Questions tagged [language-barrier]

For questions concerning little or no knowledge of the local language.

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8
votes
2answers
186 views

Understanding Portugal addresses

Next week I'll have to visit someone in Porto and hand him an iPhone 11 which is a gift from his father. He is a visitor to Portugal himself. He provided me with a very unusual address. Rua Justino ...
13
votes
6answers
4k views

Going to France with limited French for a day

I am going to France (Toulouse) for a day in October. I will be landing at Toulouse–Blagnac Airport. (TLS). I would like to travel and look around the city. I have a limited knowledge of French from ...
59
votes
9answers
7k views

What exactly is a marshrutka (маршрутка)?

Hеllo аll, Recently I was in Nizhny Novgorod (Нижний Новгород). I spoke with some Russians and they told me that there are two types of buses in Nizhny Novgorod - "normal buses" and marshrutky (...
4
votes
1answer
91 views

Are car rental contracts provided in English?

Renting a car we need to sign a rental contract. If I rent a car in non-English speaking countries (Spain, Portugal) do the international rental companies like Avis, Hertz, Europcar provide an English ...
46
votes
11answers
11k views

How should I ask for a “pint” in countries that use metric?

This is perhaps a silly question, but I've found that when I've been abroad (and let's be realistic, this probably applies to every country but the US and the UK), I often want a drink from a pub or ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

Tourists to UK from India only speak Hindi, will that be a problem with immigration?

A couple of my relatives are going to UK for vacation, but they aren't fluent in English. They can understand English but can't speak it. They are going with a group in which people are fluent in ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

visiting mom from Romania to Canada

Anybody from Canada here? My mom ( 90 years old) wants to visit us in Canada, the only problem is that she does not speak any other languages except Romanian. Do they have translators at the airport? ...
3
votes
3answers
174 views

Attending a conference in Beijing with special dietary needs

There will be a three week international physics conference (taks in English) in Beijing that I might want to attend. Unfortately I'm a picky eater, being a vegetarian with a nut, peanut and raw soy ...
5
votes
1answer
156 views

Are the Finnish and Udmurt languages mutually intelligible?

As I know there is the one common language group, Finno-Ugrian, but I'm not sure if that means it is possible to go to Finland and speak to Finnish speakers with my Udmurt language knowledge.
20
votes
9answers
7k views

How to solve the language problem in Ankara, Turkey?

I will start studying my Master at Ankara, Turkey soon. I don't know the language and I receive strange behaviors when asking help in English: For example, I start with "Merhaba" ("Hello" in ...
18
votes
3answers
526 views

Using Modern Standard Arabic in Arabic-speaking countries

There are a lot of Arabic-speaking countries each with its own variety of an Arabic dialect with a Modern Standard Arabic (MSA or "Fusha") being the language of the media and official speech, and ...
5
votes
2answers
189 views

Are there immigration officers who speak Bahasa Indonesia in Kaohsiung, Taiwan airport?

Does anyone have experience with this? From what I found on the internet so far, and from my experience in Taoyuan airport, it seems like you need to speak Chinese or English to make it through ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

Should I start conversations in Icelandic while travelling there? [closed]

I recently got back from another country and I had been learning that country's language for several years previously. That was the first international destination I had ever been to, but I plan to ...
29
votes
8answers
9k views

Language used at passport control in Frankfurt international airport

I will travel soon to Germany to attend a workshop at a university in Würzburg. The workshop is taught entirely in English. This is my first visit to Germany and I speak very little German. I was ...
59
votes
9answers
19k views

Is it rude to speak Swedish in Norway?

I speak Swedish quite well, but my active Norwegian is very basic, although I can understand most of it if I concentrate. I'm aware Norwegians can usually/always understand Swedish. I'm told ...
5
votes
0answers
143 views

Do speakers of less-common languages find it harder to understand foreigners? [closed]

I, as a native speaker of English, am quite familiar with the pronunciation quirks of people of many different nationalities when they speak English. I have heard in passing people from probably half ...
0
votes
1answer
128 views

What languages to get by with in most of the world? [duplicate]

When traveling it is a great experience to talk to locals and make friends. Sometimes also emergencies and unforeseen situations require one to ask for help and seek assistance. In most cases of ...
5
votes
1answer
91 views

Portuguese phrasebook using IPA

I'm looking for a European Portuguese phrasebook that uses IPA. A major problem with most phrasebooks is that they attempt to describe pronunciation with some pseudo-phonetical approximation in a ...
1
vote
0answers
153 views

A really really shy question about language [closed]

In four months I'll set off for my first solo travel, at the age of 18. I'll stay in Bern for about 4 days, and of course I'm not enough wealthy for booking in a B&B or a hotel. My only option is ...
57
votes
7answers
7k views

How to use public transport in Russia with limited Russian knowledge

I will soon make a small trip around Russia and visit some larger cities in Western Russia. I will arrive by train and further plan on traveling by public transport. I have, however, no knowledge of ...
6
votes
2answers
667 views

How easy is it for an English only speaker to navigate Iceland [duplicate]

I am visiting Iceland in July and am interested in knowing how difficult it will be for an English and Spanish speaker to navigate the country?
24
votes
8answers
7k views

Friend is worried about language barrier at airport in France

A friend of mine is worried about missing her flight home when she travels to Paris. Her thinking is that there will be a language barrier and she will miss the announcements for her flight in French. ...
7
votes
2answers
360 views

How to request for translator at Australian Border Control in advance?

How can one request for a translator of a certain language to be present at Sydney Airport's border control, while travelling to Australia?
10
votes
2answers
420 views

How useful is Azerbaijani language in Iran?

I am planning to visit Iran soon and, unfortunately, I don't speak a word of Persian. As an Azerbaijani, I am curious whether I should try to speak to people there Azerbaijani or English, given the ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Acceptable in Bilbao: is it better to speak Spanish or English?

I will be visiting Bilbao next week and I would like to know whether I should speak English or Spanish. I don't know Basque. What is acceptable for tourists? And are there any "don'ts" I should be ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Is English spoken widely in Ireland?

My fiancée and I will be traveling to various places in Ireland for our honeymoon. Mostly mid-southern Ireland (Dublin, Galway, Limerick, etc.). Is there any reason to learn any basic phrases in ...
6
votes
2answers
303 views

Do I have to learn to read the greek alphabet if I go to Greece?

I am traveling to Rhodes and I guess that in touristic places I am not going to have to much problem but I was wondering if I'll have some trouble if I go to a restaurant or to visit some not that ...
22
votes
4answers
4k views

In which countries in Asia is Mandarin more understood than English?

I'm bilingual in English and Mandarin Chinese, and I'm planning to go backpacking around Asia (Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, etc). It seems that ...
5
votes
1answer
339 views

How likely is it to get a phone call on Didi (“Uber in China”)?

I travel for China now but it is sometimes hard to get a taxi here (I'm in Chongqing) since the driver can deny the route he doesn't like. So I would rather try Didi, a clone of Uber in China (I have ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

“Booking” nightclubs for solo tourists in their thirties

I've heard about booking nightclubs in Korea, where you can pay a waiter to bring over someone of the opposite sex. I'd like to try it, but I've got a couple of questions. I'll be 38 when I go over ...
5
votes
1answer
198 views

English phrases used in airports, to translate in the language of one's choice

Is there any website, with "sample" phrases in English, to translate that can be used in airports, to assist seniors who don't speak English?
5
votes
1answer
307 views

Why can't I skip on-plane announcements on the IFE, in langauges I don't speak?

Recently I was flying on a middle-eastern airline, which offered "gate-to-gate" in-flight entertainment (IFE). I started watching a film shortly after getting to my seat. Once everyone was on board, ...
7
votes
6answers
4k views

Getting around in Thailand without knowing Thai

I'm going to Thailand in a few days and am wondering if it is possible to get around without knowing any Thai. Maybe I was a bit naive not to think about this in advance, but do you have any tips, ...
38
votes
7answers
6k views

How to make sure that you get off at the correct bus stop in Thailand?

I find it extremely difficult to get off at the correct bus stop in Thailand, mainly for the reasons as: The bus stop usually doesn't have a recognizable sign on which stop it is. Thai characters and ...
10
votes
4answers
512 views

Planning to go to Georgia, but I only speak English; will that be a problem?

I am planning to go to Georgia. I know only the English language. Will I have any language problems with local people? Can anyone help me out?
57
votes
7answers
13k views

How to know if a meal was cooked with or contains alcohol?

In the restaurants that I have been to, the menus usually indicate if an item has things like peanuts, eggs, is vegetarian, or contains raw meat. In some Asian restaurants, menu items are also given ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

How much Farsi do I need to travel within Iran?

I'm looking to travel to Iran and I'm wondering how much Farsi I should know to be able to get by. Can I assume most people in the cities know English ? Is the signage only in Farsi or also in Latin ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

I don't speak Chinese. Will I encounter any problems going through customs in Beijing?

I will be flying to Chongquing (CKG) through Beijing (PEK) with a Chinese friend to visit his home. I am American and speak practically no Chinese. Will I have any trouble going through customs in ...
14
votes
5answers
7k views

Are there any issues with speaking Spanish as a tourist in Portugal?

I'm about to go on a trip to Portugal, not knowing any Portuguese. I was planning to learn all the basics (yes, no, hello, goodbye, thank you, etc) but in a slightly more complicated situation it's ...
13
votes
5answers
7k views

How to do a web search in English in China without a VPN

I've just got a humble smartphone with no fancy apps on a hotel wifi network in Canton, China. My search engine of choice seems to be unavailable for some reason. How can I search the web in English ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Is English understood / spoken around the Italian Lakes?

I am planning a trip to the Italian Lakes (specifically, Lake Como) and I am wondering if English is widely spoken / accepted around these areas.
20
votes
2answers
2k views

How is Giza pronounced in Egypt itself?

Over a 100 years ago, I think Giza was pronounced Jeezah. For example, in his multi-volume book on the Great Pyramid, Piazzi Smyth, who worked at Giza for years spelled it "Jeezeh": The image above ...
24
votes
9answers
8k views

Is it considered rude if I present a list of pre-translated sentences?

I am about to visit Spain, mainly Malaga, Barcelona and Madrid. The problem is I do not speak Spanish at all. I am thinking to prepare a few pre-translated sentences in Spanish beforehand and ...
4
votes
1answer
682 views

How much Spanish do I need to know for travelling within Spain?

I plan on travelling by foot on the Camino Francés alone. I will have access to the internet/google translate via my smartphone. I am also a native french speaker (from Quebec). How much Spanish do ...
6
votes
1answer
743 views

Are unofficial sites outranking official websites in English a common problem in China?

When googling for baiyun airport, a website calling itself "Guangzhou Airport Online" was the first hit, whereas the English-language version of the official website was ranked fifth, after two pages ...
18
votes
4answers
8k views

What was the meaning of this Indian gesture/greeting?

While on a business trip to India last week I saw two different gestures of greeting. Most people greeted me with the traditional Namaste greeting, with the hands held together, as below. However, ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Traveling to Russia as an english speaker

I'm going to travel to Russia. We have a tour guide, but we have some times for our own. Can we enjoy sport clubs (bungee, flyboarding etc.) without knowing Russian?
39
votes
5answers
19k views

Leaving Italy without paying a fine for a bus fare violation

I'm in Florence on vacation with my parents and we've run into some trouble with the city buses. We took an ATAF bus and were confused on how the system worked. Apparently you stamp the ticket when ...
31
votes
4answers
9k views

How severe will language problem be in Germany?

I have to visit Munich, Germany for a couple of weeks this month for business purpose. I am absolutely ignorant about German language. Although I won't be interacting with the locals much, I'll have ...
8
votes
1answer
236 views

Can I drive a rental in Russia (without high risk)

Of course I can technically rent a car, and I can drive it. My point is - is it secure/recommended for non-Russians? What are unexpected risks? I have extended driving experience in Paris, Rome, ...