When you go to a country where you do not speak the language..
December 25, 2007 11:12am CST
When you travel to a country where you do not speak the local language, do you make an effort before you take off to learn few words of the local language? If you do it, how do you do it?
• United Kingdom
25 Dec 07
I try to make a effort to speak a few words of the local language. The most important of these is 'thank you' and I find that this is appreciated. I can speak French and so I try to speak in that language when I was in France and French Polynesia. When I was in Germany and Austria I found it easy to try to speak some German. I tried to say a few words in Romania and I could read their writing. However in Bulgaria I learned just a few words and because of the alphabet they use there I could not read their writing. I had language difficulties there when I tried to buy a train ticket. I had a challenging time in Slovakia when I had much confusion at a bus station. Luckily I found a teenager that spoke English. I often point to things I want to buy in a shop and use the dictionary at the back of my guide book.
28 Dec 07
A few years ago, I went to Japan for a Homestay program. My hosts are a retired couple. The purpose of the Homestay was mainly for cultural exchange. They are no good in their English but they are learning. I did not and still do not know Japanese language. I only know simple greetings. Before I set off for my trip, I bought a small guide book and tried to learn as much Japanese terms as I can. When I was at my hosts' place, they also teach me more Japanese words and phrases. They also ask me to teach them simple English words and phrases. =)
• United States
25 Dec 07
Yes I do. I took Spanish in school so when I went to Mexico I could already speak and read a lot of Spanish but it wasn't necessary because I went to a major tourist spot and a lot of people there speak English. I went to Brazil and learned some Portuguese before I left. I had a coworker who was from Brazil so he taught me some words and told be about what to expect. I went to the library and got a Portuguese book to learn also. I learned the basics like hello, thank you. Again it really wasn't needed because a lot of the staff spoke English. Portuguese is similar to Spanish so it was a little easier. I went to Thailand and learned the basics before I left like hello, thank you but again it wasn't necessary because a lot of people there spoke English. I lived in Taiwan for a few years and before I left I got a Mandarin cd so I could learn. I learned the basics at first as well. I was lucky that my roommate spoke Mandarin and I made Taiwanese friends who spoke English so that was a big help. I also has a tutor so I could learn. In Taipei it's very easy to get around without knowing Mandarin but I wanted to learn to make it a little easier. Everywhere else I traveled, Bermuda, Bahamas, Canada, Australia Philippines, they speak English so I didn't have to learn anything else. I do know a few words in Tagalog though but I didn't use them in the Philippines.