We've all been there. Yelling as loud as we can, waving our hands like maniacs, and all to try and ask for a cup of water. Indeed, there are few things in this world more frustrating than trying to communicate with someone who doesn't speak your native language, an experience that leaves most people feeling frustrated, alienated, and more often-than-not, embarrassed.

However, while never easy, non-verbal communication doesn't need to be as hard, as loud, or as obnoxious as many Americans make it. In light of that, below are five relatively easy tips for communicating with people who don't speak your language, a handy list for anyone expecting to travel abroad in the coming weeks and months.

5. Speak Clearly

One of the biggest difficulties that comes in speaking to non-English speakers is trying to avoid regional or dialectic nuance. After all, whatever English your person-of-interest does know (and, in most places, it's probably at least a little), doesn't register when you're speaking in muffled or heavily accented voice. Instead, try talking as clearly and directly as you can - it may seem strange, but it'll work wonders for your new friend's comprehension.

4. Speak Simply

Another big issue with English to non-English communication is word choice. Most people don't spend much time thinking about why they're using specific words to communicate their ideas, but oftentimes, when dealing with non-native speakers, simply paraphrasing their thought in different words can work miracles. For example, while "big" and "large" may mean exactly the same thing to you, it's quite possible (if not probable) that your new friend knows one but not the other. Therefore, switching up your dictional patterns will loosen the discourse and make everything move a little more smoothly.

3. Take Your Time

It's been said that the only time people comprehend what others are saying is during the pauses between their phrases. This is especially important when speaking to non-English speakers, who often have to comb through their brain for the small amount of grade-school English they've managed to retain. Consequently, when it seems like someone doesn't understand, don't immediately cut them off and try again. Instead, give your partner time to think about what you've said and formulate an answer. Only after a couple seconds of silence is it appropriate to begin again.

2. Use Body Language

In cases where your partner's conversational English abilities are especially low, this item becomes the most important. However, being able to gesture effectively (and not just a lot) is something many Americans have a great deal of trouble with. To avoid this common pitfall, be sure only to make motions that will help clarify things, rather than muddle them. Pointing, for example, can be extremely helpful, while emphatic hand-waving is often less effective. Also, refrain from punctuating your gestures with loud or shouted spoken English. Very rarely is non-verbal communication aided by loud noises, and oftentimes it will just confuse your partner or make it seem like you're irritated, an extremely counter-productive addition to the dialogue.

1. Try to Speak their Language

However, the number one spot is reserved for the most effective tip of all: try and speak the language of the person you're trying to communicate with. While you may only know the five words of Spanish you studied on the plane, offering a simple comprende or gracias will work wonders for lubricating the dialogue. Plus, it lets your conversational partner know that you took the trouble to learn something about their culture, making them all the happier and more willing to help out. In other words, even if your experience is limited, simply putting in the effort to use a couple of choice phrases can make all the difference in your conversational trajectory, turning your experience from highly frustrating and negative to one that could actually result in some genuine communication.