The Top 6 Languages for World Travel

Once again, travelers and tourists are planning their next overseas trip, where to go, how long they can afford to travel, what to expect and what language they will encounter. If you intend to travel to anywhere where the locals speak a language other than your own, it may be worth spending time learning at least a few words and phrases. The more you master that language, surely the more you will enjoy your travel experience.

The top 6 languages for world travel

1. English 

English may not be spoken by as many people as some other languages such as Chinese or even Spanish, but as an international language, it’s hard to beat. Obviously, if you are reading this blog, you are likely to be an English language speaker anyway, but it’s worth recognizing just how international English has become.

2. Spanish

Like Britain, Spain was once a major colonizer and took its language as part of its domination of parts of the world, especially South and Central America and parts of the Caribbean. If you are traveling to Spain, most of South America, except Brazil, Suriname, Guyana, and French Guiana, and most of Central America, except for Belize, or the Caribbean island nations of Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, you should learn some Spanish. While many European Spanish people routinely speak and understand English, it is rarer for this to be the case in much of Latin America.

3. French

Another former colonial power, France took its language to almost as many countries around the world as Britain, making French a truly useful international language. If you intend to visit France, parts of Switzerland, West and North Africa, and a scattering of islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific, then knowledge of French, however rudimentary, will stand you in good stead.

4. Arabic

Arabic is spoken more widely than you might imagine, making it an important language for some world travelers. Arabic is the main language, or at least the lingua franca, for a whole swathe of countries right across North Africa from Morocco in the west to Egypt in the east and much of the Middle East. While some Arabic-speaking countries might seem to be a no-no as far as tourism is concerned at the moment (Iraq, Syria, or Yemen anyone?), Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and much more recently Saudi Arabia are certainly tourist destinations.

5. Italian and Portuguese

Italy never became much of a colonial power, but the sheer number of attractions in Italy itself has meant that it is still a firm favorite for international tourists and millions pour into Italy every year. Italian is therefore an important language to learn if Italy is a destination. Portuguese is also a useful language to learn, like in Italy, because of the attractions of Portugal itself, which hosts huge numbers of tourists every year. Portugal was once a major European colonial power and its legacy remains in the form of Portuguese being an important language in Brazil, the Cape Verde Islands, Angola, and Mozambique.

6. German

Like Italy, Germany’s colonial ambitions were thwarted quite early on and so German is really only spoken in the European heartland nations of Germany, Austria, and much of Switzerland. Like Italy though, each of these countries is a very important destination for travelers, so learning German is almost a must if that is where you are heading.


Whatever your language credentials, you are advised to seek a professional translator if you need any of your personal documents translated before you set off overseas.

Keep Focused When Learning a New Language

Communication has become faster, easier, and at a lower cost than it has ever been. This doesn’t mean all communication overseas takes place in your own language. You have to think carefully if you want to travel and be part of the global economy and consider learning a second language. To be able to master a foreign language requires effort, dedication, patience, time, and self-belief. You need to have the correct mindset if you wish to achieve your goal and this is the best way to learn a new language.

13 hints on the best way to learn a language

  • You must be clear to yourself why you want to learn a new language. You should answer certain questions such as will learning a new language help you with your job or will it help to ensure you will get more enjoyment when visiting a new country. You may have friends who speak a second language so learning it yourself may help to improve your relationships.
  • Commit yourself once you have made the decision to learn a new language. Once you begin to learn the new language, have the confidence to persevere so that you can achieve your goal. If you are older but wish to begin traveling you still have a high chance of mastering a new language.
  • Time is an important factor in learning a new language. Don’t expect to become fluent overnight but some hardworking language learners can reach a reasonable level of fluency within 12 weeks.
  • As you proceed through the language learning process make sure you set attainable goals as this will help to keep you focused and on task.
  • Immerse yourself in the new language. That means eating with and sleeping with the language meaning you should engage yourself as often as possible with speakers of the language.
  • If necessary, enroll in a language school that has a 5-star reputation for success which is based on excellence in language learning.
  • The internet is a proven language learning tool and is one of the best ways to learn a language. You can link up with speakers of your second language through social media which will keep you talking 24/7.
  • Watch foreign-language movies and television shows (preferably where subtitles are used) and tune in to podcasts and radio stations that broadcast in your chosen second language.
  • Seek out all available language learning resources such as foreign language books, newspapers, and magazines
  • The key to learning a new language is keeping yourself absorbed in the new language by making use of as many resources as possible to help you in language processing.
  • Try to understand and appreciate the people who speak your chosen second language. This includes their culture and history.
  • Don’t be too serious when studying a second language. If you make a mistake laugh at it and correct it but don’t feel ashamed of it as it happens to everyone.

Be bold when engaged in language learning you will achieve your goal faster and gain confidence in speaking the language far faster than being intimidated by the task.

One important thought to remember is if you make any mistakes don’t let it get you down otherwise you may fall down completely and lose track of your goal of learning a new language. Getting back on track is the best way to rebuild your confidence in learning a new language. You will get there in the end and it will open a completely new perspective on the world.

A NAATI translation expert can teach us why language study is so important

Learning another language can be tough, so why do it in the first place? After all, isn’t the language you were born with good enough to get us through life?  Unfortunately, the answer is no – at least not in the era we are in today. Here’s why.

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