Top tips for making yourself understood overseas
Having the ability to communicate with others once you arrive in Bulgaria will go a long way to make you feel at home, and able to assimilate your new surroundings. Even before you speak the language fluently, there are several things you can do to make yourself understood – here are our top tips for doing so:
- Research the culture and social niceties of the area you are moving to – things like how to greet people at different times of the day, for example, or when the locals drink specific types of coffee.
- See if you can master a few key phrases in Bulgarian before you go – things that will help you ask for help or emergency services. If you end up in a difficult situation, some knowledge of the right words will at least alert anyone nearby that you require assistance.
- Carry a language dictionary with you at all times – if you can, try and find one with pictures. These will make it a little easier to show to those you are trying to communicate with what you are trying to say.
- Why not put together a little notebook or cue cards to carry with you at all times? In here you can ensure you have the important phrases or words in Bulgarian that will help you communicate your needs.
- Most of your new neighbours will appreciate any attempt to speak Bulgarian - making them more likely to assist you. Try and learn enough to explain that you are English and are still learning the language – you may well be surprised how far this effort will go!
- If you need to carry out legal matters or any other serious business, it can be a very good idea to hire an interpreter. In these situations, it’s really important to make sure that you understand exactly what is going on – and that your requirements are communicated effectively. Basic language skills with hand gestures just won’t cut it!