Traveling while only speaking English.

Traveling while only speaking English.

First day of France adventure!

It’s a day of traveling. First from O’Hare to Philadelphia and then from Philadelphia to Paris. The city that works, to the city of brotherly love to the city of light.

The return of the Mr. BistroChic travelogue. In my last BistroChic adventure I was in Hawaii. This time, I’m accompanying Ms BistroChic to France, and all the artistic expression has inspired me to write.

If you know me at all, you know I’m an American with a pretty standard Midwest accent. I don’t speak any other languages other than English. So, when I embark on a trip to a foreign country, it really is more of an adventure than a vacation. My stress level ratchets up a few notches and any city or street instincts I have kick into overdrive. Now those instincts are just a little above your average suburban person.

So. What have I done and what can you do to prepare on an English-less adventure?

Translation Apps

## Options

You can enroll in classes at your local community college or center. This is a time consuming process one that I chose not to do.

You can look for online classes. I looked and nothing struck my fancy.

One could look for apps on the computer or phone. I looked into some of the computer apps. Again, I was not inspired. Now at this junction, you may be asking yourself, does Scott really want to learn another language. My answer is no. Not really. I know too many computer language syntaxes. It’s one of those. Yes I’d like to know, but not really.

Anyway, another option one can use is Duolingo app.
https://www.duolingo.com this is the route I chose, but I was very lackadaisical in using it. I know a few french phrases now, basically enough to act like I am trying and to be polite.

So if I am not fluent. What else can I do?

One:) I downloaded the app: WordLens
WordLens will work OFFLINE. No need for wifi or cell data. What it does is use the camera to translate signs and menus into English. I hope Its great to understand what mystery meat is in my dinner. So far it has worked to translate 80% of the words. It’s not perfect, but it’s as good as I have seen.

Two:) I downloaded google translate. From what I have tested, it’s the most accurate translation tool. It needs an Internet connection (wifi / cell data). It works quite well. I like the idea of saving french phrases that I can use later. Just tap the favorite button in the app.

Three:) I downloaded a phrase book. Have not used that much.

Four:) I have a couple of other apps just in case. No need to really mention them since I haven’t used them.

Five:) I’m hoping my U.S. Midwestern charm and polite upbringing brings the best out of the Parisians. So far so good. Most of the Parisians I have conversed with have been quick to switch to English. I love that, but makes me feel a bit rude expecting to go to a foreign country looking for everyone to adapt to me rather than vice versa.

Overall, the day of travel was just what one can expect. 7 hours and 15 minute flight. Long and rather boring.

Our first day in Paris was excellent. More about that next time. Havent had much sleep. Need to catch up.

Bonjour!

Read previous post:
Starting My Paris Adventure

Read about my Paris adventure on BistroChic.net

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