Have You ever wanted to speak in many languages? It is obvious, that basics is the most important step to start with. Nowadays it is the easiest ever to learn anything new without spending even a penny. Internet can provide You with almost every information. Pick language You want to learn and look in google for basic grammar principles and vocabulary used in everyday, simple conversation or You find useful. Be honest, specialistic words are not being used too often and You probably would not use them in most situations or ever.
Pick language You want to learn or native for the country You are going to travel to. Create a list of basic words and phrases - do it by Yourself, do not copy or download it from web. Make it personal, choose what is important in Your opinion. Besides, if You will have to check or find something - You are more likely to do it quickly because somewhere in Your mind You will know the approximate placement of it on the sheet.
Start with the most common: "Yes", "No", "This", "Good", "Bad", "Please", "Sorry", "Could You...?", "Help", "Thank You" - Will not hurt to be nice and You will appear as a pleasant person trying to learn foreign language, which is a form of respect for natives everywhere. Learn how to ask questions. In different languages it is about inversion, intonation or specific word. Check for "Can I/You...?", "Where can I find...?", "How to get to...?", "How to do this?". Do not be affraid if You will not know specific noun or verb. A lot of words sound the same or similar in many languages, You can help with gesticulation or maybe Your conversationalist will get what You mean or will know the work in Your native language :) Of course, if You are reading this - You can speak English. It is the most common language in the world, so even if You want to learn new one and You try to use it on Your holidays or speak with natives in any situation, You can substitute some parts in conversation You do not know in foreign tonque.
Ok, back to the basics! When You know meanings of basic words and phrases and know how to pronounce them - move to everyday nouns and verbs. "Car", "Street", "Shop", "Eat", "Food", "Drink", "Toilet", "Time", "Go", "Wait", "Look", etc. Think about it. What words could You need in the foreign country? What could You want to do or ask?
The most important - do not be ashamed! You are learning and You never will not using it. Natives will understand You do not speak well yet but at least You are trying and in most cases they will appreciate Your effort. And always You can go with - "I don't speak ______ well" :)
What words and phrases would You suggest? What do You think is important and what languages You speak? Share in a comment!