One of the best aspects of traveling is to chat with local people. Without local language skills, however, even asking for help can be difficult in countries where mastering foreign languages is not regarded important. A translator app on mobile phone is handy, but not all people want to interact with technology.
Swiss entrepreneurs have created a remarkable product, Iconspeak t-shirt with icons that allows people without common language to communicate simply by pointing at icons.
Of course, pointing at icons printed on t-shirt won’t allow a lengthy conversation about the meaning of life or power politics of the current government, but a traveler gets help to a problem at hand.
Iconspeak has created special versions of the product, for instance, for camping, for Japan and other countries. Bags, caps and mobile phone cases are available with icons as well.
As travelers know, learning a few key phrases in local language is the best way to initiate interaction. For instance, in France establishing contact to locals without “Bon jour!” is out of the question.