Are you an avid traveler? How many times have you gone to a place, only to page through your language dictionary, searching for the correct phrase? With this brilliant T-shirt, you can simply point to a simple icon in lieu of fumbling the local language.

T-shirts that help communication via
Speak through clothing Bored Panda

Traveling is fun. You get to see vastly different architecture, natural landscapes, and immerse yourself in unique cultures. Getting past the language barrier, however, can prove to be extremely difficult. Unless you’re a quick study, chances are you travel with a language dictionary or smartphone app whenever you go to a country that doesn’t speak your native language. Even then you might mispronounce a word or phrase and possibly offend the local inhabitants. Enter IconSpeak. A T-shirt created and designed to help you navigate around  foreign countries where you don’t speak the local language. With 40 simple yet universal icons from different modes of transportation to essential necessities like food, a phone, or wi-fi printed on the T-shirt, this is probably the most useful tool you could take with you on any traveling adventure.

How it Began

Is the water safe to drink? Find out with a shirt!
Communicate though icons Bored Panda

IconSpeak is a useful T-shirt printed with 40 universal icons, perfect for those occasions when you don’t speak the local language and have forgotten how to sign “I think there’s a problem with my carburetor.” The shirt was thought up by three Swiss “pen-pushers” over numerous drinks and after an adventure with a broken-down motorcycle, somewhere in Vietnam. Read a little bit of their story below:

“Many times we 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,” explain George, Steven, and Florian. “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. Soon the notepad was pulled out again and we started listing more or less essential icons that would have been of great help during not just ours, but basically anyone’s trip.”

How it Works

Why be ambiguous when you can point to an image?
Great idea Bored Panda

By pointing to a single icon or a series of icons, you can essentially create a universally understood statement or question. For example, if you’re looking for spicy food to eat, you could point to the food icon and then the fire icon. Looking for a ferry? Car icon, boat icon, water icon. Need the time? There’s an icon for that. Sure, you could use an app on your smartphone to translate your desires, but what happens if your phone dies? With a T-shirt, you don’t have to recharge it and you won’t worry about losing it. Best of all, it still works if it gets wet.

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