Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

55

Absolutely. While you may sometimes have time to look things up, often you won't. I have absent-mindedly arrived overseas without learning "please" and "thank you", and noticed upon fixing that, and using them as appropriate, that everyone was instantly nicer to me, both strangers and the people I was there to interact with. It makes a difference. I ...


40

I have backpacked around a fair bit in India - I grew up there, by the way - and yet I still mostly had to use English to get myself understood when I was visiting other states. India has 22 official languages, so the curious thing is even for Indians it is often English that is the binding thread - the one language that I could communicate in any part of ...


37

Well, if you want to know something about culture of other country, why not to try solving general problems in that country? For example: Try to buy food in a supermarket. Or even in a small shop near the center. Try to go and use a barber. Try to find a battery for your cell-phone Try to ask people where is the best cafe they know (this is a fantastic ...


30

Yes, most Icelandic people speak very good English, you will be fine. Their language is indeed called Icelandic, and is fascinating in regards to its history. From wikipedia: The oldest preserved texts in Icelandic were written around 1100AD. The majority of these texts are poems or laws, preserved orally for generations before being written down. The ...


30

While saying "No" in Asia is generally different from other countries in western Europe, I made the experience that - depending on how well you know people and in which environment you are - it is much more difficult to find out what the actual situation is in Japan than let's say in China, Singapore etc. I experienced the biggest differences to the Japanese ...


26

I never found the stereotypical rude Parisian I was warned about. Several people went far out of their way to help me in ways I wouldn't expect in my own city. I did not find a great number of people outside the tourism industry in Paris that spoke English. I did always use the French words and phrases I knew "excusez moi", "salut", "merci", and if I could ...


26

This year I travelled from London to Mongolia overland. There was a period from leaving Saint Petersburg, Russia to reaching Khiva, Uzbekistan - where for 10 days, I did not hear any native English. Two people had broken English, that was it. So no, it will NOT get you by wherever you are in the world. However, you can still get by - with hand signals, ...


25

English works everywhere with people buying and selling things and in the hospitality and tourism busniness. Hindi does not work everywhere and seems to not even be respected in the parts of the country (ie most of India) where it is not the primary language. I found very few people helpful in trying to teach me basic Hindi phrases, the opposite that I ...


25

First, it's not a binary you're-in-the-tourist-zone-or-you're-not kind of thing. There's a spectrum. Second, often the "real" is only 20 feet from the "for the tourists". Something as simple as sitting down in a park and watching people go by can tell you a lot. I like to talk to the hotel clerks. On my most recent trip (to Venice), the woman who was at the ...


24

While this phenomenon exists, it's not as big a problem as you think, and it affects primarily relationships with people you already know. If you ask a complete stranger for directions, they will say "no" or direct you somewhere else if they can't help you, and if they go out of their way to help you they're doing it entirely voluntarily. Sure, you might ...


22

I am glad that the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide etc exist - for the average tourist to find good places. However those then inevitably become the very tourist traps they were intended to avoid. I prefer Wikitravel - it's up to date and because most use the books, the treats on that site are often less visited and still diamonds hidden in the rough. In ...


19

The answer is yes, but you will have to speak a bit slower to most Brazilians, since they are not so used to listening to Portuguese with "Portuguese accent". The other way around is easier because Portuguese people are used to listen to Brazilian accent in soap operas. In Angola, Mozambique, etc. differences also exist but the understanding might be a ...


19

I was in Montreal a few months ago, and I was worried about this. I tried my best to learn some French through podcasts (Coffee Break French - I really liked Coffee Break Spanish), but I still felt like I was floundering. Be aware though, that just 10 words can get you very far, if they're the right words. Hello, Goodbye, Please, Thank you, Yes, No, ...


17

I'd suggest a few things: Learn to how to say "Do you speak english?" - "Parlez-Vous Anglais?" and "¿Hablas inglés?" Learn some basic pronunciations in the two languages (they may have the same letters but they don't always sound the same!). Reading through a guide then listening to some examples online should help with this Bring a common phrase book, and ...


15

If you know Russian, use it. Despite the political situation, Georgians are smart and open minded. They may not like the Russian government but they love Russian people and they love the Russian language. I'm pretty convinced after seven months in Georgia that people learn Russian there for just the same reason foreigners everywhere learn English: it's cool ...


15

You can say. ผมไม่อยากไปที่ท่ารถ. ผมอยากไป .(fill in your destination). ช่วยพาไปหน่อยได้มั๊ยครับ. ผมเป็นนักเดินทาง. ขอบคุณครับ. It means: I don't want to go to the bus station. I want to go to ..., please can you take me there. I'm a traveller. Thank you. Here's how you'd say it: Pom mai yak pai tee ta rod. Pom yak pai tee .(fill in your ...


15

First, your fears are a little overblown. Thai cuisine isn't quite as "freaky" as, say, some parts of China and you're unlikely to eat something exotic by accident. Although not eating any offal at all is going to be a little limiting... why not give it a shot and expand your horizons a bit? At any rate, I'd start with Wikivoyage's description of Thai ...


15

The solution to the language barrier problem may be much simpler then relying on the immigration to provide the interpreter for the native language of your family member. Given that he/she is coming from your native country it is much simpler to do one of the following: Find a person on the plane who speaks one of the major languages as well as the native ...


14

If you are planning on travelling to only places such as Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad - essentially the metros - English will not be a problem. There is no one language that really works in India. But in most urban areas such as the ones listed above, English will work without any problem. At most "touristy" places too, you are very likely ...


14

I think it's relatively easy to find en English-speaker in France or in Spain. According to this table, 36% and 27% speaks English. It seems to me sometimes they just don't like to use English because they find it disrespectful that you don't use their language. According to my experience if you learn a few phrases and start the conversation using French or ...


14

In my experience, the biggest factor in overcoming limitations while traveling is time. The longer you are there, the more chance you will have to filter out that which is designed to catch your eye when making snap decisions on how to use your time. If you want a more genuine, in-depth experience, consider staying for longer. If you can find volunteer work ...


14

You need a bit more information. Are you going with a tour or solo? I went solo and I don't really know any Russian aside form what I picked up while there. I stayed on the Europe side of the Urals, and bounced between hostels. It is definitely more difficult to go solo, but with some pedimiming and patience, it is easy enough. Contrary to a lot of ...


14

I've been to Ukraine, although only Kiev and Chernobyl (and the train from and to Rzezow, Poland). My Russian at the time was very limited. But for me the most important step was learning to read Cyrillic. Just being able to sound out letters suddenly makes train stations, street signs and the like manageable. I still don't speak Russian - aside from a ...


14

It is important to learn some words when traveling so you can be polite and avoid mistakes. My favorites are, in order of importance:- No - so you know what not to do, Thank you - polite people get goodwill, You are welcome - more goodwill, Where is the toilet? - necessity, Hello, my name is... - you are there for adventure; have one, What does this ...


14

Since she'll be traveling between two EU member countries (Romania and France), the formalities will be minimal. Assuming that she has Romanian citizenship, she has the right to travel freely inside the EU. She needs to have a valid passport or identity card. Unless something really unusual happens (e.g. her papers are damaged, her name matches that of a ...


13

You would be surprised how many parisians speak English (and German btw). When I lived in Paris for two years, I volunteered to help in teaching English. Often I noticed that the level of English understanding was quite well. In my opinion, the stereotype of "parisian arrogance", should actually be called insecurity on their proficiency in English. Like ...


12

You cannot go to every shop as a visitor without getting a membership. check the website for the location where you want to go and look if the have a visitor (ビジター) package. Depending on the location, they might require you to speak Japanese. Since Gym facilities have a legal responsibility towards your health, they have to make sure that they explain ...


12

I spent a few months in Brazil, I didn't speak any Portuguese and my Spanish is not that good either. So it didn't help me understanding people, but it helped a little reading signs, and they could almost always understand my basic Spanish. Can I get around there with English and a little Spanish? It really depends on where you are going and how deep you ...


11

I speak enough French to be able to read road signs, order food, and buy things. I can read almost anything and figure it out, given a little time. (I'm Canadian.) In Paris, the street vendors who are all around the Eiffel Tower accosted us every time we went by. Umbrellas, mini towers etc etc. "Non, merci" I said every time. They would melt away and leave ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible