A basic corpus of fewer than 90 key words and phrases can really get you going in any language.
Here is a basic vocabulary list.
Here are some key prepositions, interrogatives and negatives.
It is more essential than ever to note that it is exceedingly rare for any single words or phrase to mean precisely the same thing in all contexts in any two given languages. The range within which a particular word is used varies from language to language (and even dialect to dialect).
Clearly, in addition to these words and phrases, a basic understanding of the grammar (word order, plural formation, tenses and so on) is necessary from the outset. Ultonia Communications will look at this over the coming months.