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.
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|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|