We’ve written a lot recently about the trials and tribulations of travelling when you don’t speak the local language. Thankfully, help is on the way in the form of the world’s first translating earpiece, but until then we seem to be slightly stuck with our trusty friend Google.
There is, however, another option. The team at IconSpeak has created the ultimate T-shirt for travelling, featuring 40 universal icons – perfect for when you don’t speak the local language instead of initiating an awkward game of charades, simply point to the relevant icon on your shirt and you’re in business.
The brainchild of three Swiss men, the idea was born in the backcountry of Vietnam after numerous drinks and an adventure involving a broken-down motorcycle. George, Steven and Florian explained to Bored Panda how many times they were “confronted with a language barrier that was only to be overcome by drawing signs, symbols or icons on a piece of paper, map, or into the dirt”. “We thought it would be great to have an essential set of icons with you, permanently, so that you could just point on whatever you need – and people would understand.”
Brilliant in its simplicity, the T-shirts are available for both men and women and, as the website points out do not need to be recharged, does not require software updates or even reception. Aptly named IconSpeak – because with icons you can speak to the world – they are also made of 100 per cent certified organic cotton.
With singlets, jumpers and even a bag also available, whatever you choose it is sure to be the most useful item you take away on your next overseas trip and well worth its weight in baggage!
RRP: approx. $45 plus shipping from IconSpeak