The 100 Words You Need To Speak Any Language

Ever wanted to speak French? Or Italian? Or maybe Spanish, so you could travel to South America and have more than Buenos Dias? Or Arabic, Chinese, or Japanese.  Most of us never start. It’s too hard. But, if I told you that all you need is 100 words and then you can get by – would you give it at try.

100 Words You Need To Speak Any Language

I read that if you can learn these 100 words, then you have enough to get by in any language. In other words, you’ll have enough to order food, get a taxi, and make your way around. Your grammar may not be perfect but others will understand you – which is the encouragement most of us need to keep trying.

Here are the 100 words. Try to learn 5 a day. By the end of the month, you’ll have 150.

Give yourself every opportunity to practice. For example, go to an Italian restaurants and practice with the waiter. Tell him you’re learning – most everyone will help.

1. A/an  2. After 3. Again 4. All 5. Almost

6. Also  7. Always  8. And  9. Because  10. Before

11. Big  12. But  13. Can  14. Come  15. Either/or

16. Find  17. First  18. For  19. Friend  20. From

21. Go  22. Good  23. Good-bye  24. Happy  25. Have

26. He  27. Hello  28. Here  29. How  30. I

31. (I) am  32. If  33. In  34. Know  35. Last

36. (I) like  37. Little  38. (I) love  39. (I) make  40. Many

41. One  42. More  43. Most  44. Much  45. My

46. New  47. No  48. Not  49. Now  50. Of

51. Often  52. On  53. One  54. Only  55. Or

56. Other  57. Our  58. Out  59. Over  60. People

61. Place  62. Please  63. Same  64. See  65. She

66. So  67. Some  68. Sometimes  69. Still  70. Such

71. Tell  72. Thank you  73. That  74. The  75. Their

76. Them  77. Then  78. There is  79. They  80. Thing

81. (I) think  82. This  83. Time  84. To  85. Under

86. Up  87. Us  88. Use  89. Very  90. We

91. What  92. When  93. Where  94. Which  95. Who

96. Why  97. With  98. Yes  99. You  100. Your


There are many reasons to start learning aside from the business opportunities and personal gratification. I’ve started Chinese in Beijing and am now… about 95% of the way there. My son is fluent after three months.

I can order a beer (critical), find a toilet (helpful) and get a taxi. All the small little things. Give it a try. See how far you get. You’d be surprised how easy it is once you start.

What language do you most want to learn?

And after that?

5 thoughts on “The 100 Words You Need To Speak Any Language

  1. Lorna says:

    Gosh, it just shows how quickly children can pick up languages. I’d like to learn some Polish (and Gaeilge as it happens!)

    • Ivan Walsh says:

      Hi Lorna,

      I’d like to learn a bit of Gaeilge as well so I can help him with his homework. Crazy that I know more Spanish, Italian and Chinese than my native tongue.

  2. Colum McAndrew says:

    Good advice Ivan Trying to learn Arabic but hard going there too. It is my in-laws tongue but their dialect is often very different. Don’t believe that Arabic is not generic!

    • Ivan Walsh says:

      Hi Colum, Arabic sounds very interesting. Actually there was a great documentary on BBC2 over the past 3 weeks about Arabia and the life of Muhammad. So much to learn but so little time 🙂

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