When I was in Taipei, Taiwan I was trying to use the washer to do laundry. You would think that something so simple as hitting a button to start a washer would not be so complicated..!
Every day we go through life and simple tasks we’ve done a million times before, and we don’t even think of how simple they are. It becomes automatic. But what happens when you travel overseas and live in a country where you don’t understand the language, everything gets turned upside down. The most simple tasks you can think of suddenly become a bid deal that takes time to try to figure out.
Can’t Read Sign or Labels
I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spend trying to figure out the direction to a location or what all the various signs mean. Trying especially to read the label of the food I’m about to buy at the grocery store, all suddenly becomes really difficult! It’s like you’re a child, again and need help with everything!
How Do I Operate This Machine?!
It can drive you a little crazy, as everything suddenly just takes so much longer time. I wanted to do the laundry, and went to use the washer in the common area, I looked at the directions, and everything was in Chinese. I thought, well, I can just look at the pictures, and I’m sure I’ll figure it out. I’ve used washers for years to do laundry, I can do this! But no, I had no idea what the various options meant. It was getting late at night and no others around.
The Taiwanese are the nicest people in the world, and they always help if they can. Multiple times I would walk around confused trying to figure out where I was going. Many times, people actually walked up to me to see if I needed help. So nice of them!
I remember one time I was looking for directions, and this time I asked a man out jogging if he knew were this location was. He was so nice he actually walked me to the location I needed to go to. Many times I experienced the people in Taiwan being so generous with their time. I really enjoyed being in Taiwan as the Taiwanese people are so fun to be with.
Help On Facebook
Since it was late at night and no one around, I posted a picture of the washer settings in Chinese on Facebook asking for help. Luckily people were still awake and able to respond and help me out.
My friends in various places around the world were able to witness on Facebook the conversation of someone showing me how to user a washer in Chinese. I’m sure it was quite amusing to them.
Google Translate App
I was really glad someone was able to help me out over Facebook. Many times I have wished that I would be able to find an App that will translate on the go. And today there is such an app! The Google Translate App has become even better, and you can now take a picture of a text, and it will translate it for you.
But what I found the most impressive, is that if you hold the phone over a text, it will also translate it instantly as you’re looking at the screen. You do not even have to take a picture. I would have loved to have this app years ago!
Here is a screenshot of the Google Translate App. Just click on the button with the green arrow pointing toward it, download the language file, and then hover over the text you want to translate.
Do you have any stories of similar issues with the language? If you’ve been overseas, I’m sure you do!