Almost every traveller has a story about a time when things got lost in translation. Whether it was funny, mortifying or we were on the other side of it, it’s happened to us all – because languages are hard, you guys. But the Iconspeak t-shirt is here to make translation a little bit easier.
The World Edition Traveller shirt has a front design of 39 icons representing common questions that travellers might need to ask when they’re in another country. The idea is simple: if you’re looking for the nearest bus stop but don’t know how to say that in the local language, just approach someone friendly and point to the bus icon on your shirt.[related_articles]72647,68003,55242[/related_articles]
There’s an icon for everything from accommodation to petrol, wifi, restaurants, the beach, bars, coffee, ice cream, banks, and police, just to name a few.
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You can even use multiple icons together to ask more specific questions – if your car breaks down, just point to the car and the tools icons. If you want to know what time the next ferry leaves, point to the boat and clock icons.
The shirt is designed to help bridge language barriers using universally recognised visual cues. Of course, it’ll be more successful in some countries than others, depending on how the locals interpret the signs, but it’s a good aide if you find yourself at a loss for foreign words.
You can also get the 39-icon World Edition design on a tote bag, and other designs on phone cases, hats and leggings. There are even designs for specific countries. The Rome design has icons for scooters, pizza, pasta and the Colosseum, while the Tokyo design has icons for ramen, ice cream and pandas.
(Lead image: Iconspeak / Facebook)
Alana is the staff writer on AWOL who thinks the best way to travel is by taking spontaneous detours and stopping at every local bakery to try the cakes. She writes a lot about Australian TV, Big Things, cursed food, and theme parks. You can follow her on Instagram @alana.dotcom. It’s mostly dogs she meets along the way.