Essential travel translations

Published May 2nd, 2012

You don’t need a master in Mandarin to holiday in China or be fluent in French to visit France (although it can’t hurt). All you need are a few simple phrases to help you get by. Here are some useful phrases and Anchorman quotes to familiarise yourself with before you go on holiday or set sail on a pirate ship. Yippie!


Do you speak English?

Spanish: ¿Hablas inglés?

French:  Parlez-vous anglais?

Italian: Parla inglese?

Mandarin: Nǐ huì shuō yīngwén ma

Pirate: Arr do ya shout English?


What’s your name?

Spanish: ¿Cómo te llamas?

French: Comment vous appellez-vous?

Italian: Come si chiama?

Mandarin: Ni jiao she mo ming zi

Pirate: What’s ye moniker?


How much?

Spanish: ¿Cuánto es?

French: Combien?

Italian: Quanto?

Mandarin: Duoshao qian?

Pirate: How much ye charge?


Where is the toilet?

Spanish: ¿Dónde está el bano?

French: Excusez-moi, où sont les toilettes?

Italian: Dov'è la toilette?

Mandarin: Ce suo zai na li?

Pirate: Whar’s the’ toilet?


Where is the bar?

Spanish: ¿Dónde es el bar?

French: Où est le bar?

Italian: Dove è il bar?


Pirate: Whar be th’ bar?


I’ll have a beer, please.

Spanish: Una cerveza, por favor

French: Puis-je avoir de la bière, s'il vous plaît

Italian: Avrò una birra, per favore.

Mandarin: Jiǔbā zài nǎlǐ

Pirate: Make it a spiced rum, please


Where is the train station?

Spanish: ¿Dónde está la estación de metro?

French: Où est la gare?

Italian: Dove si trova la stazione ferroviaria?

Mandarin: Nǎlǐ shì huǒchē zhàn

Pirate: Whar b th’ ship station?


What’s that smell?

Spanish: ¿Qué es ese olor?

French:Qu'est-ce que cette odeur?

Italian: Che cos'è questo odore?

Mandarin: Zhè shì shénme qìwèi?

Pirate: What be that I smell?


That's the smell of desire my lady

Spanish: Es el olor del deseo, mi amor

French: C'est l'odeur du désir ma dame

Italian: Questo è l'odore del desiderio la mia lady

Mandarin: Zhè shì wǒ de fūrén de yùwàng de qìwèi

Pirate: That be th’ smell’o desire me wee lass

Lauren Burvill

Australian born but London based, I'm a sucker for big cities and small tropical islands. When travelling, I like eating like a local, dressing like a local, but staying in 5 star style. Have a travel story to share? Tweet me @laurenburvill.