Take the 2-minute tour ×
Travel Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for road warriors and seasoned travelers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I speak Russian and English. Will those 2 languages be sufficient to travel anywhere in the world as a tourist? Or there are some regions where it wouldn't be enough?

By sufficient, I mean, I would be able to buy tickets, book a room in hotel, order taxi, use a restaurant etc.

share|improve this question
3  
In major parts of the world –  PERSONA NON GRATA Mar 3 '13 at 21:36
    
possible duplicate of How to "speak" Russian, if you don't speak Russian? –  user1712 Mar 3 '13 at 23:24
6  
@HaLaBi I think this is opposite of that. –  Karlson Mar 3 '13 at 23:28
    
@Karlson you are right, wasn't paying enough attention. my bad. –  user1712 Mar 3 '13 at 23:33
add comment

closed as not constructive by Marcel C., RoflcoptrException, HaLaBi, Kate Gregory, choster Mar 4 '13 at 3:06

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

5 Answers

  1. In the central and western Africa. People beside of their own African languages know French and Arabic in most African countries but they do not know English or Russian.

  2. Small cities or rural areas of most countries around the world that they do not speak English or Russian and only know their own mother tongue. You can find them from India, Turkey, Iran and China to South America even in Europe in France, Italy, Germany or Spain!

I think more than Russian it is better to learn Spanish and French. Nowadays knowing Mandarin can help a lot too!

share|improve this answer
add comment

It'd be easier to just say where you can get by.

List of English speaking countries in order of % of English speakers.

A similar list for Russian.

Serbian and Polish and Ukrainian are very close to Russian so replace the Russian in the previous link with Polish and Serbian and Ukrainian.

share|improve this answer
2  
Polish and Russian... My friend was able to communicate with fisherman in Georgia, and if they didn't understand a word, they were looking for synonyms. Normally 1 of 3 (including archaic words) was similar. So if you are really fluent Russian speaker, have a lot of time and patience, you can try... –  Łukasz 웃 L ツ Jul 31 '13 at 18:18
add comment

The former satellite states of USSR. While old people still speak Russian there due to enforced "friendship" with the USSR, many people are now much more hostile because of the tainted past of oppression.

While driving in the rural parts of Poland, I needed extensively my word list of polish phrases. Forget English and Russian there, I was even more successful with native German. Young people in the cities are eager to learn English (searching jobs in Western Europe), but in the more remote parts Polish is the only option. I suspect it is the same in Czech Rep. and Hungary, it would be fine if someone can confirm this.

share|improve this answer
1  
Poland is a specific case. It's a big (40 mln) country, with almost no national minorities (~1%) or immigration, big internal work market, enormous number of literature, newspapers, TV stations and internet resources in Polish. Most people can avoid any contact with foreign languages without any visible disadvantage. –  Łukasz 웃 L ツ Jul 31 '13 at 18:30
add comment

I would say China other than Beijing and Shanghai. But even in big cities there are parts where people don't even understand "yes" or "no" Also, recently I had some troubles in Spain as well. So, I guess if you can also learn Chinese and Spanish then you could be anywhere in the world.

share|improve this answer
    
Your list isn't complete but the idea is--in China English is basically limited to those who deal with tourists and those with good educations--not the sort of person a tourist will usually be dealing with. We have run into those with fairly good English a few times in areas that don't attract foreign tourists but these have been native tourists with 4-year degrees or higher, not people you would be dealing with. –  Loren Pechtel Mar 4 '13 at 4:50
add comment

For example South America. In my experience, English knowledge was generally poor. You would need to know at least basic Spanish.

It would be easier to say, where English and Russian would be enough. I expect, that Russian would be useful only in former USSR and maybe some Eastern European countries. In Western Europe should be relatively easy to find someone who speaks English. Then there are all English-speaking countries and their former colonies.

My bet is that anywhere else, than I mentioned above, only those two languages might not be enough.

share|improve this answer
2  
I expect, that Russian would be useful only in former USSR and maybe some Eastern European countries - And that would be a wrong assumption. In Israel where 20+% of the population are immigrants from the former USSR Russian is very common. In a lot of tourist places in Europe menus and tours in Russian are very common. Though speaking of the language is not common place but not really hard to find. –  Karlson Mar 3 '13 at 23:35
2  
"In Western Europe should be relatively easy to find someone who speaks English" Impossible in Spain, hard in France and Italy. –  vartec Mar 3 '13 at 23:41
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.