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61

Generally most people respond well when you make an effort, even if you can't speak their language fully. Responding to "Hola" (Spanish for hello) with "Hola", saying "dankie" (Afrikaans for thanks), or whatever - little words. They'll quickly realise you can't speak their language fully, but appreciate the effort. Usually. However, it's those tourists that ...


56

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 ...


33

Assuming we're a) choosing countries at random, regardless of size, population or popularity with tourists, b) choosing languages that let us communicate where English doesn't, and c) ignoring how hard it is to learn the language, I'd probably go with French and Arabic, although Spanish comes close too. As an official language of 29 countries, plus a whole ...


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, ...


24

I think it means "days". It's just a name of the field "days after entry" on chinese language. "Duration of each stay 090 days"


20

That's a lot of questions, son, but I'll give you a general rundown based on my experience. English signage in the major cities is sufficient for getting around, eg. the Seoul Metro and Korea Rail have all major signs and announcements in English (and Japanese and Chinese!), so you won't need hangul for a visit of a few days. Major tourist attractions ...


20

This is much the same as has already been written by Mark Mayo but I have heard some arguments in favour of duplication of answers (basically that one answer may reinforce the other). I think inability to speak the local language is nothing to be embarrassed about. There are well over 100 “major” ones and nobody speaks all of these. Staying away until you ...


18

Yiddish is only spoken in very specific neighborhoods by very specific people. Usually you would identify them by being rather old (middle-aged+) and very religious (you can see by their clothing). You would probably encounter them in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak. Some younger members of the certain Ashkenazi religious communities speak Yiddish, as well as some ...


18

In general people speak both languages. And because they can tell you are a tourist from the way you breathe :) they will not expect you to speak Spanish, nor Catalan. Having said this, you should always learn a few common words in the local language, such as greetings and please/thank you, as it shows you are making an effort. You said you are already ...


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

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 ...


15

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 ...


15

"天" means "days". You might be confused by the "after entry" part and thought why "天" is translated into "days after entry". This is because of Chinese word order. In English, "after entry" is placed at the end of the sentence, after the number 090; while in Chinese, it ("入境后") is placed at the beginning.


14

I was in Southern India earlier this year and noticed many Indians speaking English with each other. This is because they simply don't speak each others native language. I don't think people in the south don't want to speak in Hindi, they simply can't. That's why English is so important, because most people speak better English than any second Indian ...


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 ...


11

As a general rule when travelling, I've always been surprised by how helpful pharmacists are. They often speak quite a bit of English In many countries they have the authority to provide certain prescription drugs otherwise available only from doctors They often are surprisingly good at telling you what the local equivalent is for an American medication, ...


11

While some people have mentioned that you sometimes get a translation in English on signs, I've found that especially in ex-Soviet states, this often isn't the case. That doesn't mean you can't get by. Sometimes a picture with the words is worth a thousand words: (landmine warning on the Tajikistan border with Afghanistan)


11

The "North vs South" divide exists. South Indians feel North Indians are loud, boorish, and have a superiority complex, and do not attempt to learn or respect local culture, language and such. North Indians feel South Indians are unfriendly, are sambar-rasam people. Both parties have some pre-conceived notions. In the end it depends on you, and the ...


10

You said EVERYWHERE so the answer is no. Try getting around in rural Thailand with just English. I would say there's a lot of places you can't get by with just English. But within Thailand, only Bangkok and the big tourist destinations are the only places English will get you by. Even in Chiangmai, there will be times when you will need a translator or ...


10

You can't really count on Harbor Masters knowing English although International Maritime Organization mandates at the very least a basic proficiency in English and knowledge of Standard Marine Navigational Vocabulary for all people responsible for communicating to ships at sea or ports. In addition to this I have found Standard Marine Communication Phrases ...


10

The native language in Bali is bahasa Bali (Balinese). The official language in Indonesia is bahasa Indonesia (not Malay as you said, due to political reasons the two languages have separated). Anyway, Bahasa Indonesia is used by all people for education, government and almost everything else in Indonesia. You definitely should choose Bahasa Indonesia since ...


10

This is not a rare issue or something that immigration officers do not know how to deal with. It is very common for all different employees in airports to face this especially the immigration/customs people. I have also noticed that in many countries the immigration/customs employees are from different ethnicities who do speak their original languages. So ...


10

It is preceded by (English and Chinese) text that says "Length of stay." And then the number 90. So the whole message reads: Length of stay: 90 DAYs, with 天 meaning "days." That's typical for a visa.


10

Traditionally, one would just point and shout their requests in English... As a nation, it's served us well for at least 600 years. The more advanced may wish to transpose a few words into the local language, numbers, 'please' and 'thank you' being the most common For example in French: UNE OF THOSE SIH VOOO PLAY


9

English is a global language, and it is definitely the most widely used language, but to say that knowing will get around everywhere without a problem is entirely wrong. Hotels will generally have someone who speaks English. However, government officials (police, conductors, even customs and those who sell train tickets, aren't as likely. I've been stopped ...


9

I think jpatokal gave excellent advice - considering how much you asked! That's a lot of motivation for a mere tourist! May I add (I live in Korea): When you try to communicate in English, be patient: they may understand you, but they will need their time to respond to you if they are not very fluent. Have a pen and paper ready, or type on your ...


9

Wikitravel has a section on this. Essentially you'll want to learn the script - even if you can't speak it. It at least helps you say words, or if someone says to try the cheese and tells you the word is 'Kashkaval', at least when you see the script saying 'Кашкавал' you'll be able to figure it out, even if slowly. It's immensely useful for street signs ...


9

I live in Terrassa, Catalunya, and I was born in Barcelona. While the political situation might be "tense" I would not worry about it. For those who don't know what's going on, next Sunday a "participation process" is likely to ask catalans whether they want independence from Spain. Spain wants to block this process after blocking attempts for a referendum ...


8

First of all, let's talk about the place. I learned about the Welsh Settlements there while I was in Puerto Madryn, in Patagonia, Argentina. This is where they first landed, and indeed along the shorefront some of the ruins of their first dug-out homes still exist. It must have been tough. Fortunately they expanded, and the town of Gaiman is the Welsh ...


8

Is this what you are looking for? Point it: Traveller's Language Kit - The Original Picture Dictionary (Amazon link) There are a couple of other publications that offer the same thing, but this is the one I've seen most frequently.



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