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Now You’re Speaking My Language

2 July 2020

One of the beautiful parts about traveling around the world is immersing yourself in the medley of cultures, traditions, and languages that surround you at every turn. Dive deeper into the experience and brush up on your language skills to become one of the locals.  

Common Phrases

No matter where you go, it's always smart to know these phrases to get you around a city where you may not be as familiar with the language. 

English Spanish French Japanese Afrikaans Italian
Hello Hola (ho-lah) Bonjour (Bon-joor) こんにちは (kon'nichiwa; kō-nee-chee-wah) a Hallo Ciao (Ch-oww)
Thank You Gracias (grah-see-yahs) Merci (mehr-see) ありがとう (Arigato; are-ri-gah-tō) Dankie (dān-kee) Grazie (graht-see)
Goodbye Adiós (ah-thyos) Au revoir (oh re-vwahr) さようなら (Sayōnara; sa-yo-na-ra) Totsiens (tōt-see-ens) Arrivederci! (ahr-ree-veh-dehr-tchee)
My Name Is... Me Llamo (me-ya-mo) Mon Nom Est (mon-nōm-ay) 私の名前は (Watashinonamaeha; (wah-tah-shee-no-na-me-ha) My naam is (mē-nām-is) Mi Chiamo (me-chī-ah-mo)
I don't understand No entiendo (no-en-tee-endo) Je ne comprends pas わかりません (wakarimasen; wah-kār-ee-mah-sen) Ek verstaan nie (ėk - ver - stah - ahn - nee) Non Capisco (no cah-pi-sco)

Travel Phrases

These essential phrases are important to know when traveling in an area you're not familiar with, especially if the native language is not your own. 

English Spanish French Japanese Afrikaans Italian
Where is...? Dónde está…? (dōn-day es-tah) Où se trouve…? (oo-say-troov) どこに…?(doko ni; doh-ko nee) Waar is…? Dov'è…? (doh-veh)
Does this go to...? ¿Esto va a ...? (es-toh-vah-ah) Est-ce que cela va à…? (es-se-kuh-say-la-vah-ah) これは…に行きますか? (kore wah... ni ikimasu ka?; ko-ray-wah...nee-ee-kee-mah-su-kah) Gaan dit na ...? (Gāhn-deet-nah) Questo va a ...? (ke-sto-vah-ah)
Train Station Estación de tren (es-tah-see-ōn de trēn) Gare (gar-re) 鉄道駅 (Tetsudo-eki; tet-su-doh-eh-kee) JTrein stasie tazione ferroviaria (Stah-zee-ōn-fer-ro-vee-ar-ree-ah)
Airport Aeropuerto (er-oh-puer-toh) Aéroport (air-o-port) 空港 (kuko; kūkō) lughawe (lūg-hah-wē) eroporto (air-oh-port-oh)
Taxi Taxi Taxi タクシー (Takushī; tah-ku-shee) Taxi Taxi

Use these helpful translations on your next rail vacation!

Explore our Featured Trips that will immerse you in these beautiful languages:

1. Spanish: Magnificent Morocco & Moorish Spain

2. Italian: Top to Toe of Italy

3. Afrikaans: Cape Town, the Blue Train & Kruger National Park

4. Japanese: Discovering Japan

5. French: Chateaux of the Loire Valley


As a bonus, check out these unique slang words and phrases from across the globe. Some may surprise you!


Words and their meanings are constantly changing and evolving, but did you know that each country has its own version of slang? What might be said in your home country could mean something different across the world. Here are some popular slang terms from all over:

  • Australia - "arvo" is commonly used to describe the afternoon.
  • Sweden - "fika" is a slang term used to describe coffee.
  • Scotland/Ireland - "messages" is a common slang for groceries, completely different from how we're used to it!
  • Spain - "Pasta" is a common term used to describe currency. This word derives from the word "peseta", which was Spain's original currency before they switched to Euros.
  • Japan - オッス (ossu!) is a similar greeting to "what's up!" or "yo!" in English. It's closest to how we see surfer-speak and is mostly used by men to greet one another.
  • New Orleans, USA - "wrench" is commonly used down south and is used when running something under water, such as fruits or vegetables.
  • Sweden - "Fredagsmys" is a combo of the words "Friday" and "cozy" and is used to describe watching TV and eating junk food on the weekends.
  • Canada - "Skookum" is slang meaning "great" and is used only in the province of British Columbia.
  • Italy - "Essere nelle nuvole" is a common slang to describe someone who is always daydreaming or has their head in the clouds.