The first 100 words

The first 100 words are the most important in any language. I've studied Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, German, Latin and Dutch with different degrees of commitment and success. I've also experimented with a few phrases in Indonesian, Filipino and Nepali.

When you go on your next international trip, try to learn 100 important words or phrases of the local language. It's not too ambitious (you can make a big dent on the flight over) and the returns are always extravagant.

Locals are inevitably thrilled you've made the effort and it will open countless doors that would have otherwise remained shut. You'll be amazed how far you can get with those 100 words. There's very little you won't be able to communicate, especially if you enjoy charades...

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