If you could instantly learn how to say one phrase in every language, which would you pick?

Compiled and edited by Nicole Moraleda

We asked our readers: If you had a robot for the entire day, what would you ask it to do? Here are our favourite answers

Compiled and edited by Nicole Moraleda |

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What's a really important phrase to learn in any language?

Back to basics

I’d pick “Hello”, so I’d know how to greet anyone in their own language. I’d be able to make friends all over the world. Then, hopefully, I could learn about their country and history. That would make me really happy.
Kasam Iqra Bibi, 13, Precious Blood Secondary School

Need food now

I’d pick the phrase “May I have some food, please”, because food is important to humans. People simply cannot survive without food, so when we travel to other countries, I think it’s very important to know how to ask for it. Without food, you won’t have the energy to do the things you want to do. But if you’re full of tasty food, you’ll have an unforgettable trip.
Karen Tsang Ka-yue, 15, South Tuen Mun Government Secondary School

Show me the money

I’d like to know how to ask how much something costs in every language. This would be very useful when travelling, as you’d be able to buy souvenirs and food. You could definitely get by in a foreign country knowing how to ask this one question.
Jacky Cheung, 15, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

Mum is best

If I were instantly able to say a phrase in every language, I’d pick “I love you, Mum”, because I want to show her my gratitude. If I could say this in many different languages, I would really show her how much I care.
Ng Cheuk-yu, 15, STFA Seaward Woo College

A great beginning

I’d pick the phrase “Nice to meet you”, because it would help me make new friends. It’s a polite phrase and is good for starting a conversation.
Yoonjung Choi, 14, Hong Kong International School

Safety first

I’d want to be able to say “Be careful”. There are many moments in life where we need to warn someone to be careful. For example, when crossing a busy road, you might need to tell someone to watch out for cars. This is why it’s important to know how to say this phrase in all languages.
Jasmine Shum, 15, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

Never be lost again

I’d like to be able to say “Where is … ?” in every language. I think this would be very useful when travelling. I would always be able to ask how to get to a particular place. This would be very practical and handy.
Jenny Fung, 13, Law Ting Pong Secondary School

Confidence booster

I’d pick the phrase “Be proud of who you are”, as I think this is very meaningful. It is a phrase that reminds us that what we have is good, and not to worry about how other people see or think of us.
Joey Zhong, 12, Methodist College

Emotional support

I’d like to know how to say “Don’t give up!” in every language. This phrase gives hope to those who are feeling broken inside, and helps people through difficult times. I’d like to be able to say this to any one fighting a serious disease.
Nayab Naseer Qureshi, 15, True Light Girls’ College

Showing gratitude

I’d pick “Thank you”. When we travel to other countries and encounter problems, we can use Google Translate or other apps to ask the locals for help. After we were helped, the least we can do is say thank you in the local language. It would be more sincere and heartfelt that way. We should also know how to say thank you to those who serve us in shops or restaurants, so we can be polite Hongkongers and make a good impression.
Chang Yan-chi, 13, Immaculate Heart of Mary College

For our next Top 10, tell us:

What is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?

Send your answer, together with your name, age and school, to [email protected] with “Top 10: ” in the subject field. Our favourite answers will appear in next week’s Top 10 page, and on our Facebook page around 4pm-5pm!

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