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Travel140: Point It to Break the Language Barrier

#Travel140: Break through a language barrier with the book Point It!

If you’ve traveled to a country that speaks a language you don’t – or perhaps only speak a little of – you’ve likely encountered a language barrier. Some occasion when you needed something, but had no idea what to ask for. In the best of circumstances, this can lead to an international game of charades, involving shopkeepers, passersby, and fellow travelers. And in the worst, you leave without whatever you were hoping to get.

Enter the book Point It by Dieter Graf. Think of it as a picture dictionary, with some 1300 images you can simply point to, or show a shopkeeper to get your request across. Despite having more than 1,000 pictures, the book is not huge. It’s just a little larger than a typical passport book, so it’s easy to keep in your pocket or purse.

While it’s no substitute for learning at least a few words and phrases in your host country’s language, Point It is an easy and effective way to bridge a language gap.

We’d love to hear about your experiences with language barriers, and how you got across them! Feel free to share your favorite flying tips, too. We’ll re-post the best tips, so be sure to include your Twitter handle and a link to your blog, if you have one. Or click for more #Travel140!

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