67

Generally most people respond well when you make an effort, even if you can't speak their language fully. Responding to "Hola" (Spanish for hello) with "Hola", saying "dankie" (Afrikaans for thanks), or whatever - little words. They'll quickly realise you can't speak their language fully, but appreciate the effort. Usually. However, it's those tourists that ...


38

One way you can help these situations is: Start by asking whether they speak English, in Turkish. I don't know any Turkish, but Google Translate says it's "İngilizce biliyor musunuz?" Make sure you get the pronunciation correct enough, so you don't end up asking whether their hovercraft has any eels. If the answer to the first question is no, then learn ...


37

In the United States, the more polite terms I hear are usually either the restroom or the ladies' room/men's room (always including room). Washroom sounds Canadian to me. British terminology (such as loo) may well be understood but would sound odd. So, I might ask: "Where's the restroom?" If I already knew, I'd most likely excuse myself without explanation. ...


29

If you're looking for a fully automated way, you can't. Thai romanization is nonstandard and lossy, and Thai script has many redundant letters, so you can't tell if a "kh" is supposed to be ข kho khai or ค kho khwai, much less get the vital tone markings right. However! If you punch in a romanized Thai address into Google Maps (in the mobile app), ...


27

I am Turkish. Firstly I will say that my English isn’t perfect - if you don't understand me please comment and I’ll try to clarify. It’s a good choice to start with hello (merhaba) or excuse me (affedersiniz) my first suggestion is ask to people whether they can speak english or not: Do you know english? (ingilizce biliyor musunuz?) Do you speak English? (...


24

As a foreigner residing in Hong Kong, I would actually advise you not to worry about the language since majority of the people speak English. You will not have any communication problems unless you visit a few remote areas or when you deal with Mainland Chinese tourists and a few locals who do not speak English (Some of them speak English too).


23

This is much the same as has already been written by Mark Mayo but I have heard some arguments in favour of duplication of answers (basically that one answer may reinforce the other). I think inability to speak the local language is nothing to be embarrassed about. There are well over 100 “major” ones and nobody speaks all of these. Staying away until you ...


22

I never had any French lessons and I have been traveling in France, often solo, every now and again in the last 35 years or so. I never ran into trouble, the only time I was told to speak French (as an order rather than as a request) it was by French Canadians being loud in the hostel at night (and in that case I am pretty sure they did understand my English....


20

This question has been asked twice on English SE, the second in a British English context: “Toilet”, “lavatory” or “loo” for polite society Is there a formal way to say we want to go to the toilet? [closed] Too summarize that, loo or a bit more polite lavatory would be perfectly fine in the UK, while bathroom can be slightly confusing. People are more ...


20

I'm a Turkish citizen that also happens to live & study in Ankara; I can tell you that the reason why you get such impolite responses is that almost everyone in the country is angry (not to you :) ) as a - sort of - their nature because of the political & economic situation in the country. Even I, when I go outside of the campus, become uncomfortable ...


19

As an Israeli with some Israeli-Arab and Palestinian friends I've found that English is understood (even if not spoken) pretty much everywhere. In Israel, English is taught for 10 years, and most people - especially in tourism and in the richer parts of Israel (Gush Dan - central Israel) - will be fluent English speakers. In touristy places, people will ...


18

English is taught in Israeli schools from primary school, and as you mentioned, foreign media is subtitled and not dubbed (except for media targeted toward children). Most people have at least basic or better knowledge of English and will be able to help a tourist. Also most public signs have an English translation, and many restaurants will have an English ...


18

To respond to the why in your questions: I am not a Turkish but have lived in Turkey since 2016. The reason for to answer fluently in Turkish is they have no empathy for your situation: they think speaking in English is rude if you live in Turkey. Look, for example, at the Equalizer 2 movie beginning scene on the Turkish train. I have heard this sentence ...


15

Your best bet is English, since to a first approximation, everybody you're likely to encounter in Estonia speaks English. Fluency in Finnish is fairly low and declining, especially among the post-1990 generation who grew up watching English media, not Finnish TV. While the languages are closely related, the pronunciation and vocabulary is sufficiently ...


15

A folio is a list of your charges. For example, phone calls, minibar, laundry services, room service, valet, etc. anything that is billed to your room. Hotels maintain separate folios, typical ones are: Guest Staff Master (assigned for group accounts; for example a tour group consisting of multiple guests) Non-guest (assigned for other services; for ...


13

I would suggest you taking the advices from Wikitravel. Nevertheless, most locals under the age of 40 (and many over that as well) know enough English for basic communication. To improve your chances of being understood, speak slowly, stick to basic words and sentences, and avoid using slang. You may also speak Mandarin, which is also widely understood ...


11

I spent my semester abroad in Hong Kong (at HKUST) last year. Basically everybody speaks English, from taxi drivers to cashiers. Also road signs etc. are all in English as well. The students at HKUST did understand Mandarin, but were quite reluctant to speak with you in Mandarin, they definitely prefer English.


11

Caribbean English. Caribbean English is a broad term for the dialects of the English language spoken in the Caribbean and Liberia, most countries on the Caribbean coast of Central America, and Guyana. Caribbean English is influenced by the English-based Creole varieties spoken in the region, but they are not the same. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/...


10

Traditionally, one would just point and shout their requests in English... As a nation, it's served us well for at least 600 years. The more advanced may wish to transpose a few words into the local language, numbers, 'please' and 'thank you' being the most common For example in French: UNE OF THOSE SIH VOOO PLAY


10

I'm not Turkish, nor a Turkish speaker. I've visited Turkey though, as well as various other European countries... In general, the more you can show you're trying, the more help you'll get. Get yourself a beginners' tutorial (many country guidebooks include this) and work through some basic phrases before you go out. If you can hit Youtube and find ...


10

I speak English and limited French and—anecdotally—most French people I've spoken to in the Île-de-France region would switch to English whenever they realized I wasn't a native French speaker, even though I had no issues understanding what they were saying in French. While the knowledge of French would totally come in handy at grocery stores, cafes and ...


9

I think it's actually important to specify the place instead of making the question generic, because it does matter. For example: Montreal is a locale where most people are bilingual with French and English. It's perfectly acceptable to reply "hello" when greeted "bonjour", and in fact, on the street you're better off just opening your mouth and speaking ...


9

If I am looking for the toilet in an establishment I usually ask for the bathroom or the men's/women's room. My understanding is that the term bathroom is perceived as less crude than the word toilet hence why I don't user the latter. If I am at a formal event, such as a black tie dinner, I usually just say "excuse me" and then stand up and leave. No need ...


9

While there are many turks who know a good amount of english, german or french, I'm afraid in general the english language level is low in turkish population. When it comes to getting directions, people prefer to tell you anything to help, with good intentions but not always helpful. Even if it's with body language. Some helpful tips for this sitution can ...


9

I am from an English speaking country, and I successfully learned Turkish. First of all, you have to decide if you really want to learn the language. If you are in a foreign country for 2 years, its often a good idea to do so. By learning the language you will Make day to day and school life easier for yourself open up many new opportunities that you ...


9

I'm not sure how you'd go about approximating the percentage of products with English, but I can suggest an easy workaround: the camera mode of Google Translate, formerly known as Word Lens. This is available for Android and Apple mobile phones, costs nothing and works offline as well if you download the language pack in advance. (Obligatory disclaimer: I ...


8

I do not read Chinese very well and speak only at a conversational level, but I have never had problems in Hong Kong, even ignoring my ability to speak some Cantonese. Perhaps you already know this, but many public spaces (street signs, the bus or the metro, etc.) are bilingual. So are many "menus" at many "fast-food" chains I have seen. (To boot, I ...


8

I am living in Brazil (Rio Grande do Norte) and I can tell you from experience that tourist staff will not be able to understand anything beyond the most basic phrases unless this is a specialty of your hotel or resort. You'll probably be able to get " Cardapio em ingles" (english menu) at almost anywhere though, with the items numbered and more or less ...


8

The politest thing to do is to not draw attention to the fact that you need the toilet. Don't indicate to all and sundry that you need the toilet. If you need to know where the toilet is, ask where is the toilet/restroom/bathroom/lavatory, please? If you are desperate to go during a meeting or conversation, quietly excuse yourself at an opportune moment ...


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