Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’ve been in a foreign country, stuck in the middle of nowhere and struggling to find your way around because you can’t communicate with the locals? Or have you tried to find your way to the bus terminal and they think you’re trying to buy booze (yes, that’s happened to me before). In fact, one of the main reasons that’s stopped me from travelling to certain countries in the past is the fact that I don’t speak the native language.
My grandmother has an incredible thirst for adventure and probably experiences more #wanderlust than I do. Sadly, she doesn’t have the confidence to get to these countries because of the language barriers.
I’m Australian but Chinese by descent and I am probably the worst Asian out there. I don’t speak the language well and I have no confidence that I’d be able to get around the country with my broken Chinese without being laughed at. At the very least, I can understand the language so I’m marginally better off than let’s just say if my husband were to find himself stuck in the middle of nowhere in rural China.
With that said, did you know that the biggest fear that holds us Aussies back from adventuring to foreign countries is the language barrier? Booking.com recently surveyed over 20,000 global wanderers and found that 32% of Aussies are held back from travelling because of language barriers and not being able to find suitable accommodation. To pile onto that a little more… not being able to find their accommodation because of the language barrier. It’s happened to me many times and I know it’s happened to you too. The focus around their research is being able to identify how to truly remove barriers so we can all become a limitless traveller.
What do Aussies want when they travel?
Booking.com research has shown some interesting insights:
- Almost two thirds (62%) of people want to experience new cultures (because how else do we grow as humans?)
- Over half (51%) want to taste local delicacies (who doesn’t love foooooood?)
- Over a third (39%) are keen to experience staying somewhere new (accommodation is sometimes the biggest part of travelling – especially to destinations like the Maldives)
- A third (33%) want to embrace meeting new people whilst travelling (because we can never have too many friends)
Many of us travel without mobile roaming, which means that tools like Google translate aren’t readily available. Now, what if I told you that there is a device (that doesn’t require wi-fi) that can translate phrases for you in just 0.2 seconds?
ILI is the world’s fastest offline one-way translator and can currently translate English into three languages – Spanish, Mandarin and Japanese. The latter of these is incredibly useful because the country is notoriously known for locals not speaking any English. Though the device only has three output languages currently, there are more updates to be added in the future and for the moment, these three languages are enough to get you through significant ground around the world!
So what’s the next biggest thing we worry about when we plan our travels abroad? Accommodation. After all, we all need to sleep somewhere and have a roof over our heads. Booking.com has teamed up with ILI to offer an exclusive discount on ILI devices (worth $219 USD) here. You’ll receive $30 off and also receive a Booking.com case for the device too! The first step to becoming a #LimitlessTraveller is right here.
Was the language barrier ever an issue for you as a traveller?
Check out all my other travel related posts here.
This post has been created in collaboration with Booking.com however all opinions remain my own.