I have guests arriving from China in a couple of weeks. Their daughter (speaks English) has booked our apartment for their stay but she will be in another city on busy while her parents (no English) are here exploring DC. I want to be sure they enjoy their stay but concerned about the language barrier. I don't know yet if they speak Mandarin or Cantonese but will ask. I'm wondering what you've used successfully to communicate with guests in person when there is a language barrier.
I should mention that I've already sent the daughter the routine 'check-in' details I share with guests as I show them around the apartment in hopes that she can share with her parents in advance of their arrival. Other tips? Suggestions?
I've had a few communication issues with guests but the Google Translate app in conversation mode works really well, enough to get the point across.
I'd suggest you install it, grab a multilingual friend, and practice first. My first use was a trial by fire and while I did get the hang of it quickly I still felt like a noob in front of my guests.
We have had the exact situation many times; a few Chinese guests but more often Hispanic. Google translate works wonders. One of our most memorable hostings were Chinese guests who did not speak English and had never been to the U.S. before. We had a grilled steak dinner (their first "real" steak) and enjoyed conversing through Google.
@Tracie24 this is a third-party booking and it is not allowed by Airbnb. Aside from the obvious issue of them not being able to communicate with you, this brings a score of others. You will not be covered by host guarantee (not that the program is worth very much but still), technically Airbnb might not even pay you for the stay. If something happens to your property, there’s nobody to hold responsible. This is just the beginning of a big list. For starters, these parents need to be added to the reservation through the platform. This is the main problem I see with the situation right now.
Beyond that, how much communicating do you usually do with your guess? I feel like most of mine come and go with just a few words exchanged.
Thank you so much for your reply. I'm still in learning mode so thanks for pointing out the third-party booking. Very helpful.