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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sailing Through the Language Barrier on Your Next Cruise

It’s so exciting to head to a brand new vacation destination. Exploring new territory and making new friends across the globe often builds the best memories!

However, heading into a cruise port where the language is unfamiliar can seem daunting. How will you communicate if you don’t know how to ask for even basic necessities? Check out a few common phrases, and get some helpful suggestions on how you will be able to “talk the talk” and feel like a local!

Cruisers headed to Spanish-speaking destinations such as Cozumel, Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic will exclaim “I’m happy to be here!” by saying “¡Estoy feliz de estar aquí!” If you’re headed to Guadeloupe or Martinique, the French version is “Je suis heureux d'être ici!” While in Aruba and Curacao, you’ll declare in Dutch, “Ik ben blij om hier te zijn!“

You will be glad to know that you can find the nearest restroom by asking “¿Dónde está el baño más cercano?” in Spanish; or “Où est la toilette la plus proche?” in French. The Dutch equivalent is a bit easier to remember- “Waar is het toilet?” However, be careful not to use “Waar is de badkamer?” which actually means where is the shower!

Another phrase you may want to memorize, especially if you are out on your own experiencing an unfamiliar area, is “where is the cruise port?” In Spanish, you’ll say “¿Dónde está el puerto de cruceros?”; in French, “Où se trouve le port de croisière?”; in Dutch, “Waar is de cruise haven?”

The good news is that you don’t have to memorize these phrases to travel successfully through a foreign port. There are many websites and apps that can help you translate phrases and communicate with service workers and other travelers. One of the most accessible is Google Translate. Simply go to Google and search “translate.” You will see two boxes. The first “detect language” box is where you enter the text or phrase you wish to translate. The second box is where you select the language that you want your phrase translated, and it's where your translation will appear. Google Translate is not a perfect translator. Sentence structure may not be ideal, so Google Translate should be used as a guide to get the basic concepts of a piece, not as an accurate translation. You can learn more about Google Translate here:

itranslate voice logo
If you’ve got your phone in your pocket, you’ve got a portable translator! The iTranslate Voice app translates what you say right after you say it. You can even save your most commonly used phrases in a “phrase book” for easy access. You will want to check this app to ensure your language is available, as iTranslate only offers approximately forty options.

triplingo app logo

If you’re looking for additional bells and whistles, check out Triplingo. Triplingo combines a translator with lots of handy extras. It includes language-learning tools, cultural information, free international calls with wi-fi and more. Triplingo is available from the App Store or Google Play.

Papago logo

If you’re headed to Japan, China or Korea, you may want to check out Papago. This app focuses exclusively on translating the “big 3” Asian languages (Korean, Japanese and Mandarin). It provides visual clues to ensure the correct context is utilized. It also provides a currency converter and offline mode.

You can travel confidently with these handy tools. You’ll be exclaiming “¡está excelente!” by utilizing these great apps. “Moet je proberen” one before you head off to your next destination!