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How to overcome language barriers with guests from overseas

Language barriers shouldn't get in the way of your guests' comfort. We give you some quick tips on how to overcome language barriers and communicate well with guests from overseas.

Language barriers shouldn’t get in the way of communication with your guests. With travel once again thriving post-Covid, it is more important than ever to make sure your guests from overseas are comfortable. Here are some tips on how to overcome the language barrier to ensure the ultimate comfort of your guests:

Use Simple Language

Use simple and straightforward language to communicate with guests. Speak clearly and avoid using slang or technical jargon that may be difficult for non-native speakers to understand. Avoid using idioms or phrases that may not translate well into the guest’s language.

Provide Written Information

Provide written information, such as maps, brochures, and instructions, in the guest’s native language. This can help guests understand important information about your hotel and the surrounding area. You can also consider providing translations of your hotel’s policies and procedures to ensure that guests are aware of important rules and guidelines.

Use Translation Apps

Translation apps can be a useful tool for communicating with guests who speak a different language. Apps such as Google Translate or iTranslate can be used to translate simple phrases and sentences in real-time. However, it’s important to remember that these apps may not always provide an accurate translation, so it’s important to double-check the translation with a native speaker if possible.


Hire Multilingual Staff

Hiring staff who are fluent in multiple languages can be a significant asset to your hotel. Multilingual staff can communicate effectively with guests who speak different languages, and can provide a more personalized and welcoming experience. You can also consider offering language training for your existing staff to help them communicate more effectively with guests.

Display Signage in Multiple Languages

Displaying signage in multiple languages can help guests navigate your hotel and feel more comfortable during their stay. You can display signs with directions to key locations such as the front desk, elevators, and restrooms in multiple languages. This can help guests feel more confident and independent during their stay.

Use Visual Aids

Visual aids such as pictures and diagrams can be useful tools for communicating with guests who may have difficulty understanding verbal or written communication. For example, you can use pictures to explain how to use in-room amenities such as the TV or shower, or use diagrams to show the layout of the hotel.

Provide Language Classes

Offering language classes to your staff can help them communicate more effectively with guests who speak different languages. This can improve the overall guest experience and help build loyalty among guests from overseas. Language classes can also be a valuable training opportunity for staff who are interested in developing their language skills.

Be Patient and Respectful

Communicating with guests who speak a different language can be challenging, and it’s important to remain patient and respectful. Avoid becoming frustrated or condescending, as this can make the situation more difficult. Remember that communication is a two-way process, and make an effort to listen carefully to the guest’s needs and concerns.

By following these tips, you can help overcome the language barrier with guests from overseas and provide a more welcoming and personalised experience. Effective communication is key to building strong relationships with your guests, and by taking steps to bridge the language gap, you can build loyalty and attract new business.

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