Why Traveler’s Tongue should be your first step to enjoying a foreign language and connecting with the locals.

If you wait for language fluency prior to visiting a foreign country, you may never get there! On your first few visits to a non-English speaking country, all you really need is a few basic words and phrases, which can be found on our Traveler’s Tongue card. Use them often and with enthusiasm. These words and phrases, especially the polite essentials, will help make your stay more fun and rewarding.

When we travel to a foreign country we are demonstrating an interest in that culture. Our goal should be to experience and enjoy that culture in as many ways as possible: seeing the historical landmarks and natural wonders, relishing the foods & drinks, shopping for unique goods, mingling with the natives, and speaking a little of their language.

Ideally, the first few words out of your mouth when addressing a local should be in their language. In nearly every case they will appreciate your efforts and be very helpful, often answering in English. Begin by learning how to say hello, thank you, and please. Additional words and phrases from the Traveler’s Tongue language card will be very useful during your visit. Most of them can be learned on the flight to your destination.

Our goal was to make Traveler’s Tongue an interesting and practical First Step to speaking, and enjoying, a new language. Later, depending on your time and motivation to learn more, you can selectively advance through a myriad of word and phrase books, auditory CD’s, computer-based programs, traditional coursework, immersion courses, private tutoring, and living for a period of time in a country where your new language is spoken.

International travel can be an enriching experience, and it provides a remarkable opportunity to show that we value other people and cultures. We hope that Traveler’s Tongue is one small aid toward enhancing your travels abroad and promoting understanding between people and nations.


Ron Ohlhausen

President, RAO Inc.