Translation cards are a MUST when traveling to a country where English is not the primary language. These cards are very helpful in explaining to your server and the manager exactly what foods need to be avoided in order to keep you safe. I tend to avoid Google translations for my homemade cards because the translations aren’t always exactly what you need or want. The free cards may not be as specific as you would like if you have multiple food allergies and intolerances, but they are a great starting point for your gluten-free dining adventures.
Below you will find a list of the free translation cards I have found so far. Download the cards, print them out, and pop them in your wallet. I have used translation cards extensively in both the Czech Republic and in Thailand. I have also used translation cards closer to home here in NYC when dining at a Chinese restaurant. Have you had success using gluten-free translation cards? I would love to know where and when you used these cards!
CeliacTravel.com Translation Cards
Gluten-free restaurant cards now available in 54 languages!
Free; Available in Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Argentinian, Bahasa, Bangla (Bangladeshi), Basque, Bosnian, Brazilian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Mandarin), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, Flemish, French, Georgia, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Maltese, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serb, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese.
Special Gourmets Chef Cards
These chef cards are prepared for those who cannot eat gluten. There are also separate cards available for those who cannot eat milk, eggs, soy, wheat, shellfish, peanuts, and tree nuts.
Free; Available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese
While these aren’t exactly translation cards, Coeliac UK provides information about celiac resources across the globe. They have prepared PDF documents on more than forty countries across the globe. Many of these documents include translations for the local language.
Free; Available in a variety of languages.
These cards are basic phrases in various languages about your gluten concerns, specific ingredients and preparation requests to communicate your special dietary needs in foreign countries.
Free; Available in Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Korean, Latvian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
Hindi Gluten-Free Restaurant Card
This card was written by the Celiac Society Rajasthan in India to help you navigate Indian cuisine for Hindi language speakers.
Free; Available in Hindi
BrokerFish Food Allergy Cards
Eight different allergy cards available in six languages created by the international health insurance portal, BrokerFish.
Free; Available in French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai