9 Phrases Every Traveler Should Know

From 'beer' and 'coffee' to 'check please' and 'table for 2,' these are 9 vital phrases to know in every language

No matter the destination, arriving somewhere new with a good handle on the local language is really helpful. Skipping the charades-style hand gesticulating and the awkward stumbling through the native tongue makes for much easier communication — and it’s also much more fun.

Of course, learning another language with some level of proficiency is preferred. But speaking another language, no matter how broken or slow, to a waiter, concierge, or taxi driver gets major brownie points not only from fellow travelers, but from the locals. However, buying a Rosetta Stone for every last destination seems a bit more involved than any of us have time to get. So we put together an initial list of key (and easy-to-learn) phrases that will help you get a table, a drink, and the bill. We all have to start somewhere, so we thought we’d kick off with: please, thank you, table for two, I’d like, beer, coffee, how much, check please, and it’s delicious. (It’s easy enough to Google translate things like "hi" and "bye," but some of these phrases have nuances that a simple translator may not pick up on.)

Don’t see the language you were looking for? Let us know where you’re going next in the comments and we’ll happily add that language to the list!

 

Spanish:

Please: Por favor

Thank you: Gracias

Table for two, please: Una mesa para dos, por favor

I would like: Quisiera

Beer: Cerveza

Coffee: Café (or "café con leche," for coffee with milk)

How much: Cuanto cuesta?

Check please: La cuenta, por favor

It’s delicious: Es delicioso

 

French:

Please: S’il vous plait

Thank you: Merci

Table for two, please: Une table pour deux, s’il vous plait

I would like: Je voudrais

Beer: Bière

Coffee: Café (or "café au lait," for coffee with milk)

How much: C’est combien?

Check please: L’addition, s’il vous plait

It’s delicious: C’est delicieux

 

Italian:

Please: Per favore (Note: prego is interchangeable to mean both "please" and "you’re welcome." When it’s used as "please," it’s done in situations like "please sit down" and not "table for two, please.")

Thank you: Grazie

Table for two, please: Una tavola per due, per favore  

I would like: Vorrei

Beer: Una birra

Coffee: Caffè (or "caffè latte," for coffee with milk)  

How much: Quanto costa?

Check please: Il conto, per favore

It’s delicious: E 'delizioso

 

 

German:

Please: Bitte

Thank you: Danke

Table for two, please: Einen tisch für zwei, bitte

I would like: Ich möchte

Beer: Bier

Coffee: Kaffee (or "kaffee mit milch," for coffee with milk) 

How much: Wieviel kostet das?

Check please: Die rechnung, bitte

It’s delicious: Es schmeckt ausgezeichnet!

 

Japanese:

Please: Onegai shimasu (Note: Dozo is also used to mean "please" but only in instances like, "please sit down" and not "check please.")

Thank you: Arigato

Table for two, please: Futari desu

I would like: Wo ippon kudasai…

Beer: Biru

Coffee: Koohii   

How much: Kore wa ikura desu ka?

Check please: O-kanjo onegai shimasu

It’s delicious: Go-chisō-sama deshita

 

Portuguese:

Please: Por favor

Thank you: Obrigado (m)/obrigada (f) (depending on the gender of the speaker)

Table for two, please: Mesa para dois

I would like: Eu gostaria

Beer: Uma cerveja

Coffee: Café (or "café com leite," for coffee with milk)

How much: Quanto custa?

Check please: A conta por favor

It’s delicious: É delicioso

 

Dutch:

Please: Alstublieft

Thank you: Dank u

Table for two, please: Een tafel voor twee alstublieft

I would like: Ik wil…

Beer: Bier

Coffee: Koffie (or "koffie met melk," for coffee with milk)

How much: Hoeveel kost dit? 

Check please: De rekening, alstublieft

It’s delicious: Het was heel lekker

 

Turkish:

Please: Luften

Thank you: Teşekkür ederim

Table for two, please: Iki kişilik masa lütfen

I would like: …istiyorum

Beer: Bira

Coffee: Kahve (or "sütlü kahve," for coffee with milk)

How much: Kaç para?

Check please: Hesap lütfen

It’s delicious: Çok lezizdi

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