39 votes

How to solve the language problem in Ankara, Turkey?

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 ...
Greg Hewgill's user avatar
37 votes

As we are all adults here, how do I politely indicate that I need the toilet?

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 ...
Scott Severance's user avatar
30 votes

How can I convert an address in Thailand from English to Thai?

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 ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
  • 99.7k
27 votes

How to solve the language problem in Ankara, Turkey?

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 (...
asiftunga's user avatar
  • 379
24 votes
Accepted

Using English in Europe

How much is English spoken around the EU? 44% of EU inhabitants speak some level of English, according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_the_European_Union: Officiallanguages ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

Going to France with limited French for a day

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 ...
Willeke's user avatar
  • 60.5k
20 votes

As we are all adults here, how do I politely indicate that I need the toilet?

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? [...
mts's user avatar
  • 26.3k
17 votes
Accepted

How to solve the language problem in Ankara, Turkey?

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 :) ...
Our's user avatar
  • 621
17 votes

Using English in Europe

Most importantly, is it seen as rude (acting like someone has to cater to me despite me being in their country) to use English? Not in the Nordic countries and the Netherlands. Being Swedish, I can ...
Crazydre's user avatar
  • 76.3k
13 votes

Using English in Europe

When you are a visitor, speaking English is acceptable all over Europe. It will not always easy but nobody expects a tourist to speak the local language and English is the most common foreign language ...
Willeke's user avatar
  • 60.5k
10 votes

Going to France with limited French for a day

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 ...
undercat's user avatar
  • 2,721
10 votes

How to solve the language problem in Ankara, Turkey?

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 ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 2,153
10 votes

Using English in Europe

How easily you can get by in Europe depends very much on country. Broadly speaking, I find that Western and Northern Europe are very English friendly, and Eastern Europe (e.g. former Soviet countries) ...
Jack Aidley's user avatar
  • 3,651
9 votes

How to solve the language problem in Ankara, Turkey?

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, ...
Harvey's user avatar
  • 251
9 votes

How to solve the language problem in Ankara, Turkey?

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 ...
vikingsteve's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

How can one approximate prior to traveling the percentage of products in local shops with an English translation?

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 ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
  • 99.7k
9 votes

As we are all adults here, how do I politely indicate that I need the toilet?

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 ...
JoErNanO's user avatar
  • 52.7k
8 votes

As we are all adults here, how do I politely indicate that I need the toilet?

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 ...
Harry Vervet's user avatar
  • 1,780
8 votes
Accepted

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

I think you should always try to use basic foreign language spoken in country XXX when visiting XXX. It shows that you are making an effort to communicate but most importantly to absorb part of the ...
JoErNanO's user avatar
  • 52.7k
8 votes
Accepted

Traveling to Russia as an english speaker

I'll confirm what people have already basically said in the comments: English knowledge, especially beyond the very basic level, is surprisingly uncommon. (Furthermore, English with a Russian accent ...
Eugene O's user avatar
  • 9,134
8 votes

How can I convert an address in Thailand from English to Thai?

Here's what I do: Keep the building name in latin characters Learn to write "floor", "room", "house" and "soi" Translate the Thanon using Wikipedia or Google ...
AndreKR's user avatar
  • 677
6 votes

How to solve the language problem in Ankara, Turkey?

I have spent several months total in Turkey (but not in Ankara), kinda as a tourist, but mostly just staying in residential neighborhoods with AirBNB and couchsurfing. Most of my interactions with ...
user91639's user avatar
6 votes

As we are all adults here, how do I politely indicate that I need the toilet?

I'm Australian. We like directness. Among friends we can be very blunt: "Where's the dunny?" Among foreigners we tone it down to merely informational and if we think the other person might be ...
Peter Wone's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

As we are all adults here, how do I politely indicate that I need the toilet?

If your looking for a universal way that fits all circumstances, your best bet is going to be to ask someone. Your going to be the guest of someone. Even in a store you have the employees to help. So ...
coteyr's user avatar
  • 1,971
5 votes

How do you operate an OV-Chipkaart Automaat?

According to this site of the public transport company in the Hague, there are three kinds of machines to charge your OV chip card. Two of them work with cash, bank cards (debit cards from banks in ...
Willeke's user avatar
  • 60.5k
5 votes

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

In short, I agree with @JoErNanO, that you should always try to use basic language spoken in a country you are visiting. My experience from some years of living in three different Italian regions (...
hatef's user avatar
  • 3,269
5 votes

Traveling to Russia as an english speaker

I'm just going to speak from my own experience while I was traveling in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Granted, I didn't go outside of the cities. I found that both areas I get by with English and people ...
toy's user avatar
  • 5,381
5 votes

English in Israel and Palestine

As a Palestinian, the majority of Palestinians who can speak English fluently is high. For example, in my class you can take 10 students who can speak it fluently, and 10 students will speak English ...
Taima yehya's user avatar

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