Phrases Digital Nomads Should Know in Every Language


The Digital Nomad movement continues to gain momentum. By some estimates, over 50% of the US workforce will be freelancers by 2020. Thanks to ubiquitous broadband and mobile computing, many of them are location independent and a growing percentage are geographically independent.

Several über cool startups are helping digital nomads realize their dreams. Hacker Paradise offers 2 and 4 week work vacations to places like Bali, Tokyo and Chiang Mai. Remote Year organizes 1 year tours that send you to twelve cities across the world with a cohort of 75 entrepreneurs. Not to be outdone, the Coboat offer round the world work and fun on a giant catamaran. Still want to work your way up to that corner cubicle? Think not.

Here at VidaLingua, we love digital nomads because they push the limits of language. So we are developing an app called PhraseMates that helps digital nomads expand their world through language and friendships.

We compiled a list of phrases that we think digital nomads should know in every language. Well, maybe not all of the 6,500 languages spoken today, but at least the most spoken languages and the languages of their host country.

My name is… What is yours?

You may be traveling to see the world, but it’s the people you meet who make a place special. So get to know as many as you can, and don’t limit yourself to those who speak English.

Do you want to go for cup of coffee?

Chances are you’re battling jet lag so java is going to be in your cup, and if you are a developer it may be what keeps bread on the table.

Where is the closest internet café?

Internet is your lifeblood as a digital nomad and you may not always have enough money for a co-working space. The closest internet café may be your best solution to get things done.

What is the best way to get there from here?

If you chose to be location independent, you’re ispo facto on the move. So you better know this one if you want to spend your time surfing instead of on a bus.

What are the best things to do here?

You don’t want to get stuck in the same tourist traps as everybody else so find out what the locals do.

Where is a good place to stay?

The number of options for accommodations are growing thanks to online services that match travelers with a place to stay. Don’t have time to work things out in advance, try an app by our friends at HotelsQuickly to get a good deal for tonight.

Where is the closest toilet?

I’ll forgo the explanation on this one.

I need to see a doctor. I am allergic to...

Heaven forbid you break a leg or get bitten by something, or someone :) But if you do, make sure you can find a doctor and tell them what not to give you.

Do you take visa, mastercard or trade-out?

Short on cash? Maybe you can trade some help with design or SEO in return for accommodations.

Where is good place to eat light?

If you are in a place with delicious, inexpensive restaurants, then you better eat lean or you aren’t going to be agile for your projects.

Give me the penthouse suite, because I can’t afford to pay for it :)

Worth a try. It’s probably empty most of the time anyway. Why not give it to an exotic traveler from a far off land.

What is the best time of year to visit?

Planning your next stop? Make sure you don’t go during monsoon season.

I am working on project for the mayor.

Keep this one in your back pocket if you feel like your rickshaw driver is taking you astray. You can always claim your project is a pro-bono study of the town’s hospitality to digital nomads.

Are you open to collaboration?

If you are a digital nomad, you are already mixing work and pleasure, so why not blur the lines a bit more by turning acquaintances into partners.

Hope you enjoyed our list of the top phrases for digital nomads. You can find many of them, along with translations into Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and other languages in PhraseMates. Think of a phrase you would like to know in a different language? Search our database of over four millions phrases or ask other users to translate.

We are working hard to make PhraseMates the best language app for digitial nomads. Want to help? Hit us up at info@phrasemates.com to share your experiences with travel and language.




Marc Bolh
Lead Sherpa, VidaLingua
@marcbolh