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

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19
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
21
votes
6answers
4k views

How to overcome the language barrier when visiting France and Spain?

I may be traveling to France and Spain for business purposes, and I'm likely to mix some pleasure with that business trip. I do not expect many language issues during the business conversations. ...
3
votes
4answers
4k 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, ...
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

How to find “night and day” decongestant for a head cold when there's a language barrier?

So I've been in Tbilisi, Georgia for almost a week and the temperature is now dropping below zero Celsius sometimes and I have the dubious honour of being the first in my hostel to contract a head ...
3
votes
1answer
487 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
338 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
660 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 ...
16
votes
8answers
12k 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 ...
77
votes
9answers
4k views

How do you avoid “tourist traps” when traveling to a country where you do not speak the language?

Too many easily accessible restaurants and attractions cater heavily to tourists, and, in doing so, create an environment that they feel will be comfortable to people from other cultures. Spending ...
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
658 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
404 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
535 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 ...
20
votes
11answers
5k views

Can you really get around everywhere with only speaking English?

I had a discussion with a friend on how many language one should learn to be able to be understood worldwide? My estimate would be with around 4-5 languages, but this is a gut feeling which I cannot ...
4
votes
4answers
2k 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
112 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
872 views

Picture cards for common tourist needs to avoid the language barrier?

I will be traveling around several countries (in southeastern europe) later this year. And I'm worried about the language barrier. It occured to me, that it would be cool if I had a collection of ...
-2
votes
1answer
129 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
612 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 ...
13
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). ...
4
votes
3answers
387 views

Does knowing Japanese help in neighbouring countries?

I know a bit of Japanese, but don't know any other Asian languages. Does knowing Japanese help in neighbouring countries such as South Korea and Taiwan? Am I likely to encounter people who are ...
27
votes
4answers
37k views

Can we get by as English speakers visiting Iceland?

We're going to Iceland for the first time in September. Will we be able to get around ok just speaking English, or should we try to learn some rudimentary Icelandic? And is that even what their ...
6
votes
2answers
257 views

What technique do you use to remember city names in foreign languages?

When I try to remember where I traveled or where I have to go to catch a bus, train or something else, I always have great difficulties to remember city names if they are in a foreign language. The ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I translate medicines?

I know that if I have stomach issues I can take an Enterogermina or an Imodium if things get severe. I know that if I have throat ache, I can take a Benagol. I know that if I have a strong headache a ...