I fell in love with languages back in high school where I studied French and Spanish. After that, while living in Italy, Brazil and Germany, I also studied Italian, Portuguese and German. So being able to communicate in foreign languages is really important to me.
Now, in order to navigate foreign speaking countries while managing my diet free from gluten, dairy, fish and shellfish, I have paper copies of chef translation cards with me at all times – regardless if I have studied that language or not! I also have these on my smartphone as a backup too!
When I was diagnosed over 10 years ago, I started designing electronic and paper tri-fold language tools because, in my opinion, the cards back then were too confusing for restaurant wait staff. After a few years of trial and error, my team at GlutenFree Passport created easy-to-use gluten free dining cards, allergy free dining cards and a multi-lingual phrase guide in various languages that I personally use in my travels. I never leave home without them!!
These translation cards are available in numerous languages with ingredient and food preparation phrases in printable PDF format from our travel store.
I would recommend that you present your chef restaurant cards to the wait staff and/or chef at your restaurant to communicate your food concerns. It may also be helpful to print extra copies for your travels because there have been lots of times that restaurant staff have asked me to keep the cards for other gluten free guests!
Tell us about your experience traveling to a foreign speaking country!