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For forms of written or verbal communication with people of other cultures. Consider tag [language-barrier] and for one or more specific languages consider the tags listed in the `tag info` here instead .

54
votes
9answers
18k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
204 views

Which language is preferable for speaking with Palestinians: Hebrew or English?

Obviously, the best language to use to speak to Palestinians in Palestine is their own language, Arabic. If Arabic is not an option, which would generally be preferable: Hebrew or English? I'm ...
32
votes
1answer
5k views

Do many Japanese people speak Korean?

I'd like to go to Japan but I can't speak Japanese. But I'm fluent in Korean. I know that many Korean people can speak Japanese, but can Japanese people also speak Korean?
1
vote
1answer
312 views

Why is everything in South Africa in English, while that isn't the main language? [closed]

I have been travelling to South Africa for business, and what strikes me as odd, is that almost everything is done in English, even though English isn't the most widely spoken language in the country (...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

How to learn the language for a stay in Ukraine? [duplicate]

I am considering to live in Kyiv for a couple of months. I visited the city last summer and it pleasantly surprised me. I would like to learn the local language to make my way around easier. Any ...
9
votes
2answers
368 views

Should I try and use basic Italian when on holiday in Italy?

Wherever I go on holiday I always try to learn and use some basic keywords and phrases. As a minimum I look up things such as please, thank you, hello, good morning etc. I think it's polite and hotel/...
4
votes
1answer
255 views

Why are there so many German tourists in Capo Vaticano and Tropea? [closed]

Recently I have been to Capo Vaticano, Calabria, southern Italy. It didn't take long to notice that, besides Italians, Germans were by far the majority of the people I saw. This was even reflected by ...
9
votes
1answer
240 views

How prevalent is Swedish in the Swedish speaking parts of Finland

What is the day to day language in a place like Turku/Åbo where the official language is Swedish? When I visit there as a tourist (so in shops restaurants etc.) should I expect almost everybody to be ...
5
votes
2answers
227 views

Are most staff at Brussels airport Dutch or French-speaking?

I'm going to Brussels airport and will require some special assistance in addition to the usual check-in procedures. Knowing both Dutch and French adequately, I'd like to know which language most ...
15
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
650 views

Which is better for Zürich, English or French?

I am visiting Zürich and I don't speak any German. I do speak though both English and French. Which one should I use to communicate with the locals? How about the rest of German-speaking Switzerland?
7
votes
1answer
242 views

Homestay in Sweden to learn Swedish

I'm Dutch but in love with the Swedish language, so after some time on Duolingo I wanted to expand my knowledge of Swedish in real life. I found an organization which provides Swedish lessons in ...
11
votes
3answers
744 views

Am I better off using French in Brussels, or should I stick to English?

I'm a native English speaker, with tolerable French (ie, it's pretty good for an Englishman, though not great by continental European standards). I've tried to speak French in Belgium before, and ...
9
votes
3answers
250 views

The literacy rate of Mandarin/Simplified Chinese in Taipei?

When I'm in China and having trouble communicating in English, I type in a sentence in Mandarin on my iPhone. I'm good enough to write one or two sentences in Mandarin, although I can't handle an oral ...
28
votes
5answers
10k views

What is the main spoken language in Kiev: Ukrainian or Russian?

I'm aware that there are both native Ukrainian and Russian speakers among Ukrainians, with the west being more Ukrainian-speaking and the east/south more Russian-speaking. What about Kiev today? I ...
11
votes
1answer
996 views

Is speaking Portuguese useful in Macau today?

Macau sets Portuguese as one of its official languages, but according to the Wikipedia page, only 0.6% speak it at home. However, people speaking it at home should be those who use it as their native ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Acceptable terms for describing black people in California

Today, our team was bought a drink or two by our company, so I was talking with an Afroamerican colleague and was trying to describe him that I had seen San Francisco in San Andreas GTA game, but he ...
4
votes
1answer
491 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
130 views

Is there a neighbourhood known for second-hand bookshops/antiquaries in Prague?

I'll be in Prague soon for a couple of days and I want to go dictionary-hunting. Is there a neighbourhood known for second-hand bookshops/antiquaries in Prague?
63
votes
10answers
11k views

In what language should I address foreign customs and immigration?

I'm an American traveling to Central America for the first time this summer. I'll be entering Costa Rica and Panama. My Spanish is pretty good, but not native, and I wouldn't mind using it, but as a ...
6
votes
6answers
6k views

Most useful languages other than English in Asia and Oceania [closed]

Basically this question and this one but for Asia and Oceania. For most of my travel, I've decided upon the destination, and then decided whether or not to learn the language. However, I'm currently ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

If I want to travel to Brazil, can I get by with English?

I do not speak Portuguese, and only enough Spanish not to starve. English is my second language, but my first, Dutch, will not be very useful. Will people in Brazil be able to communicate with me? I ...
37
votes
4answers
3k views

Which Norwegian language to learn?

I'm taking a short trip to Norway next year and while doing a bit of research I've been thoroughly confused by which language to learn. Wikipedia goes into great depth about 3-4 different languages, ...
32
votes
2answers
3k views

Which language(s) is most useful for backpacking Africa?

I'm looking to backpack Africa in a few years, so I'd like to start learning a language that would the most useful/widely spoken. There are a few conditions I've conjured up though: the language ...
6
votes
2answers
153 views

Images of Chinese logograms (characters) for traveler

Planing trip to China in some remote areas. I think it would be useful to have some pictures in my phone with most useful words like "eat","bus","hotel" in Chinese logograms. If somebody has done this ...
13
votes
1answer
767 views

Do Estonians prefer English to Finnish?

When interacting with foreigners who are not able to speak Estonian, do the Estonians prefer Finnish to English? Does it depend on the area, e.g. is an Estonian more likely to be able to communicate ...
11
votes
1answer
429 views

Casual Khmer language classes or language exchange in Siem Reap?

As always on my travels I like to study the local language, as usual I don't have a budget that allows the prices of "proper" courses or individual tutors. So I'm wondering if there's some ...
4
votes
2answers
135 views

One-off Maori lesson in Auckland

I'd like to attend a one-off Maori lesson in Auckland. I can find long-term courses and online courses, but I'm after something that's only for an hour or a couple of hours. The lesson should include ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Which countries suffix their currency and how much is this stuck to? [closed]

In most countries I can think of including my own, prices are usually done with the currency symbol first, then the price like "£12.34" or "$98.76". I seem to imagine somewhere I went as a child I saw ...
9
votes
1answer
478 views

City in Peninsular Malaysia to immerse in Malay language?

I like to self-study the local language in the places I travel to. I don't do courses or attend classes. I just arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It's a very multicultural city and though most signs ...
8
votes
1answer
238 views

Teletext Subtitles on Romanian Television

There is a teletext feature on the televisions in the hotel rooms. In England there was a way to get subtitles to appear by going to the teletext interface and entering 888. As far as I know this is ...
18
votes
9answers
4k views

Catalan or Spanish in Barcelona?

I am going on a city trip to Barcelona, and as usual, I want to learn a few local words so that I can ask directions or order my drinks that way. My question, though: should I learn Spanish or ...
42
votes
6answers
7k views

What's the best way to signal that I'd prefer to be served in English?

I'm traveling in an area where bilingualism - specifically, English - is extremely common. As in, I'm yet to meet someone who doesn't speak pretty good English in the two months I've spent here (...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Languages in Bulgaria? [closed]

There is a realistic chance that I will be working in Sofia for a year or more soon. I care quite a lot about being able to communicate with local people wherever I am travelling, so I would like to ...
2
votes
1answer
989 views

How to key in Asian names when making a flight reservation? [duplicate]

Let's assume my name is "A B C" for the argument's sake. It's an Asian name, and it is written that way in the passport (more or less. Actually in the passport it is written with full phonetic marks ...
6
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 ...
45
votes
4answers
6k views

As a native English speaker, which two further languages would give me the most travel utility worldwide?

This follows on from a travel conversation a group of us had in a hostel in London. Assuming I am travelling randomly between countries and continents, which two languages in addition to English ...
19
votes
5answers
6k views

What does this Chinese character 天 mean on my visa?

In my Chinese visa, against "Days after entry", I find this character: 天 Google translate says it means day, sky, heavens, God, etc. What exactly does it mean in this context? Edit: You can see it ...
5
votes
1answer
572 views

Is translation of passport stamps necessary?

I am applying for a visa to the UK, and the application requirement says that documents that are not in English or Welsh must be translated into English. The issuing authority of passport is indicated ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Should you use English or (possibly broken) Japanese in Japan?

So I'm going to Japan next month with friends, and I'm the only one speaking reasonably good Japanese. However, I am really nervous about how to approach people when, say, buying train tickets and ...
21
votes
3answers
5k views

Distinguishing Tamil speakers from Sinhalese speakers in Sri Lanka

When in Sri Lanka I would like to use a few words of either Tamil or Sinhalese with the locals. How can I tell which language I should try? Are there cultural appearances that I can go from? Of I get ...
21
votes
4answers
16k 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? ...
24
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
610 views

Can a foreign tourist attend Okinawan language class in Naha?

I arrived in Naha, Okinawa yesterday and took an interest in the local language as usual since languages are one of my hobbies. Okinawan is a dying language separate from Japanese that is not ...
9
votes
3answers
493 views

Somewhere tourists can lightly study Mongolian calligraphy in Inner or Outer Mongolia?

I'm currently in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia after having travelled through Inner Mongolia, China - which I'll return to when my current visa expires. I bought an English-Mongolian dictionary before I left ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Which language should I learn for a trip to Bali?

I plan to travel to Bali and want to learn some basic words in native language, like "Hello", "Thank you", .... But I'm not sure which language is native to Bali. It looks like there are Indonesian (...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

How to ask drivers not to take me to the bus station when hitchhiking in Thailand?

I'm hitchhiking around the world again and have hit a snag in Thailand. In Malaysia people generally understand a bit of English and generally "get" the idea of hitchhiking. A bit further north over ...
5
votes
3answers
331 views

Books in Malaysian language in Kuala Lumpur

I like to buy books in every language I can when I travel so I'd like to pick up some literature in Malaysian. Yesterday I found an enormous Kinokuniya bookshop but was puzzled to find it sold books ...
5
votes
4answers
6k views

Language to communicate in tourist places in Bratislava? English is sufficient?

Is English sufficient to communicate in tourist places in Bratislava (musea, buying tickets, restaurants, receptions in hostels)? Should I expect that English would be generally understood in that ...
5
votes
1answer
151 views

English medical records in a Spanish-speaking country?

I'm travelling to Uruguay - the main language is Spanish. I'm planning on taking a physical copy of my medical records with me, in the event of an emergency. (These records can be obtained through my ...