Tips on dealing with foreign languages on your dental trip
Going to another country often means encountering a different language.
What if you only speak English? How will you cope?
What if your dentist speaks another language
First of all, don’t worry. Dentists who want to work with overseas patients usually either speak English themselves, or have people on staff who do.
In our dental directory each listing contains language spoken. You’ll see right away whether your chosen dentist speaks English.
Second, while some dental practitioners may not be perfectly fluent in English, they’ve often studied in English or undertaken advanced training in English so they 1) understand the language perfectly and 2) often write it – so you can communicate by email to start.
Even if you initially cannot communicate in English, there are some excellent translation programs online (Babelfish or Google Translate) that can actually translate from English into dozens of languages. You can correspond in German, Chinese, Russian… even if you don’t speak a word.
In any event it is always wise to exchange a few emails with your dentist of choice. You’ll feel that much better before undertaking a major trip.
You do have another option. Not learning the language, of course – that’s a bit much for a dental consultation. But nothing prevents you from learning a few words, or using a handy translation device.
A bit of the language
Learning a few words will go a long way to making you feel at ease when you’re traveling.
Even a few basic words will be useful, like: please, thank you, yes, no, stop, more, less, say again… you don’t need much to nudge people towards English. If they have any knowledge of the language at all, any shyness will quickly evaporate when they see you making an effort.
And if you can’t learn these, you can always get one of those small translation devices – like this one – just type in the word you want to translate and it will either write the translation on the screen, or say it out loud, depending on the machine! Or use one of those practical Smartphone apps but beware you’ll need wifi to use them (unless you want huge roaming charges, that is).
Just remember Dental Implants – a few words go a long way towards establishing a rapport.