Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Breaking The [Language] Barrier

Me : "Hello sir, is your food halal?"
fast food manager (ffm): "it's about 15 - 20 minutes" (with Vietnamese dialect)
Me : "No..no, No how long but Halal"
ffm : *gave me a puzzled look*
Me : "hmmm do you have pork in your menu?"
ffm : "so...sorry I don't understand" 
Me : "pork.. ehmm pork, y'know" *pressed my nose to make it look like a pig*
ffm : "sorry miss i don't know"
Me : "ohh okay then, thank you" *left the resto with empty stomatch*

Have you ever experienced a situation when local people on your travel destination could not understand your language, even it is "English"?  
Well, although English has become universal language yet we can't expect everyone in this world understand English, right? 
Then what should we do when we travel to places where most of the people don't understand English language there? 
Should we avoid that place?



Lost in translation
For me, the answer is NO, Hell no!! we can't avoid some places just because that language issue, we have to find a way to break that language barrier. Smartling a translation technology company, removes language barriers and helps companies provide multilingual content to their customers anywhere in the world. As part of their "Breaking the Barrier" project, I want to share some tips that might be useful for other travelers who might be in the same problem

1. Bring Pen and Paper

I always bring pen and paper/notebook during my trips, just simply to take note for something like article idea, places to visit, travel expenses, bus number and many others. It also helpful when someone could not understand your "English" pronunciation because of dialect. It helped me once in Ho Chi Minh when I'm trying to ask for Nha Trang's bus fare. I pronounced Nha Trang with Nha sound like "Nut" without "T" and Trang sound like "Trunk". The hotel staff confused and I quickly wrote down "Nha Trang" on a piece of paper and he finally understood. Well, I just found out that Nha Trang should be pronounced with Nha sound like Net without "T" and Trang with sound like Frank but replace "F" with "T". Hey thank you Luan Vu Hotel Staff :).

2. Bring Smartphone

I always bring cellphone during my trip, well aside from its function as communication tool I know it will help me through most of language issues on the road. Based on my experience, it better and faster to search the image of the place that we want to visit and show it to taxi driver or local people. 

3. Learn Some Words

Why don't we try to learn some words in their local language? beside we will get their respect, we also learn something new from our trip, right?

When it's hard to ask street vendor whether they used pork or not in food ingredients, I asked hotel staff to translate pork in Vietnamese. So, when the next day I came to street vendor I can ask them "is this used Heo?" or "Heo on the food?" (Heo is Vietnamese for Pork)



Heo means Pork and Bò means beef

4. Put Smile on Your Face

They still don't get what you talking about? it's OK, put smile on your face and don't forget to say thank you. As far as I know smile is a universal language.


Thanks GOD for the translation



That's all, it works on me and I hope it will work on you too. Wanna share other tips? why don't you tell me your tips on comment box below :)

18 comments:

  1. hahaha ngebayangin kamu lagi body language meragain babi :))

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    1. Akupun heran kenapa waktu bisa refleks kayak gtu hahahahaha *saking kelaperan*

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  2. Wakakakakak ngakak baca openingnya. Nguik2 kayaknya lutu bingit itu hahaha :D

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    1. Kaaakaaak :((
      Fokusnyaaaa hahahahahahahahahahhahah
      Keidung aaakookk

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  3. Kl aku pas di Thailand nge-screen cap alamat tempat2 yg aku pgn kunjungi supaya pas naik taksi tinggal tunjukin, soalnya kl aku yg ngomong suka salah pengucapan hehe. Waktu di Hong Kong juga aku pgn minum minuman khas sana tp org Hong Kong ga ngerti, aku tunjukin wikipedianya aja br ngerti hehe. Kl karakternya beda, enak gini nih :)) terima kasih teknologi..

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    1. eh apa minuman khasnya?
      kemarin sempet nyobain almond milk disana, di Hong Kong untungnya ga pernah nanya-nanya macem-macem, di Macau pernah sekali tapi diketusin ahhahah

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  4. Kakak ... gw ketawa ngakak, negabnyangin gaya babi hahahahhahahhahah
    Btw kalo di luar sono, gw inti nya nanya halal ??? urusan paham ngak paham begitu dia jawab halal yaa langsung embat aja hahah

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    1. hihihihi ini juga ngebahass idung babi :P
      nah itu diaa, dibeberapa negara ga ngerti halal itu apa kakk :(
      jadi aku pokoknya mah nyari aja resto yg ga ada menu porknya :D

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  5. nah kalo aku Mei, pas ke Beijing ama Saigon dulu tuh, aku slalu mnta staff hotel tulisin di kertas, dlm bahasa dan aksara mereka, yg intinya, "saya ga bisa makan babi. tapi sapi dan ayam oke."

    jd tiap msk k restoran, aku slalu nunjukin kertas itu k staff restoran dan mrk lgs senyum dan ngerti... biasanya lgs nunjukin di buku menu mana yg bukan babi...

    aku akuin aku emg bukan tipe yg trlalu mikirin soal halal ga Mei.. Prinsipku, asal yg aku makan bukan Babi, udh cukup.. Masalah kalo dagingnya prnh tinggal 1 kulkas ama si babi, ato piringnya bekas si babi, sebodo amatlah :D

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    1. hhahahaha akupunnn pas di HCMC nanya ke staff hotel, bahasa vietnamnya babi apaan :P

      di Beijing gampang ga sih kak nyari makanan yg bisa kita makan ?

      btw aku juga kalo diluar yang penting yakkinnn aja yg kita makan ga ada babinya *insya allah*

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    2. di beijing lumayan gampang sih makannya... tp kalo emg yg dicari makanan yg beneran halal, ya susah .pokoknya restoran yg aku masukin sih udh pasti jual pork juga, cuma ya itu td, yg aku pilih ttp menu tanpa babinya...malah prnh loh, pas breakfast, kita dpt set roti panggang, telur mata sapi, mentega, selai, dan sosis yg trnyata babi... dan itu sosis, udh ditaro diatas roti... ya udh, jdnya sosisnya ga ku makan, tp roti ttp disantap :D

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    3. hihihihi akupun kaakk :D
      lillahita'ala aja kalo makan, sebisa mungkin menghindari resto yang punya menu pork,, tapi kalo susah nyarinya kan mau begimana lagi :((

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  6. mungkin bahasa tubuh lebih mendunia sebenernya dibandingkan bahasa inggris :p

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    1. hihihi iyoohh beneer :D
      udah yang paling menduniaaaa ituh bahasa tubuh

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  7. First try : english, next smartphone, last resort... body language AKA bahasa tarzan *lol*

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    1. hahahah iyaah, di HCMC aja kmrn tawar menawar pakai digit kalkulator LOL, trus pake yes no + geleng sama angguk ajaa hahah

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  8. Paling ampuh emang pake bahasa tubuh/ bahasa tarzan..


    Regards
    www.travellingaddict.com

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    1. hahahah iyah banget :D

      bahasa tarzan mah juaraa

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Thank you for comment :)