Questions tagged [language-barrier]

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

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23
votes
4answers
22k 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
7answers
3k views

Which languages to brush up on for Ukraine trip?

I am traveling from the US, and the only language I really know is American English. I will be visiting cities in various districts of Ukraine: Kiev, Chornobyl, Cherkassy, Kherson, etc. I will be ...
80
votes
9answers
6k 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 ...
42
votes
4answers
91k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
63k 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 ...
40
votes
5answers
21k 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 ...
23
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
57
votes
7answers
8k views

How to use public transport in Russia with limited knowledge of Russian?

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 ...
50
votes
5answers
12k 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

"Speaking" Korean without really speaking Korean, as a tourist in South Korea

I'm thinking of visiting South Korea as a tourist, and I'm wondering if some preparations short of a full on study of the language will help. In particular, I'm wondering about learning Hangul, and ...
38
votes
3answers
4k views

Stuck without toilet paper while travelling - what is the best approach?

Well, this has happened to everyone at some point - you find out there is no toilet paper just after you need it the most. Usually it's not a big deal, even in public toilet room you can wait until ...
34
votes
7answers
93k 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 ...
25
votes
6answers
8k 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. ...
18
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
24
votes
13answers
10k 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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
2k 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). ...
24
votes
3answers
164k 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 "...
16
votes
2answers
876 views

Transit through Beijing - Languages?

My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Thailand this winter (from the UK), and the cheapest option appears to be Air China, with a 6-hour layover in Beijing (PEK). Given that neither of us can ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Understanding Greek road signs

I will shortly be driving around Greece. I do not know Greek, but I would like to learn the Greek alphabet, so that I can recognise road signs for town/city names, so that if there is a sign that is ...
9
votes
1answer
544 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 ...
30
votes
8answers
9k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it mandatory to have a language speaker of both inbound and outbound countries' languages onboard flights?

I always wondered, is it a must for airlines to have at least one cabin crew member who is able to speak the language of the inbound and outbound countries? I am asking this because I am thinking in ...
9
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
21k views

Getting around to transfer in huge airports if you don't know English [duplicate]

How can someone who doesn't know any international language get around in huge airports, if they need to transfer? I'm asking this because my mother-in-law wants to travel half the world to visit us, ...