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Vegan Language Learning: 50 Important Words and Phrases
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Vegan Language Learning: 50 Important Words and Phrases

If you are emigrating, or taking an extended visit, to somewhere where other languages are spoken, getting to grips with vegan communication is important. Whilst in some regions, it's common to find vegan-certifying stamps upon food products, making life easy for those not yet able to read the lists of ingredients, other areas are not so simple! It's also good to learn a few words to avoid misunderstandings in restaurants, and to make new friends and contacts by being able to find and contact local animal rights groups.

In 2013 I moved to the Czech Republic with language skills limited to, 'hello,' 'beer,' and, 'railway station,' and found myself not in Prague, a city of more than twenty vegan cafés, but a small town where veganism was unfortunately scarcely comprehended. Despite this, the grocery stores and bistros had a number of vegan options, and although I initially struggled with pronunciation, quickly learning to recognise a few words meant that I never went hungry. The first sentence I learned to read, 'Muze obsahovat stopy mleka*,' or, 'may contain traces of milk,' is one I'd recommend getting to know, and as your confidence with speaking and reading the local language increases, I would prioritise learning the following phrases for everyday life in grocery stores, restaurants, and shops and at info stalls and meetings:

  1. I am vegan
  2. I do not eat...
  3. I cannot eat...
  4. Meat
  5. Fish
  6. Animal products
  7. Milk
  8. Dairy products
  9. Eggs
  10. Cheese
  11. Gelatin
  12. Whey
  13. Poultry
  14. I have a question.
  15. Does this contain..?
  16. Is this suitable for vegans [noun]?
  17. Is this vegan [adjective]?
  18. Can I have... without cheese?
  19. Does this come with...?
  20. Can you cater for....?
  21. Allergens
  22. Stock; bouillon
  23. Where can I find...?
  24. Do you have...?
  25. I am looking for...
  26. Vegetables
  27. Tofu
  28. Rice
  29. Pasta
  30. Ingredients
  31. Soy
  32. Animal rights
  33. Ethics
  34. Campaign group; organisation
  35. When are your meetings?
  36. I understand/speak a little...
  37. Sorry, I do not understand.
  38. Can I help?
  39. Petition
  40. Demonstration
  41. For what are you fund-raising?
  42. Can I take a leaflet?
  43. Is this leather?
  44. Wool
  45. Fur
  46. Shell
  47. Pearl
  48. I do not use...
  49. Has this been tested on animals?
  50. Thank you for your help.

Good luck, and happy language learning!

*Spelling anglicised.

Photo courtesy of jurek_durczak, used under the terms of the Creative Commons license.

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Leave a Comment

  1. Support
    Now fellow travelers have no excuse not to learn the local language! This is a great post. Thanks for sharing, Amelia.
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