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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33
votes
8answers
20k 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 ...
61
votes
10answers
22k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Burushaski teacher or course in Hunza Valley, Pakistan

I love exotic languages as much as I love travelling so one destination I'm considering for my next trip is Pakistan where a language famous to linguists for not being related to any other language is ...
46
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
597 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 ...
11
votes
17answers
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
782 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 ...
54
votes
5answers
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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 (...
24
votes
13answers
9k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
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 ...
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
7k views

How widely spoken is English in New Caledonia (Nouvelle-Calédonie)?

As I understand it, French is the main common language in New Caledonia, spoken by almost everyone there, but often as a second language. The wikipedia article doesn't seem to mention much about ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
308 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.
24
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
172 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 ...
32
votes
1answer
9k 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
382 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 (...
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 ...
66
votes
10answers
13k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
152 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
465 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
2answers
144 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
552 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
1answer
430 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 ...
38
votes
4answers
5k 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, ...
8
votes
2answers
157 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?
5
votes
2answers
388 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
551 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
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?
13
votes
7answers
25k views

What foreign language is the most common in Serbia?

What foreign language is the most common in Serbia? In which language have I the most chances to communicate with locals (in shops, railway stations, hostels etc.) if I don't know Serbian?
10
votes
2answers
6k 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 (...
7
votes
1answer
368 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
32
votes
2answers
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
3answers
3k views

Language culture and Food culture in South India?

I am planning for a mid-term traveling (for around 15-20 days) in South India covering parts from AP,Kerala and Karnataka only, along with my family members. Now the problem is nobody from my family ...
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
361 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
818 views

Is it possible for a traveller to study the Jeju language in Korea?

Korea's large southern island province has its own language or dialect which is not mutually comprehensible with standard Korean. As a traveller who likes to learn languages as part of my travel I've ...
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 ...
13
votes
1answer
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 ...
6
votes
6answers
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 ...
19
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
747 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
642 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 ...