Translating Vegan Meal Requirements uring World
Vegans and vegetarians frequently struggle when it comes to describing their dietary restrictions to the waitstaff at any local restaurant. This situation becomes even more out of hand when traveling abroad! Many travelers do not speak the language of their intended destination country. Vegans may find it extremely frustrating to attempt to describe to their international waiter, that they not only do not eat meat, but also can not eat eggs, cheese, or other animal byproducts in their vegetable plate. As a vegan myself, I have come across several, wonderful resources to alleviate this issue.
One option is to take a foreign language class at an adult education center prior to your trip. I frequently sign up for these classes before embarking on an international journey. These classes are typically about 10 weeks in length. Many of these programs are focused on the traveler in mind. They even may throw in a few local, culture lessons regarding communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal. An Arabic course, for example, includes learning to read and write the script. That is useful while looking at menu items. Common words taught in a language class for travelers include: words for common vegetables, beverages, and the phrases “I eat..” or “I would like to order…”. Class handouts and textbooks should be taken along on your vacation! It is a great befit that these classes are usually offered by native speakers. This helps the students with both listening to the native accent and feedback on their pronunciation skills.
Another option is to study a foreign language using a CD or DVD, home study course. This method allows you to study at your own pace. The courses provide exams or quizzes for each lesson. Some of these programs include recording capabilities so that the students may practice their pronunciation and hear their voice played back with the proper accent. These course studies are easy to find. Even your local mall sometimes has the vendor selling these products through a kiosk. Special attention can be focused on learning the words and phrases of importance to vegan travelers such as names of vegetables, “I do not eat..”, and “I am vegan..”.
A couple of books in print also exist for help in foreign language translation. “Vegan Passport” translates phrases such as “I am vegan”, “I do not eat chicken, dairy products,..”, and more in approximately 120 of the worlds’ languages. “PointIt” is a photo guide. It contains many travel-related items. The most relevant pages for vegans would be the pages which consist of vegetable and grains photos. A veggie-friendly traveler need only to point to the vegetables they enjoy and their international waiter will know what the customer would like to eat for their meal. No foreign language skills are required.
My final suggestion is to search online for software language translation tools. Yahoo Babelfish is one of them. You simply enter a phrase such as ” I would like to order vegetable soup”. Select the language you wish to translate from and translate to. The selected translated phrase appears.
As you can now see, there are many options for vegans to communicate their dining needs during travel, without fear of being misunderstood