Holiday Lingo

We are pretty fortunate to live in a country where the national language is so widely spoken – after all it saves us having to learn lots of other languages! But even if you still need to converse in English for the majority of the time on holiday, a sincere “thank you” or a firm “no” in the local language is more likely to gain respect, strike up relationships with the community or get you out of an awkward situation.

Here we have provided a range of basic vocabulary in a variety of foreign languages to maximise the enjoyment of your trip.

French
Hello – Bonjour / Bonsoir (evening)
Goodbye – Au Revoir
Thank you – Merci
Yes – Oui
No – Non

Spanish
Hello – Hola
Goodbye – Adios
Thank you – Gracias
Yes – Si
No – No

Italian
Hello – Ciao
Goodbye – Arrivederci
Thank you – Grazie
Yes – Si
No – No

Greek
Hello – Yassou (informal) Yassas (formal)
Goodbye – Adio
Thank you – Efharisto
Yes – Ochi
No – Ne

Portuguese
Hello – Hello
Goodbye – Adeus
Thank you – Obrigado
Yes – Sim
No – No

German
Hello – Hallo
Goodbye – Auf Wiedersehen
Thank you – Danke
Yes – Ja
No – Nein

If you would like to prepare some more detailed phrases to take to your destination, there are a number of free online translation tools such as WorldLingo. If you’re using one of these, keep the phrases as simple as possible for the most accurate results.

Luckily, should you need to make a claim on your travel insurance while abroad, 24/7 travel insurance has an English-speaking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Medical Emergency Helpline which can be reached from all over the world, so you won’t be stuck for the right vocabulary in an emergency, and premiums for European travel start from under a fiver*

* Premium £4.38 includes Insurance Premium Tax; based on an individual traveller aged under 55 taking out a “Standard” Single Trip policy for 3 days in Europe excluding personal possessions cover and purchased within 14 days of departure date. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (August 2008) and are subject to change.

Source for translations: Babelfish