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

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60
votes
13answers
2k 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 ...
35
votes
5answers
3k views

Will I be able to travel around India speaking only English?

I am to travel around some Indian cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and others. Will I have trouble speaking only English, or should I learn some phrases in Hindi?
23
votes
7answers
6k views

If I travel to Paris, can I get by with just English?

If I plan on visiting Paris, but not really the rest of France, is it still important for me to learn at least enough French to get by? Are people in Paris going to be willing to speak English if they ...
22
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
20
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 ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

What language to use in Georgia (the country)? Is English widely spoken?

I don't speak Georgian. I have been told not to use the little Russian that I know because it might be problematic considering the edgy relationship with Russia. My question is which language should I ...
17
votes
6answers
2k 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. ...
16
votes
11answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

How much Russian do I need to know for travelling within Russia?

Or alternatively - how well-spoken (and widely-spoken) is English? I intend to visit St. Petersburg, Moscow, Irkutsk and Vladivostok. I feel like I might have the most troubles in the latter two ...
13
votes
4answers
2k 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? ...
13
votes
4answers
621 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
316 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" ...
10
votes
4answers
478 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
734 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). ...
10
votes
2answers
180 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?
10
votes
3answers
217 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Can Westerners use the free Wi-Fi at Guangzhou international airport?

My route home at the end of my trip will have me on a 4-hour connection at Guangzhou airport in China. I've read online that it's an unpleasant airport but it would be more bearable if I knew I would ...
10
votes
1answer
475 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
240 views

How many accommodation types are recognized in German?

Next to the usual hotel aggregators like booking.com, expedia, etc I am using Google Maps to search for accommodation. It really works well if you search for accommodation in the local language. For ...
7
votes
1answer
143 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
12k views

What is the difference between “Gazole” and “Diesel” in France

I am driving a car with a Diesel engine. I always thought that "Gazole" and "Diesel" were synonymous to each other, only to drive in a gas station which mentioned both terms, as in "Gazole" and ...
7
votes
1answer
370 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
3k 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
5answers
351 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What foreign language is the most common in Serbia?

What foreign language is the most common in Serbia? In which language have I the most chances to communicate with locals (in shops, railway stations, hostels etc.) if I don't know Serbian?
6
votes
2answers
177 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
331 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
407 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
287 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
198 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
203 views

Shared bathrooms: How to indicate that it wasn't me who has muddied the toilet? [closed]

While traveling you have to share a lot of bathrooms with other people, e.g. in the train, the plane or in hostels. Very often these toilets are very dirty. Now sometimes, I have to use them ...
4
votes
4answers
218 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
64 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
22 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
80 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?
-2
votes
1answer
78 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 ...