Layogenic is the Tagalog, Philippines way of telling someone that they only look good from afar, while the Japanese use the term bakku-shan to refer to a woman who has a sexy body but a very ugly face. In Danish, kaelling refers to a woman who stands at her doorstep and yells nasty things to her children. In Italian, the word pronto is used to answer the phone, while in the USA Pronto means quickly. In Yaghan, mamihlapinatapai is used to describe the unspoken look of desire that is shared between two people. The term used to describe a balding person in Mandarin translates to ‘diarrhea head,’ in English. If you are in Italy and want to make a waiter smile, then the right words to use would be Come lo faceva la mama, which means ‘Just like mama used to make it’.
It can be frustrating to be in a foreign country and not know the local language. This makes it very tempting to get angry with the locals for not speaking your language. However, you must realize that you are the foreigner and you should not expect the locals to know your language. Once you get past that mental block, you will be more open and prepared to learn some useful phrases.
Learn a few basic words and phrases that will come in handy. This includes learning how to greet people, ask for directions and other words that are commonly used. Put a lot of effort into learning some vocabulary first and then learn the grammar later. The vocabulary will help you put your points across. Carry a dictionary, picture guide or phrase book and look up any new words that you come across. Learning some slang will help you not to sound so stilted since most people do not use perfect grammar on a day to day basis. But if all else fails, then use sign language and gestures to communicate your point.