Welcome to our COVID Language Hub

Are you a hotel or restaurant owner ready to welcome overseas guests back to your establishment?

A business traveller concerned about staying safe in the new post-COVID world…

Or perhaps you are a Brit who has just booked a holiday abroad and can’t wait to travel again?

The LEaF Translations COVID Language Hub contains:

For hotels and restaurants:
FREE language resources and printables for hotel and restaurant owners, and other tourist attractions to give to their guests

Find out more

For Brits travelling abroad:
FREE printables containing key COVID FAQs in Spanish, Greek, Portuguese, French and German to take with you on holiday

Find out more

For business travellers:
FREE resources for business travellers in languages including Chinese and Japanese

Find out more
An A-Z of COVID terms in seven different languages

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Key COVID-related terms in different languages

The COVID A-Z in seven different languages

COVID-19 has changed every aspect of our lives, including the language we speak. Phrases like lockdown, furlough and underlying health conditions are now in common use. We have put together glossaries of the key terms in seven different languages. Wondering how to say facemask in Japanese, Greek or Spanish? What is the correct term for vaccine passport in Chinese? Click on the relevant language to find out…

“Where’s the hand sanitiser please?”

“Where can I buy a face mask?”

And plenty of other phrases you never thought you’d need to know in a foreign language pre-COVID

We know that many of you will be itching to get away to a more exotic destination than your living room. 

This appears increasingly tangible now that restrictions have eased both in the UK and throughout the world. 

This is why we’ve compiled all of the foreign phrases you never thought you needed to know to enjoy that first post-pandemic holiday.

We also understand that while holidays are top of the agenda, so is the need for people to travel for business and commercial reasons.

And we can’t ignore the fact that the hospitality industry must open its doors to welcome guests once again.

This is why we devised our resources hub, which helps hotels and other businesses within the tourism sector to communicate with their visitors and guests. We also aim to guide tourists and business travellers, so you can rest assured that you’re safely navigating the post-COVID landscape.

The idea for our hub came about because we recognised the impact the pandemic had on language, bringing scientific words into our everyday vocabulary which were difficult to get to grips with.

As a York-based translation company which specialises in translations for the tourism industry, we couldn’t sit back and watch these changes to our language create confusion. Given the current climate, good translation is vital to ensure that information around COVID health and safety is accurately communicated across many different languages.

We hope that our pool of language resources and printable assets will help you to:

  • Provide clear messages to communicate to a wide audience
  • Maintain commercial operations, regardless of the circumstances
  • Avoid any miscommunication or misunderstandings
  • Stay safe and follow COVID safety regulations during your travels overseas

Free resources for Brits travelling abroad

We have put together the top COVID-related phrases that you need to know to stay safe – from “Where can I buy a mask?” to “Which tourist attractions are currently open to the public?”.

We have compiled these phrases in five key languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, French and German. Click on the relevant language below to access the phrases and download free printables to take with you on your travels.

Top tips before you board your plane

So, you’ve downloaded your printable with the top COVID phrases you need to take the stress out of your holiday. What else do you need to consider before going away?

Here are our top tips to help you stay safe and make the best of your much-deserved holiday abroad:

1. Make sure you have the latest information for your destination before you set off
Check the official government website to see what restrictions are in place at the time of travelling and whether you need to complete any tests before returning to the UK.
Check out the EU’s Re-Open app, which has been designed to help people travel around the EU in the post-COVID world.

2. Expect things to be different when you travel
The whole world has been affected by the pandemic and different countries, cities and populations have had different experiences. Just as many people in Britain are still anxious about mixing, you are likely to come across locals who want to keep their distance. Respect the locals and be mindful that although it is your holiday, you are in their home country. Being culturally aware has always been important, but in the current climate it is more important than ever to respect the locals and their rules.

3. Check the local restrictions
Just as we have had to adapt to new rules and restrictions here in the UK – such as wearing a face mask indoors in public, social distancing, etc. – so similar restrictions have been implemented in other countries. Although these restrictions have eased in the UK and are no longer obligatory, don’t just presume that this is the same everywhere. Here are some examples of the restrictions currently in place at the time of writing (early April 2022):

  • Spain:
    – Face masks must be worn in all public spaces, both indoors and at some large outdoor events
    – Face masks are mandatory for all children over the age of 6
    – Tourists are welcome but must show proof of being fully vaccinated on arrival (some exemptions apply)
    – Social distancing of 1.5 metres must be observed
  • Portugal:
    – Face masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces and outdoors where social distancing is not possible
    – Face masks are mandatory for all children aged 10 and over
    – If you are fully vaccinated, you can enter mainland Portugal without needing to test
    – In cafes and restaurants, you must wear a face covering until you are seated
  • Greece:
    – Masks are mandatory in all indoor public places
    – Proof of vaccination is required to enter public spaces such as shops, restaurants and museums.

4. Prebooking is now a must
Holidays where you play it by ear are (for now at least) a thing of the past – a lot of museums, art galleries and other attractions now require prebooking. Ideally, do some research before you leave the UK and decide what you want to do when you are away. If there are any museums or attractions that you definitely want to visit, make sure you prebook to avoid disappointment. Restaurants may also require prebooking and are likely to fill up sooner due to limited numbers, so try to reserve a table in advance or expect to have to spend a little longer finding somewhere to eat.

5. Make sure your mobile phone can cope
Mobile phones have been a useful tool for travellers for many years but now they are more vital than ever. Not only will you need your phone to prebook restaurants and attractions, but most of the tickets and entry passes are now digital, so you will need your phone to get in. Many countries also request to see some form of Covid Passport before allowing you entry to their premises, your phone will come in handy for this as you can download the NHS COVID Pass for travel.

Make sure your phone is up to the task – check your roaming charges to ensure you won’t rack up huge bills and invest in a portable phone charger so you can charge your phone on the go.

6. Get travel insurance
Things are still up in the air and subject to change at the last minute. Restrictions can change more or less overnight if infection rates rise and this can cause havoc with your travel plans. Take out a good travel insurance policy so you are covered if your plans have to change last minute and should you need medical attention when abroad.

7. Make sure you are familiar with words like facemask, vaccine, test centre
Your guide book is highly unlikely to contain COVID-related words and phrases that we need when travelling abroad in 2022, and Google Translate can’t be relied upon for its accuracy. Make sure you download our free printable with the phrases for your destination before you set off, to take the stress out of your holiday.

It is fantastic that we are now able to travel abroad again but we do still have a long way to go until things are back to normal. When travelling abroad, it is really important to be respectful of the locals, to make sure we know what the local restrictions are and to be as responsible as we would be back at home.

Hopefully these top tips will help take some of the stress out of travelling and will allow you to have a fantastic holiday. Bon voyage!

Free resources for hotels, restaurants and other tourism businesses to share with their guests

As international tourists start returning to the UK, it is vital that businesses working within the tourism sector are able to clearly communicate COVID-safety guidelines to visitors and guests. We have put together some key FAQs for businesses, museums etc. to print out and give to their guests to help keep everyone safe. Examples include:

  1. “Yes, we need to see your vaccine certificate when you check-in/arrive”
  2. “The hotel/restaurant/bar each has strict cleanliness standards in place. All high touch areas such as the lobby/elevator/rooms/corridors/door handles/kitchens/tables/cutlery etc. are cleaned more frequently.”
  3. “Some nearby outdoor tourist attractions are currently open to the public with social distancing guidelines in place. Here is a map and we have marked them for you.”

These COVID FAQs are available in Chinese, Japanese, German, Spanish and French.

If you require the FAQs in a different language or would like your own COVID policy translating, please contact us for more information.

Free resources for business travellers

If you travel for business and haven’t been able to do so because of the pandemic, we know how you’re feeling. You’ll be keen to get back into your pre-Covid working routine as soon as it’s deemed possible.

When foreign countries open up once again, as per the Government traffic light system, we have all the phrases you need to be able to communicate clearly and stay safe during your visit – from “I have forgotten my mask. What should I do?” to “Where would I find the hand sanitiser, please?”

For more information about the LEaF Translations COVID Language Hub or for information about our translation services, please contact: lucy@leaftranslations.com.