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7

LOL! If you want immersion in Chinese culture then Johor Bahru and Penang are very good choices. You named the 2 most Chinese town of Malaysia. Go to the east coast instead. To Kota Bahru then slowly travel south. Unfortunately, I think it is the rainy season now. You can also stay in KL but move to Kampung Bahru (not far from the Petronas tower). You can ...


0

I was last in Catalonia shortly after Franco's death, and at that time, people were frankly so stunned to hear an American (USA, that is) tourist conversant in Spanish I can't imagine what would have happened if I tried Catalan. I learned "please" and "thank you", for fun. Of course, this was back when only a handful of signs had become bilingual, much less ...


2

I am Catalan. You can speak in Spanish or Catalan. No one will feel offended for it. We all speak both languages, and the fact that you are a foreigner will for sure easy out your attempts in any language. As for sympathy certainly trying to speak in Catalan will do the trick. We are not castilian, and do not let people mislead you into think is the same ...


3

I'm a regular visitor to Catalonia and have learned Catalan, but I can say that from my dealings with Catalan people (apart from the mass-tourism areas) they are friendly and tolerant and very happy to hear a foreigner making an effort, but if they see you are having trouble with the language they will automatically switch to Spanish, or English if they can. ...


2

As @JoErNanO said, I would learn both if possible. However, if your goal is to learn only few basic words like "thank you", "hello" and "goodbye", I would learn them in Catalan, since that shows that you learned them specially for that trip and people will be more thankful. That is specially true if you do a single day trip to a town or smaller city near ...


1

There are only some 7 million native Catalan speakers whereas Spanish is ranked second after Mandarin in number of native speakers 470 millions. Investment in learning some Castilian is not only more likely to yield a better long-term return (through application outside Barcelona) but is much more likely to be understood by a native Catalan speaker than vice ...


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 ...


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 ...


2

For years we had a house in Catalunia. Nobody took insult in being addressed in English with some attempts at Spanish. While further south than Barcelona, I seriously doubt the situation there is any different. Just expect a lot of especially local political entities and companies to advertise in Catalan, so being able to read a few words of it (and it's ...


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


1

I think that "I don't speak this language well" is a phrase worth learning. That way you at least engage the person in their native language but state your preference. For your Korean example it would be: "Han-gu-geo-rul chael mo-te-yo"


8

I think it's actually important to specify the place instead of making the question generic, because it does matter. For example: Montreal is a locale where most people are bilingual with French and English. It's perfectly acceptable to reply "hello" when greeted "bonjour", and in fact, on the street you're better off just opening your mouth and speaking ...


4

It appears your situation is somewhat specific to a metropolitan area of South Korea. This country can be tricky in some cases, especially if your appearance is Asian but clearly not of Korean stock. As someone who was once compelled to study several languages and then lost speaking fluency in many but somehow retained literacy (so I get sent to X, Y and Z ...


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 ...


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 ...



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