Wo ist… Bitte? Dónde está…? Dov’é…?

Can we see the menu please? Kömmen wir die Speisekarte sehen, bitte? Podríamos ver el menú/la carta por favor. Possiamo vedere il menù/ la carta per favore.

Can you take a picture of us, please? Können Sie ein Foto von uns machte, Bitte? Nos podría tomar una foto por favor?(formal). Protesti farci una foto per favore.

Water/Beer/Wine (Red or White)/ Coffee/ Tea. Wasser/ Bier/ Wein (Rot oder Weiß)/ Kaffee/ Tee. Agua/Cerveza/ Vino (Rojo o Blanco)/ Café/ Té. Aqua naturale/ Birra/ Vino (Rosso o Bianco)/ Caffè/ Tè.

Help! Hilfe! Ayuda! Aiuto! (We have never needed this one, but you never know).


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