You're going on vacation to a place where you don't know the language, and English isn't widely spoken. Sure, you've learned how to say "hello" and "where's the bathroom?," but beyond that you're clueless and your flight leaves tomorrow. What to do?
Gone are the days when tourists wander around clutching guidebooks with an index of handy phrases. Today there are more convenient ways to facilitate communication. This is not a comprehensive list of the copious digital language tools available; rather, these are two go-to options I'm using right now. Consider it a cheat sheet for when you touch down in a city and are at a loss for words.
One of the easiest (and cheapest) things to do is download one of Bravolol's phrase book apps, available in more than a dozen languages including CChinese, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Russian and Arabic. Each app comes with several free categories of useful phrases and essential words such as "greetings" (with remarks like "Good morning"); "shopping" ("May I try it on?" as well as words for different kinds of clothing); "eating" ("I'd like a table in a nonsmoking area" along with words for types of food); and "emergency" ("Call the police").