Couple placing an order at a restaurant
The Correct Etiquette For Ordering Food You Can't Pronounce

Whether you're in a country where menus are in another language or an American restaurant serving authentic regional specialties, hard-to-pronounce menu items can be overwhelming.

While waitstaff will likely admire you trying your best to pronounce the item, don't be afraid to read the description, or even pieces of it, as it might be easier to communicate.

Servers are often trained on each dish and can discern which one you want. To avoid confusing non-English speaking servers, order the item the way it's written in the description.

That said, it’s best to try pronouncing the item the way it’s listed on the menu. Your server will probably be more familiar with the item’s name and likely welcome your effort.

You can also point at the item you want from the menu. It is a universal means of communicating that relies on an understood gesture rather than words.

In all cases, be sure to put on a smile and use your pleasantries. Polite phrases like "please" and "thank you" go a long way and are typically understood by non-English speakers.