When Paula and I traveled to Italy, we aimed to speak a bit of Italian. Despite my previous attempts with Duo Lingo, forming sentences was still a challenge. Phrases like "Can we have the bill please?" or "How much does this cost?" had us reaching for Google Translate. The next day we'd find ourselves looking up the same phrases, having forgotten them again.

Once back home, I started exploring the OpenAI chatbot, ChatGPT, and discovered its handy features. While planning a trip to Prague for February, I found it could easily list the top 10 attractions along with descriptions when asked.

Curiosity led me to ask for the top 25 travel phrases in Italian, and ChatGPT delivered! It listed each phrase in English, Italian, and even included pronunciation. An idea sparked - what if I could turn these phrases into a learning tool?

        "question": "Hello!",
        "answer": "Ciao!",
        "description": "chow"
        "question": "Good morning!",
        "answer": "Buongiorno!",
        "description": "bwon-jor-no"

Inspired, I asked ChatGPT for the phrases in JSON format, and it did so without missing a beat. Then, I thought about having the same for French and German. Before I knew it, I had a JSON dataset of 25 travel phrases in 26 different languages.

Sample index card, in this case Thai

I decided to create an index card app using my web framework, Reken. The app lets you choose a language and quizzes you on the phrases. Once you get all the phrases right, you earn a "Certificate of Completion". I've hosted this travel phrases app on my website, accessible through the following link.

25 Travel phrases in the 26 most popular languages
25 travel phrases is a travel flashcard application. Learn the 25 most useful phrases for a language. The phrases are: 1. Hello! 2. Good morning! 3. Good evening! 4. Goodbye! 5. Please 6. Thank you 7. Yes 8. No 9. Excuse me …

Not only can you practice translating from English to Italian (or any of the 26 languages), but you can also practice from Italian to English - a great way to kickstart learning a new language.

Certificate of completion, have rains some confetti :-)

The app remembers the language you're practicing between sessions. You can also switch to a specific language directly by appending, for example, #italian to the app's URL. Now, with this app, mastering essential travel phrases is both fun and rewarding!