Explore Local Cultures with Language Learning in the Top 6 Most Visited Countries of 2022

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Do you know how to behave yourself when you're about to travel to a new country where you don't understand a word? Well, here's a little tip: the most popular tourist destinations often have something in common - their language is spoken by millions and millions of people. So, before you embark on your adventure, why not learn a few words to get by in these incredible places?

Just imagine landing in Paris and being able to throw out some random words in French. It would be pretty awesome, don't you think? So, let's dive into the list of top tourist destinations and get ready to impress the locals with your newfound language skills!

France (82.6 million visitors)

France, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes, is an enticing destination that captivates travelers from around the world. From the iconic Eiffel Tower and romantic streets of Paris to the charming vineyards of Bordeaux and the picturesque lavender fields of Provence, France offers a diverse range of experiences. Art enthusiasts can explore world-class museums like the Louvre and Musée d'Orsay, while food lovers can indulge in exquisite French cuisine and sample delectable pastries from local patisseries.

Whether you're strolling along the glamorous French Riviera, exploring the historic châteaux of the Loire Valley, or getting lost in the charming villages of Alsace, France guarantees unforgettable adventures and lasting memories. And hey, if you really want to immerse yourself in the local culture, don't forget to brush up on some French slang for that extra je ne sais quoi!

Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe

French words and expressions to master

  • Bonjour (Hello)
  • Merci (Thank you)
  • S'il vous plaît (Please)
  • Excusez-moi (Excuse me)
  • Au revoir (Goodbye)
  • Oui (Yes)
  • Non (No)
  • Parlez-vous anglais? (Do you speak English?)
  • L'addition, s'il vous plaît (The check, please)
  • La carte des vins (Wine list)

United States (75.6 million visitors)

Who hasn't dreamed of a trip to the United States of America, or simply the USA, right? This enormous country has a bit of everything to offer. As a multicultural nation, each region has its own peculiarities and plenty to discover.

There are countless tourist attractions throughout the country, spread across 50 states, ranging from family-friendly destinations to bustling cities. There are the famous Disney parks in Orlando, beautiful beaches in California and Miami, vibrant nightlife in Las Vegas, breathtaking nature in the National Parks, and so much more.

To explore the United States, careful planning is essential, so we've gathered all the tips for you. Jot everything down and make the most of your trip.

Imagine visiting Pandora in Animal Kingdom, having dinner with the princesses in Magic Kingdom, exploring Epcot, the Star Wars Disney Park, Hollywood Studios, and much more.

How about renting a bike to explore Central Park in New York? Or visiting the Golden Gate Bridge and the museums in San Francisco? And why not take a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon? These are just a few of the activities you can enjoy in the United States.

There are numerous parks, museums, historical sites, restaurants, theaters, cinemas, and charming places to discover in one of the world's most famous destinations.

English words and expressions to master

Greetings and Social Expressions:

  • Hello
  • How are you?
  • Thank you
  • You're welcome
  • Excuse me
  • Please
  • Sorry
  • Goodbye

Ordering Food and Drinks:

  • Menu
  • Can I have...?
  • I would like...
  • Check/bill
  • Vegetarian options
  • Bottoms up!

Spain (75.6 million visitors)

The history of Spain is incredibly ancient, and various peoples have passed through it, contributing to the country becoming what we know today: a place that blends flavors, cultures, and architecture from different origins. From the Romans to the Arabs, their rich and diverse architecture is present, whether you're strolling through the historic streets of Toledo or the wide avenues of Madrid.

The natural landscapes of the Pyrenees, the beaches of Mallorca, the vibrant party islands, Gaudí's exotic buildings, the astonishing museums with valuable works of art, the Moorish architecture in Andalusia, the thrilling football matches, the monumental churches—these are just a few glimpses of what the country has to offer.

The capital, Madrid, with over 6.5 million inhabitants, is an excellent destination for art enthusiasts, boasting some of Europe's most important museums. Barcelona, the country's second-largest city, located by the sea, has a more laid-back rhythm but impresses with its liveliness, gastronomy, and impressive architecture. For partygoers, Ibiza is already a well-known destination, and those interested in history can explore Seville, Toledo, Segovia, Granada, Salamanca, and many more.

With modern and historic cities, Spain offers destinations for every type of tourism, whether urban or natural, always accompanied by good wine (or sangria) and mouthwatering dishes. Traveling by train through the country is a delight, allowing you to admire the diverse landscapes through the windows.

Spanish words and expressions to master

  • Hola (Hello)
  • ¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)
  • Gracias (Thank you)
  • De nada (You're welcome)
  • Perdón/Disculpa (Excuse me)
  • Por favor (Please)
  • Lo siento (I'm sorry)
  • Adiós (Goodbye)

China (59.3 million visitors)

Why visit China? China is a fascinating country, with immense cultural, historical, and gastronomic diversity. Additionally, there are stunning natural attractions. You must visit this country and explore its historically significant and incredibly enchanting tourist spots, such as the famous Great Wall of China.

Travel Tips: What are the best tourist attractions in China?

Great Wall of China: You can't go to China and not visit the famous Great Wall. The Great Wall of China spans over 21,000 kilometers. Along the wall, you can do various activities like meditating, hiking, running, and even taking a cable car ride. The wall is enchanting and massive, with eight entrances, each more beautiful than the last.

Beijing: The capital of China is home to over 19.6 million people. It's a bustling capital city with numerous captivating attractions, such as the Forbidden City and Olympic structures like the Bird's Nest. Spending a day in Beijing is incredible. The Forbidden City holds a strong historical connection, and by visiting this place, you'll also learn more about Chinese culture.

Busy street in China
Busy street in China

Shanghai: The most glamorous metropolis that attracts a significant number of Brazilians annually. Shanghai is the hub of China's economy, science, and technology. Moreover, if you're looking to shop and experience China's nightlife, Shanghai is perfect for you—it has the most vibrant nightlife in the world.

Macau: If you're seeking entertainment and want to experience the livelier side of China, Macau should be on your list. You can have a great time at the casino, known as the Las Vegas of the Orient. There, you'll encounter the largest casino in the world, The Venetian Macao.

Guilin: A small village in southern China that became famous through Chinese films. The scenery is enchanting, surrounded by mountains and streams. It's so beautiful that the landscape of Guilin is featured on the 20-yuan banknote in the country.

Chinese words and expressions to master

  • 你好 (nǐ hǎo) - Hello
  • 谢谢 (xiè xiè) - Thank you
  • 对不起 (duì bù qǐ) - Sorry
  • 是 (shì) - Yes
  • 不是 (bú shì) - No
  • 请问 (qǐng wèn) - Excuse me/ May I ask...
  • 好吃 (hǎo chī) - Delicious
  • 多少钱 (duō shǎo qián) - How much does it cost?
  • 厕所 (cè suǒ) - Restroom
  • 再见 (zài jiàn) - Goodbye

Italy (52.4 million visitors)

To know all about Italy, including Italian swear words, you also need to understand its history and how it strongly influenced culture and social development, both in Europe and the rest of the world.

It was the birthplace of Etruscan civilization, Magna Graecia, the Roman Empire, the Catholic Church, the maritime republics, Humanism, and the Renaissance.

Italy was the homeland of many artists, scientists, musicians, writers, and explorers. Among the various ancient peoples, we have the Ligurians, Venetians, and Celts in the north, Latins and Samnite Etruscans in the center, Greek colonies flourishing in the south (Magna Graecia), and the ancient Sardinian civilization blooming on the island since the second millennium BC.

Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain

It's practically impossible to think of any area of culture and art where Italy doesn't have a significant influence. Let's break it down: music, painting, sculpture, architecture, fashion, design, gastronomy, and cinema say it all about Italy.

The country is home to at least 50 UNESCO World Heritage sites, including monuments, buildings, and cities. Among them, we have the Colosseum in Rome, the Milan Cathedral (Duomo), the historic center of Florence, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the archaeological site of Pompeii, and the city of Venice.

Italian words and expressions to master

  • Ciao - Hello/Goodbye (informal)
  • Buongiorno - Good morning/Good day
  • Grazie - Thank you
  • Prego - You're welcome/Please
  • Mi scusi - Excuse me
  • Sì - Yes
  • No - No
  • Per favore - Please
  • Dove - Where
  • Arrivederci - Goodbye

United Kingdom (35.8 million visitors)

The United Kingdom, formed by the political union of four nations - England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland - brings together a lot of history, classical architecture, bustling modern centers, and breathtaking natural landscapes. If you decide to study in the region, you'll enjoy excellent university facilities and have the advantage of being able to explore places that will undoubtedly provide unforgettable experiences.

The UK boasts at least 50 university cities that are attractions in themselves. Some of the oldest universities in the world are located in the region, featuring buildings that have been used as filming locations for period dramas, fantasy films, and epics. The Times Higher Education Student publication selected the most beautiful universities in the UK, with rolling green spaces and Gothic and modern buildings.

As if the beauty of their campuses wasn't enough, 11 out of the top 100 student cities in the world are in the region, according to the QS Best Student Cities 2019. The ranking showcases the best cities for studying abroad based on various indicators, including diversity, convenience, employability, affordability, student view, and how universities in each city performed in the QS World University Rankings.

Keep Learning

Whether you're diving into the world of French or exploring ancient languages like Latin, Greek, or Hebrew, immersing yourself in the language is an exciting journey that opens up a whole new culture. It's like digging into a plate full of opportunities to connect with people and understand their unique ways of communication.

Sure, learning popular languages like English, Italian, Mandarin, or Spanish can open doors to a world of possibilities, but don't overlook the lesser-explored gems like Portuguese and Russian. They can be surprisingly rewarding and offer a whole different perspective. So go ahead, embrace the joy of language learning and let yourself be captivated by the richness of diverse cultures!

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Michael Glass

Michael is the founder of Backpacker Travel. He also runs walking tours in San Francisco and is a freelance travel writer. Michael is extremely passionate about travel and loves to explore festivals around the world.

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