INGLESE IN VIAGGIO: useful words and expressions.

Conoscere l’inglese è indispensabile ormai per tante ragioni, ma in particolare per una: viaggiare.

La mia prof diceva “L’inglese è libertà” e mai frase fu più vera per me, infatti ogni volta che uno studente mi chiede perché conoscere questa lingua è così importante, la mia risposta è proprio questa.

Vediamo insieme quali sono le frasi utili da conoscere prima di partire per le nostre meritate vacanze e quali, soprattutto, i contesti in cui utilizzarle.

AT THE AIRPORT

When you go to an English-speaking country, your first encounters of English will probably be at an airport. Check out these useful phrases:

I would like… This phrase is the standard and polite way to say that you want or you would desire something. For example, if you’re thirsty, you might say “I would like some water.”

What time is my flight? Airports are not always great for communicating travel times, but this question will help make sure you don’t miss your flight and you get to your English-speaking destination.

What airline am I flying? An airline is the company which owns the plane you’re flying on.

Where is my gate? A gate is the point of entry to the airplane, and it is the place where you will wait before boarding your flight.

Where is the restroom? A restroom is a place where you go to freshen up and use the toilet. This phrase has many variations, and countries call this room many different things: a bathroom, a washroom, the toilets.

ON THE AIRPLANE

So, you’ve made it through the airport, and you’re on the airplane. Check out these phrases for having a good flight.

Are meals included? A meal is a collection of food served at one time. Not all airlines provide meals, so it may be good to ask if you’ll be fed on your flight.

May I have something to eat/drink? Your meals aren’t included? Use this phrase to get some food or a drink anyway.

May I purchase headphones? What good is the television on the plane if you don’t have any headphones (devices that you can plug in to hear the TV)? Ask the flight attendant (the person working on the airplane) if you can buy a pair.

What time is it? This is a standard question for figuring out what time of the day it is. This may be a useful question to ask when you are flying over different time zones.

ARRIVING AT YOUR DESTINATION

Where is the currency exchange? A currency exchange is a place where you take the money you use in your own country and get it changed to the money they use at your destination.

Where is the bus stop? Finding a bus stop will be especially helpful if you want to find a cheap way to get around. Asking “where is this bus going?” will also be helpful to know if you’re heading to the right place.

Where can I find a taxi? No bus? That’s fine: take a taxi. It is also called a cab in some places.

I would like to go to _____. Fill in the blank with the place you want to go, and you’ll be on your way.

Do you know where this hotel is? If you get lost, always try to find you’re way back to the hotel.

I don’t understand. This phrase will help native English speakers know that English isn’t your first language. You can also say “I don’t speak English very well” and ask them to “please speak slowly” if you’re still having trouble.

AT THE HOTEL

Female tourist arriving in hotel, completing documents.

Aside from your flight, the next more important thing while abroad is your accommodation, and if you’re staying in a hotel and not with friends or family, the following phrases will come in handy.

Does the room have a bathroom? As noted before, bathroom is another word for restroom (so is washroom and toilets), and it’s always good to know whether your room has a private bathroom (one that only you use) or a shared bathroom (one that people from multiple rooms use).

How many beds are in the room? This question will also be helpful to know if there are enough places to sleep for the number of people in your hotel room.

I would like one queen bed, please. A queen bed is one that allows two people to sleep comfortably on it.

I would like two double beds, please. Two people can sleep on a double bed, but sometimes, only one person sleeps in a double bed so they have extra space.

What floor am I on? A floor in this situation refers to the level of the hotel.

Where are the elevators? In the event that you’re on a high floor, you may want to use the elevator (the device that lifts and lowers you between floors of the hotel) to help you get to your room.

How do I access the Internet? Some hotels may have WiFi (wireless internet connection), and should you want to use it, you’ll have to ask how to access it. You could also ask “what is the password for the WiFi?”

Is there free breakfast? Some hotels include a small breakfast free of charge. Ask at the reception desk about this.

My room needs towels. Most of the time, housekeeping (the people who clean the room) will make sure that you have everything you need. Should they forget, ask for towels or bed sheets or toilet paper.

My room is messy, and I would like it cleaned. Should the room not be clean, don’t be afraid to ask to have it cleaned again.

How do I call for room service? Room service means that someone will come up to your room to deliver food and sometimes even alcohol.

How do I call down to the front desk? The front desk is another word for the reception desk. Most are open all day and night, and if you need something, you should call down to these people first.

AT A RESTAURANT

After a long day exploring, food is always a welcome break. Check out these helpful restaurant phrases.

A table for two/four. The number indicates how many people will be eating with you at the restaurant.

I would like to drink… Finish this phrase with the name of the drink you want, and your thirst will be quenched. Popular drinks are water, soda pop (carbonated sweet drinks), beer and wine.

May I see a menu? A menu will help you decide what you want to eat.

I would like to order ____. Fill in the blank with an item off of the menu or one of these items:

I’ll have soup. Soup is a common way to start meals.
I’ll have a salad. If it’s too warm for soup, try a salad.
I’ll have a hamburger. Hamburgers are quite common restaurant foods. Make sure to let the server know what you want on it though.
I’ll have chicken. Don’t eat beef? Try some chicken.
I’ll have an appetizer. An appetizer is a small dish you eat before the main course.

I would like dessert. A dessert is a sweet dish you eat after the main course.

May I have the bill? The bill indicates how much you have to pay after you eat the meal. Make sure to ask for this. At some restaurants, the waiters will not bring it to your table unless you ask.

Enjoy your trip!