How To Ask For The Bill In 20 Languages

How To Ask For The Bill In 20 Languages
lennonisgod @ CC BY-ND 2.0

Besides being a total food geek, I am a great student of languages. Whether you're travelling to Little Saigon or O.G. Saigon, Santa Ana or Mexico, being able to say even a few phrases in the language of the place you're visiting can build bridges and result in a better time and, more importantly for this blog, better food the next time you visit.

Add to this that in some cultures it is considered the height of rudeness to shoo someone out of your restaurant by presenting the bill before it's been asked for, and you'll see why these phrases are necessary if you don't want to be left there until the cows come home. While you can make the International Gesture of the Bill Pad from across the room (it's one of the few gestures that isn't obscene anywhere in the world), these may come in handy.

There are some glaring omissions here: to my great shame, I don't speak even two words of Tagalog; the languages of India are a complete mystery to me; Farsi is another miss. Feel free to chime in with additions in the comments section.

Arabic Mumkin el hesab min fadlak? moom keen el hess ahb meen fahd lahk
Armenian Hadjis hashive per. hah jeess hah shee veh pair
Cambodian Som kot loy? sohm kut loy
Cantonese Ng goi, mai dan. mm GOY, migh DAHN
Creole Pote not, souple. paw teh NOHT soo PLAY
Dutch De rekening, alstublieft. deh REK ken ning, ahl stoo BLIGHFT
French L'addition, s'il vous plait. lah dee SYOH see voo PLAY
German Die Rechnung, bitte. dee REKH noong bit tuh
Greek To logariasmo, parakalo. tuh loh yah ree ahss MOH, pah rrah kah LOH
Hebrew Heshbon, b'vakashah. hesh BONE buh vah kah SHAH
Irish Tabhair dom an bille le do thoil. tower dum un billeh led hell
Italian Il conto, per favore. eel KOHN toh pair fah VOHR ray
Japanese Okanjo onegai shimasu. oh kahn joh oh neh ghigh shee mahss
Korean Kyesanso chuseyo. kyeh sahn soh choo seh yoh
Mandarin Qing jiezhang. ching dzheh JAHNG
Polish Rachunek, poprosze. rah KHOO nek puh PRAW sheh
Russian Chek, pozhaluista. chek puh ZHAH luh stah
Spanish La cuenta, por favor. lah KWEN tah pore fah VORE
Thai (females) Check bin ka. check binn kah
Thai (males) Check bin khap. check binn kahp
Vietnamese Cam on, ngon lam. camm un, ngawn lum

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