| Making Arrangements | Guide Books | Learn the Language | Quick Reference When You Are There |
The Free Online Translation service available at this site can be very useful for translating hotel reservations and local information that you have found on the web. You can even use it to translate your communications with your host as you finalise your arrangements. Thankfully, it is rarely necessary to speak to anyone in a foreign language before you travel.
Before you go, make sure you have thoroughly read a good travel guide for the area. This should include learning the important warning signs and road signs. If you do not already have a travel guide, hop over to Amazon.com and get one.
This can add to the fun of your trip, as you will definitely benefit from being able to speak the language. Rosetta Stone offer some good multi-media language learning software designed specifically for the traveller. They teach the basic knowledge required for a person to communicate effectively in the new country. All titles have a good user interface, and are quite fun to use. Have a look in the relevant section of Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk to see what's currently available.
Once you are there, it is useful to be able to look up words and phrases such as items on a menu or instructions on a drink machine. The way to do this was, until recently, a little translation dictionary made of paper that sits comfortably in your pocket.
The modern equivalents are these electronic dictionaries from Ectaco (a leader in clever translation gadgets). These dictionaries include not only words, but phrases, idioms, irregular verbs, linguistic games, grammar and high quality voice output in multiple languages. They are quick and easy to use, so if you want to travel in style, you had better order one for yourself before you go.
If you are on a budget, get a paper version instead.
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