Travel can unlock a smorgasbord of exciting new experiences. However, these experiences can come with small challenges, particularly when different languages are involved. To help overcome this, it can be helpful to learn some native lingo to simplify your travel experience. Whether you need to track down an ATM in Spain, find the price of a ‘real’ Louis Vuitton bag in a Hong Kong market, or get help to calculate the value of all of your Euro coins before stocking up on duty-free Toblerone, it never hurts to ask.
These small interactions will show that you respect the language, even if you think your Kiwi accent has the opposite effect. If you’re lucky, the phrases might even stick in your brain as a great souvenir.
Here at Travel Money Nz, we want to kick your tourist skills up a notch. Instead of whipping out Google Translate and making Siri do the work for you, use this list of simple phrases to ask for money around the world. And don’t worry, all these phrases have been provided and verified by people who actually speak the language, not just old mate Google Translate.
If you’ve gotten this far through the article, I’m assuming you know how to speak English, so I’ll go ahead and skip those countries where it is the primary language.
We’ll start by dipping our toes into the sweet sweet waters of Europe. The majority of European countries use euros (shocking, we know). When allocating your travel budget, we always recommend taking a mix of euros in cash and card.
Where is the closest ATM? Où se trouve le distributeur le plus proche?
How much is this please? Combien cela coûte-t-il s'il vous plaît? (add excusez-moi for bonus points)
How much is this coin worth? Combien vaut cette pièce?
How much money do I have in total? Combien ai-je d'argent au total?
Can I please have the bill? Puis-je avoir l’addition, s’il vous plaît?
Translated provided by Fran, who is fluent in French and is a croissant eating champion.
Where is the closest ATM? Wo ist der nächste Geldautomat?
How much is this please? Wieviel macht das aus?
How much is this coin worth? Was ist diese Münze wert?
How much money do I have in total? Wieviel Geld habe ich insgesamt?
Can I please have the bill? Zahlen bitte
Translated provided by Jess, who is fluent in German and bier drinking.
Where is the closest ATM? Dov'è l'ATM più vicino?
How much is this please? Quanto costa?
How much is this coin worth? Quanto vale questa moneta?
How much money do I have in total? Quanti soldi ho in totale?
Translated by Sue, who has been learning Italian for 10 years and will probably be learning for another 10 until she is fluent.
Where is the closest ATM? ¿Donde está el cajero automático más cercano?
How much is this please? ¿Cuanot cuesta esto, por favor?
How much is this coin worth? ¿Cuánto vale esta moneda?
How much money do I have in total? ¿Cuánto dinero tengo en total?
Translated provided by Fran (she speaks Spanish too), who was born in Chile.
Norway! We have Norwegian translations too! These ones are a bit trickier, so if you can’t quite master these expressions there is no need to stress, English is commonly spoken in Norway too. But between me and you, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to use the word ATM again, knowing that it’s called a minibanken in Norway.
The currency of choice in Norway is the Norwegian krone (NOK). You can stock up at Travel Money Nz before you leave.
Where is the closest ATM? Hvor er den naermeste minibanken?
How much is this please? Hva koster dette, takk?
How much money do I have in total? Hvir mye penger har jeg til summen?
Translated by Phil, a Norwegian local.
It’s time to kick the pronunciation difficulty up a notch. For those travelling to Asia, you'll find these phrases very useful, and the translations have been supplied in English to make it a tad easier.
Japan uses the Japanese Yen (JPY), and we recommend taking this on a mix of cash and card as the country has more ATM’s than you could poke a sushi roll at.
Where is the closest ATM? Kono hen ni, ATM (wa) arimasu ka.
How much is this please? Kore, ikuradesu ka.
Translation provided by Issy, who somehow actually learnt some useful language phrases in high school.
The Chinese deal in the Chinese yuan (CHY) which you can also grab online or in store before you jet off.
How much does this cost? Gei dor tsin?
Can I please have the bill? Maai daan
Translated by Italian Sue’s tour guide in Hong Kong.
In India, the Indian rupee (INR) is king. Put it to use with these phrases:
How much is this please? Yeh kitne ka hai?
How much is this coin worth? Yeh kitne paise hai?
How much money do I have in total? Kul mila mere paas ke kitne paise hai?
Can I please have the cheque? Aap Mujhe bill?
Translated by Deep, who was born in India.
Similar to Norway, if you find these translations a bit tricky, English is also a common language in South Africa. In South Africa, you’ll want to pack the South African rand (ZAR)
Where is the closest ATM? Waar is die nassrstr ATM?
How much is this please? How veel is hierdie asablief?
How much is this coin worth? Wat is die waarde van hierdie geld?
How much money do I have in total? Hoeveel geld het ek in totaal?
Translated by Nat, who was born in South Africa.
Whether you’re planning on going fast and loose with these phrases, or will instead memorise them prior to departure, these language gems will be sure to make your travel money experience that much better.
While we’re on the subject of better travel money experiences, be sure to sign up for Rate Guard. This will protect your foreign currency from exchange rate fluctuations. If the exchange rate changes within 14 days of purchase, we will pay you the difference. And the best part? It’s free!
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