Use this tag when your question involves traveling where you know little to nothing of the local language.

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13
votes
3answers
666 views

If I want to travel to Brazil, can I get by with English?

I do not speak Portuguese, and only enough Spanish not to starve. English is my second language, but my first, Dutch, will not be very useful. Will people in Brazil be able to communicate with me? I ...
13
votes
4answers
284 views

Is it mandatory to have a language speaker of both inbound and outbound countries' languages onboard flights?

I always wondered, is it a must for airlines to have at least one cabin crew member who is able to speak the language of the inbound and outbound countries? I am asking this because I am thinking in ...
72
votes
4answers
10k views

What is a polite way to tell a Scottish person that I am struggling to understand his/her accent?

I am flying to Glasgow tomorrow. English isn't my mother tongue. In spite of living in London for the last 10 years, I still struggle with understanding different accents. My main concern about the ...
6
votes
1answer
91 views

Traveling in South Korea's country side as an English speaker

I plan to travel in South Korea's country side by car in May and June. I only speak English: will language be an issue when booking hotel (I'll probably only book a few days ahead of time), buying ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

How to find jobs on a working holiday in Québec (Montréal) with mediocre French skills

Background: I have recently graduated in Germany with a PhD in political science and decided to move to Montréal for 10 months or so, to work and travel in and around the region. (I have a one-year ...
1
vote
2answers
165 views

In Japan, is English more likely to be understood and spoken by young people than old people? [closed]

Some tourist guides suggest that young people may be more suitable than older people for communicating in English, such as Wikivoyage's section on communicating in Japan. While I understand the ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

What is the Tanger GR bus terminal destination?

I would like to check buses from Tanger to Tetouan but I have one problem. I can't figure out whether it is Tanger MED or Tanger. The page I've found it is in French. Here is the page: ...
2
votes
3answers
71 views

Apps to call cabs/taxis in Germany for non-German speakers

I will be travelling to Germany next week. I don't speak german, only portuguese and english. Are there mobile apps for me to call taxis in Germany (Frankfurt) in English, such as 99 and easy taxi? ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Understanding Greek road signs

I will shortly be driving around Greece. I do not know Greek, but I would like to learn the Greek alphabet, so that I can recognise road signs for town/city names, so that if there is a sign that is ...
14
votes
1answer
221 views

Owl Cafe in Tokyo where English is spoken?

I'm visiting Tokyo in late September and really want to visit an owl cafe. I've heard that it is best to go with someone who speaks Japanese as they usually give instructions etc only in Japanese. Are ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

English in Hong Kong

I might be going to a 3 week camp (it's not really a camp, it's more of an academic program) in Hong Kong. How many people (a lot, a few, only certain occupations, etc.) speak English, and do they ...
3
votes
2answers
175 views

Learning Russian versus Mongolian for visiting Mongolia

I'm planning on visiting Mongolia. I'll probably hire a tour guide for the trip, not only because of the language barrier but also so I'm not travelling solo, and so I can gain local knowledge. What ...
30
votes
8answers
4k views

Communicating in Tokyo without Japanese

I'm going to Japan soon. (Like my previous question.) And I'm going to Tokyo. I'm not at all good at communicating in Japanese. A beginner, not even able to use it for basic purpose. How can I ...
5
votes
2answers
112 views

Images of Chinese logograms (characters) for traveler

Planing trip to China in some remote areas. I think it would be useful to have some pictures in my phone with most useful words like "eat","bus","hotel" in Chinese logograms. If somebody has done this ...
5
votes
2answers
428 views

When traveling to Japan, which problems can one encounter for not speaking any Japanese when it comes to reaching all major tourist attractions?

I ask this because I need to decide whether to hire a circuit with a guide or not. I prefer to travel by myself, but I'm not sure if it will be too difficult to move around and get to visit the major ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How easy/hard is it to backpack to Taiwan knowing only English?

My main concern would be the language barrier. I'm quite aware through some of my Taiwanese friends in Taiwan, English is not widely spoken. What should I do to prepare myself for a future Taiwan ...
6
votes
3answers
632 views

How do non-English speakers navigate through international airports (specific question about Amsterdam)

A relative will visit me in Amsterdam. She does not speak English or any other major language, nor has much experience with air travel. How do people in similar situations find their way? She will ...
41
votes
6answers
7k views

What's the best way to signal that I'd prefer to be served in English?

I'm traveling in an area where bilingualism - specifically, English - is extremely common. As in, I'm yet to meet someone who doesn't speak pretty good English in the two months I've spent here ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Getting around to transfer in huge airports if you don't know English [duplicate]

How can someone who doesn't know any international language get around in huge airports, if they need to transfer? I'm asking this because my mother-in-law wants to travel half the world to visit us, ...
8
votes
7answers
840 views

Which languages to brush up on for Ukraine trip?

I am traveling from the US, and the only language I really know is American English. I will be visiting cities in various districts of Ukraine: Kiev, Chornobyl, Cherkassy, Kherson, etc. I will be ...
10
votes
3answers
409 views

Languages in Bulgaria? [closed]

There is a realistic chance that I will be working in Sofia for a year or more soon. I care quite a lot about being able to communicate with local people wherever I am travelling, so I would like to ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

“Speaking” Korean without really speaking Korean, as a tourist in South Korea

I'm thinking of visiting South Korea as a tourist, and I'm wondering if some preparations short of a full on study of the language will help. In particular, I'm wondering about learning Hangul, and ...
3
votes
1answer
477 views

Dealing with conflicting announcements in multiple languages?

On Friday, while the Eurostar I was on was pulling into Calais Fréthun station, the train manager announced in French that we were arriving into Calais, then in English that we were arriving into ...
13
votes
2answers
639 views

Transit through Beijing - Languages?

My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Thailand this winter (from the UK), and the cheapest option appears to be Air China, with a 6-hour layover in Beijing (PEK). Given that neither of us can ...
15
votes
8answers
8k views

Languages spoken in the Netherlands

I'm preparing a trip to Amsterdam. I know that the official language is Dutch but I have read that 90% of population speak English. So, Is it enough to speak English or should I learn some basic ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Dealing with nodding or shaking of head confusion

I have recently discovered the hard way that nodding of the head for yes, shaking of the head for no is not quite as universal as I had originally thought. Sometimes, it seems, that shaking the head ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Why is it difficult/how to make it easier for Americans to understand Australian accents?

In previous travels to the US I had slight communication issues with people on the East Coast of US (New York, Chicago) compared to the West Coast of US (LA, SF, Las Vegas, Portland). It seems to me ...
4
votes
3answers
316 views

Can I buy pre-paid data plan in France for 4 weeks, without speaking French?

I am going to France (with a car) for just over 3 weeks. Is it possible to buy a pre-paid SIM card with Internet (around 500MB - 1GB), so I can use it with my phone? An important complication is that ...
6
votes
3answers
289 views

Is it practical to travel in Argentina with limited knowledge of Spanish?

I am planning to travel for 3 weeks around Argentina, I plan to arrive and depart from Buenos Aires. I am not booking all my accommodation/travel ahead of time, as some of the distances are so vast, I ...
16
votes
4answers
5k views

Language problems at the airport?

I have a family member who speaks Romanian but not English, French or any other world language. If she flies alone, how can she pass through the control points (immigration, customs) at the airport? ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a practical point in learning foreign words while travelling?

It is frequently advised for travelers to learn the basic vocabulary in whatever is the local language in the country they're visiting. The reasons usually given are: It can help in situations where ...
6
votes
2answers
614 views

What dialect of Spanish do the locals speak in Panama City?

Do the locals speak standard Spanish or some sort of dialect? To get around Panama City what language does need to know? Is English popular or is knowing Spanish vital?
14
votes
2answers
558 views

Holidays in Brazil without Portuguese

I consider a holiday in Brazil, especially Florianópolis. But I can't speak any Portuguese. Can I get around there with English and a little Spanish?
9
votes
1answer
376 views

Going to gyms in Japan

I'm planning a trip to Japan and was wanting to do a Gold's Gym there and am curious how it'd compare to a gym in the USA. So with gyms in the USA I'll often go there with a drawstring backpack with ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Traveling to Chile without knowing Spanish?

We are going to Chile in November and are planning on doing the Isla Navarino Dientees circuit trek. We have booked our DAP flight to Puerto Williams and return cruise from Puerto Williams to Punta ...
9
votes
4answers
584 views

Quebec, responding to French in English: faux pas? [duplicate]

I'm currently visiting Montreal. In almost every store or restaurant I go to, I'm greeted with "bonjour!" I know just a little French and I could probably get by with a simple transaction, but then I ...
12
votes
3answers
484 views

“Safe” typical dishes to order away from the tourist trail in Thailand when English is not supported?

I've found now that away from tourist areas, English is rare in Thailand both spoken and on menus. I've also found that some of the dishes we in the west think of as typical for Thailand don't seem ...
15
votes
2answers
899 views

How to ask drivers not to take me to the bus station when hitchhiking in Thailand?

I'm hitchhiking around the world again and have hit a snag in Thailand. In Malaysia people generally understand a bit of English and generally "get" the idea of hitchhiking. A bit further north over ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

How useful/important is French in Montreal?

I'm going to be in Montreal for several weeks-months for work this fall. I don't speak a word of French. It's my understanding that Montreal is the primary anglophone enclave for Quebec and that ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Language to communicate in tourist places in Bratislava? English is sufficient?

Is English sufficient to communicate in tourist places in Bratislava (musea, buying tickets, restaurants, receptions in hostels)? Should I expect that English would be generally understood in that ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Would I be able to communicate in Vienna in German?

I'm planning a trip to Vienna. Since I know German quite well, I didn't foresee any problems... but after reading Wikipedia articles about dialects in Austria, especially about Bairisch dialect, I'm a ...
4
votes
1answer
103 views

English medical records in a Spanish-speaking country?

I'm travelling to Uruguay - the main language is Spanish. I'm planning on taking a physical copy of my medical records with me, in the event of an emergency. (These records can be obtained through my ...
36
votes
4answers
5k views

How do you know if a Japanese person means no when they say yes?

I have come across a few situations when a Japanese person will extend themselves beyond what they probably should to help people. I am often worried when asking them to do something that they will ...
-2
votes
1answer
125 views

Most frequent words required while foreign travel [closed]

Which are most important words required while visiting countries having a different language understood by you? How do you manage a situation where you need to explain other person not understanding ...
16
votes
1answer
12k views

How to know “your number” for a machine haircut in a foreign country?

When traveling for an extensive period of time, you may need to get a haircut in a country where you do not speak the language. I usually get a machine haircut and just saying or showing the number ...
6
votes
2answers
582 views

Overcoming the language barrier while experiencing traditional Japanese culture

I'd like to see live performance of traditional Japanese culture. For example, watching noh theatre or bunraku, as opposed to merely seeing artworks or pottery. Unfortunately, my Japanese is fairly ...
6
votes
5answers
579 views

Where in the world knowing Russian and English will not be enough? [closed]

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 ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

Will I be understood in all Portuguese-speaking countries, if I learn Portuguese in Portugal?

I really like the Portuguese language, but if I want to be understood in all Portuguese speaking countries (e.g. Brazil, Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique), would it be enough to speak "Portuguese" ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

What is more widely spoken in the Baltic countries: Russian, Ukrainian, or English?

Wikipedia says that about a quarter of total population in Estonia, Latvia are Slavonic people like Russians, Ukrainians etc., and I wonder if Russian is well-understood and how natives treat tourists ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

How to “speak” Russian, if you don't speak Russian?

I saw this really amazing film, called Chapiteau show. It is one of those films, after which, you want to go there. Although it is a Russian film, imdb shows that it is filmed in the Crimea (Ukraine). ...