Venturing into Anglophone Territories without Fluent English: A Feasible Adventure?

Have you always dreamed of traveling to an English-speaking country, but you don’t speak a word of English? Could this language barrier prevent you from fully experiencing this adventure? Let’s find out together whether traveling to an English-speaking country without mastering English is a mission impossible or an unforgettable experience within reach.

The Language Barrier when Traveling

Ah, English! The language that we find everywhere we set foot, in airports, hotels, restaurants, and even on road signs. But what if, like Asterix surrounded by Romans, you don’t speak a word of English? Is it possible to travel to an English-speaking country without feeling totally lost? Rest assured, there are fun and practical solutions to navigate this linguistic labyrinth!

Using Technology to Your Advantage

First, my dear globetrotters, put your smartphone to work! THE automatic translators like Google Translate are essential allies. Whether ordering a simple pizza or asking for directions, these tools can save the day. And if you prefer paper, take a phrasebook or pocket dictionary.

Travel with a French-speaking Guide

For those who want cultural immersion while still having some peace of mind, why not hire a French-speaking guide local ? These experts will not only translate local subtleties to you, but they will also be able to tell you juicy anecdotes about the places you visit.

Talking in Drawings and with Hands

If you lack technology, opt for an old-fashioned method: use drawings! Yes, drawings! With small works of art and a good old notebook like the “G Palemo”, you will be able to express your basic needs by simply pointing. Ideal for ordering a meal or finding toilets in the blink of an eye.

Francophone Countries, a Sure Value

If English really gives you hives, you can always opt for countries where French is an official language. Quebec, for example, welcomes you with open arms with its lilting accent! And let’s not forget Belgium, Switzerland or even more exotic destinations like Senegal or Madagascar.

Learn the Basics of English

There is no question of missing out on an experience rich in sensations due to a simple language barrier. For those who want to give a boost to their stay, here are some tips to improve quickly your English :

  • Watching films and series in English with French subtitles.
  • Learn from songs in english and understand the words.
  • To use mobile applications to learn the basics of the language.
  • Hold a list of words and expressions useful.
  • Improve your pronunciation with online tools like Google Translate.
  • Participate in language exchanges online.
  • And why not, spend a few weeks in a English speaking country for total immersion!

Basic English Vocabulary

To help you get started, here is a short glossary of survival vocabulary in English, so as not to be totally lost:


  • Hello / Hi
  • Good morning / Good afternoon / Good evening
  • Please
  • Thank you
  • Excuse me (Excuse me)
  • I’m sorry (I’m sorry)

Basic Questions

  • Where is…? (West… ?)
  • How much is it? (How much does it cost ?)
  • Can you help me? (Can you help me ?)
  • Can I have…? (Can I have… ?)
  • How can I go to…? (How do I get to… ?)
  • What does this mean? (What does that mean ?)
  • Where can I find…? (Where can I find… ?)


  • Ticket
  • Train station
  • Airport
  • Bus stop
  • Subway/metro (Metro)
  • One-way / Round-trip (One way / Round trip)


  • Hotel
  • Reservation
  • Check-in / Check-out (Arrival formalities / Departure formalities)
  • Room
  • Bathroom
  • Breakfast


  • Menu (Menu)
  • Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Water
  • I am allergic to…
  • Can I have the bill, please? (The check, please ?)


  • Help! (Help !)
  • I need a doctor
  • Where is the nearest hospital? (Where is the nearest hospital?)
  • Call an ambulance

In short, traveling to an English-speaking country without mastering English is entirely possible. With a little preparation and a good dose of humor, each encounter becomes an adventure and each obstacle a new opportunity to learn!