Questions tagged [languages]

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 .

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4 votes
2 answers
186 views

Hebrew language class in Israel

Ulpan is a class that is free for a Jewish immigrant to Israel.  I am wondering whether it is open to non-immigrants and if so, at what cost? (Assuming the prospective student can legally stay that ...
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10 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is any translation of driver’s licence valid for international driving?

As far as I can tell the Geneva 1949 convention only defines the standards that translation must comply to. Therefore, by definition, there shouldn’t be an “official entity” in charge of making the ...
16 votes
3 answers
5k views

In what language should I write my city/country name abroad?

I'm currently filling a Italian passport request form, but I'm at a roadblock My question is the following : I was born in Paris, France Paris, France is what is written in my birth certificate and ...
24 votes
6 answers
6k views

Is it okay to mix in local language when I know it poorly?

I'm traveling to Finland for a week and mostly doing touristy things. I've been excited and decided to learn some Finnish for fun. I know everyone there is going to know English better than I learn in ...
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12 votes
1 answer
677 views

Do different language editions of Lonely Planet contain different content?

I'm planning to travel to Spain when things have improved a bit, and I'm getting reasonably good at reading Spanish, and my wife is a native speaker. I'm thinking of getting guidebooks in Spanish as ...
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12 votes
17 answers
10k views

Are there a FEW languages that, along with English, will let a person be understood by the vast majority of people in North-Western Europe?

I'm referring to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Denmark. Will it be possible to add Norway, Sweden, and possibly even Finland and Iceland? And how about the ...
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6 votes
1 answer
2k views

El Yunque or "El Junque" National Forest Pronunciation

The internet seems to be full of disagreement about how to pronounce El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico. Here is a small sampling: The US Forest Service website claims it's el-ZHUN-kay (...
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45 votes
2 answers
9k views

What does YCWCYODFTRFDTY mean?

In several outback pubs in central Australia, including Cadney Homestead (below) and Stuarts Well Roadhouse, there's a prominent sign at the bar with the cryptic message "YCWCYODFTRFDTY": What does ...
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5 votes
1 answer
406 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.
user avatar
21 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
215 views

Where in Jordan can I find cheap second-hand book stores that sell dictionaries and other language materials?

My friend is going to Jordan on a trip and he'll visit several cities. As a favor he owed me he promised to get me some books that I crave. Can you guys tell me where are some places across the ...
60 votes
10 answers
23k 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 ...
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14 votes
2 answers
928 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
1 answer
10k 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?
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1 vote
1 answer
397 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
1 answer
155 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
2 answers
491 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
1 answer
600 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 ...
10 votes
1 answer
458 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 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
502 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 ...
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16 votes
5 answers
6k 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 ...
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7 votes
3 answers
2k 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
1 answer
391 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 ...
user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
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11 votes
3 answers
388 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 ...
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33 votes
8 answers
24k 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 ...
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13 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
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19 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
867 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 ...
  • 4,635
8 votes
2 answers
167 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?
67 votes
10 answers
14k 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
6 answers
8k 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 ...
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17 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
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38 votes
4 answers
6k 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, ...
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32 votes
2 answers
5k 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
2 answers
173 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 ...
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13 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
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11 votes
1 answer
594 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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
148 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
5k 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 ...
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9 votes
1 answer
549 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 ...
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8 votes
1 answer
322 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 ...
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19 votes
9 answers
5k 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 ...
  • 1,572
43 votes
6 answers
8k 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
3 answers
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 ...
  • 1,572
2 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
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54 votes
5 answers
8k 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 ...
  • 1,023
19 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
900 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 ...
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