Getting to grips with the lingo in a foreign country can be an interesting challenge for a traveller especially when you’re just passing through for a few days. I discovered that buying toothpaste in Ecuador is easier said than done, especially when the shopkeeper misunderstands your broken Spanish and is thrusting a packet of smoked ham in your face instead of the Colgate Whitening you desire.

Even with our globalised world not everyone speaks English and speaking slowly or loudly will not always get your message understood. Just by learning a few basic sentences you’ll find that the locals are more welcoming and you might just make some great new friends. Interestingly, if you’re an i-phone or i-pod junkie, i-tunes have some really handy free podcasts to download which provide you with the rudimentary basics in loads of different languages. So whether it’s Swedish, French, Turkish or Urdu there is no longer any excuse for you not to make an effort.


Most importantly, when you do meet that Brazilian Brad Pitt doppelganger or Chace Crawford’s Greek body double you might not want to let a little language barrier get in the way of eternal sun kissed happiness. Do not fear, just memorize a few of these handy chat-up lines so you can understand what he’s saying, or if your daring enough, try them out yourself. Bonne chance or should that be buena suerte …

English : Hi I’m Mr Right, I heard you were looking for me.
French : Salut, je suis l’homme idéal ! Tu me cherchais ?

English : You must be tired, because you’ve been running through my mind all day.
Spanish : Debes estar cansada, porque has estado dando vueltas en mi cabeza todo el día.

English : Is it hot in here or is it just you?
German : Ist es heiss hier drinnen, oder bist du das?

English : Will you give me a kiss?
: An toir thu dhomh pòg?

English : I’ve lost my telephone number, could I borrow yours?
Italian : Ho perso il mio numero di telefono, potrebbe prestarmi il suo?

English : Is that a scroll in your toga, or are you just happy to see me?
Latin : Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre?

Okay so maybe the Latin one isn’t that useful but you never know when you’ll be confronted by a toga wearing Roman …