The Importance of Learning Language Basics For Immersive Travel

Posted in: Blog, Industry

The Importance of Learning Language Basics For Immersive Travel 


One of the best ways to deeply experience and engage with the local culture when traveling abroad is to learn some basic language skills. Even rudimentary knowledge can greatly enrich your interactions and demonstrate respect. This guide covers strategies to quickly learn key phrases before your trip. 

The Benefits of Learning Basics 

Learning the basics of the local language: 

  • Allows you to properly greet, thank, and make simple requests of locals in their native tongue. This facilitates warmer receptions. 
  • Enables you to pick up on key words and navigate important signs, directions, transportation, menus, and more. You retain autonomy versus needing translations. 
  • Provides insight into the local mindset and culture that you don’t get from English translations. The essence of a culture exists within its language. 
  • Shows your genuine interest in understanding the country’s people, customs, and values at a deeper level. Locals truly appreciate this effort. 

Even learning simple courtesies like hello, please, and thank you in the local language makes a difference. 

Creating a Focused Study Plan 

When aiming to learn basics quickly before an upcoming trip: 

  • Carefully select phrases and vocabulary to prioritize. Focus on greetings, courtesies, dining terms, directions, transportation, shopping, safety related words and frequently used travel phrases. 
  • Leverage language learning apps, travelers phrasebooks, YouTube crash courses, and audio lessons to build your vocabulary. Reinforce with flashcards and taking notes. 
  • Practice listening comprehension and basic speaking every day for at least 15-30 minutes in the month before your trip. Mimic native speaker pronunciation as closely as possible. 
  • Focus more on grasping the overall meaning and less on perfect accuracy. You want to recognize and use key words and phrases. 
  • Quiz yourself often and use your vocabulary in example scenarios to get comfortable applying it. Repeat phrases out loud. 

Using Basics Respectfully 

When interacting with locals using your limited skills: 

  • Use polite greetings, courtesies, and phrases. This matters more than perfect grammar and accuracy. 
  • Smile warmly, have patience, and let locals take the lead. Don’t flaunt your knowledge. 
  • Pay close attention to pick up on vocabulary you recognize and get the gist of conversations. 
  • Politely apologize for your lack of fluency and ask if they are comfortable speaking English if you are struggling. 

Surround yourself with comprehensive input in your target language. Change devices and media to the language and make it your new normal. Watch movies and shows, listen to podcasts, and read books, newspapers, and magazines in the language. Follow social media accounts with high quality content. The more you immerse, the faster you will learn. Look for opportunities to think, speak, write, and hear the language throughout your day. Your effort to understand the heart of a culture through language basics is what will be appreciated most. 

Follow these tips to enrich your experience abroad. Let us know in the comments what country you are visiting and what language you are aiming to learn! 



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Did the translator do a good job?

Posted in: Articles, Blog

The question has undoubtedly crossed your mind: did the translator do a good job?

You have a short email to translate into Spanish, and since you heard that Google Translate might make mistakes, the expert translation services of an experienced professional are best for your needs. You don’t want to impress your new client with lousy grammar or outdated language; they will only turn away from what is offered if it appears poorly done on first impression. You know how important first impressions are in business.

After scouring the internet, you find someone who seems to be qualified for your task. Of course, you must be a good translator if you are a native speaker of another language!

So far, so good!

Until your translator sends back the completed project, and things get fishy: The Spanish translation is twice as long as its original text. Why???

How can you verify it? So you decide to copy and paste it into Google Translate to check the translation in reverse, expecting to see your original text as a result. Nope! That’s not what you said!

Shouldn’t the translator translate the original text word for word? Isn’t that the idea of translation? To take the words from one language and translate them into another language?

What happened?

How can you be sure that you can send that message and its recipient (Your Spanish-speaking client) will notice that you used a professional translator?

And the answer is…drumroll!!! You can’t!

Unless you know, understand or study the intricacy of languages, cultures, and the infinite nuances that make each language unique, you just can’t. So, even though it would enrich one’s knowledge and broaden horizons, do you have time for all that? My guess is your answer to this question is no.

The same happens when you hire an interpreter that will translate speech on the spot, through simultaneous or consecutive interpretation.

So what now? That’s it?

Wait! You know such and such has a friend who speaks Spanish. Let’s have them check it out!

“I knew it! The translator didn’t do a good job because my friend’s friend said she would have translated the first sentence differently.”

Now you are even more confused. You have no idea what’s going on. Nothing makes sense anymore. You feel lost and alone. 

Was the original translation wrong?

Were there any grammar mistakes?

Or was it just a matter of preference and style?

To get the best results, you should hire a trusted LSP (Language Service Provider) like inLingo, who can guarantee the quality of all language services you need. With many years of experience, they will be able to assist you in achieving your goals.

inLingo knows that some words may not be translatable, that no absolute equivalence of two words or expressions exists between any two languages or even within the same language, and that there exists great diversity in different languages or within the same language. As a consequence, no two translations can be exactly the same. Although it is the translator’s responsibility to minimize these discrepancies, each professional translator will apply their own particular choice of words. 

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inLingo at 1 MILLION CUPS!

Posted in: inLingo News

Please join us during our official introduction of inLingo at 1MC, a free program designed to educate, engage and inspire entrepreneurs around the country.

1 Million Cups empowers entrepreneurs with the tools and resources to break down barriers that stand in the way of starting and growing their businesses.

April 7th edition featuring all women entrepreneurs!

You can use the link below to attend this event:


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Understanding beyond words

Posted in: Blog, inLingo News

Of the many outstanding reviews we receive, a specific detail from one of the latest stands out.

It explains very well how proper communication goes beyond words:

“Although one client has been speaking English in the U.S. for 10 years, the rich totality of his personality and legal concerns emerged once he expressed himself in his native tongue through the able inLingo interpreter. This is the only way we now communicate […]”.

Thank you so much! We couldn’t have expressed this concept better ourselves.

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Dialects dilemma

Posted in: Articles, Blog

While foreign languages are here to stay, some are dying, like “Shanghainese,” as described in the article below.

Coming from Italy, where dialects in each region are entirely different languages, I have always been torn between the idea of preserving them as part of our culture, our history, and the belief that making communication easier is an advantage in modern society.

I am curious to know your thoughts.

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How International News Reaches International Readers

Posted in: Advocacy, Articles, Blog, Industry, Industry News, Info-tainment


‘Translators often remain in the shadows—both because, when a translation is done well, nobody notices, and because plenty of outlets don’t give credit for translations. Yet Ítaka believes that “we must reclaim the place of the translator and know that it is very important in a global world where you want people to understand each other.”’

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