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Old 10-03-2014, 09:06 AM
 
11,270 posts, read 8,446,041 times
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Yes. If you have a map, money, and know the universal sign for "have to pee".
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Old 10-03-2014, 09:11 AM
 
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I think its very hard to move to a new place without knowing the language...i wouldn't dare hits i guess but i have a lot of respect for people doin it
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Old 10-03-2014, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Cleverly concealed
966 posts, read 1,526,134 times
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Perhaps it already exists, but as more people use smart phones, I wonder if verbal translation apps will become more popular. By that, I mean a verbal recognition app in which you speak, and a Siri-like voice translates the phrase into the language of the second person (and vice versa). I'm sure it would look awkward holding up a phone like that, but maybe no more awkward than me gesturing and flailing my way into understanding.

I struggled mightily with languages as a kid. I took Spanish classes for six years. I can recognize words, but I would never be able to hold a conversation, and that's the easiest foreign language for Americans to learn. My inability with foreign language comprehension would certainly be my biggest fear if I traveled internationally.
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EverBlack View Post
Express your thoughts, please
You can, but you are not gonna enjoy it 1/2 as much as a person that knows the language
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Old 10-03-2014, 01:18 PM
 
1,293 posts, read 950,419 times
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Easily.
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Old 10-03-2014, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,286 posts, read 12,525,000 times
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You will pick up the local language fairly fast. Load a phrase book and translation dictionary on your cell phone and go. The only thing you absolutely have to know how to say quickly is "Where is the toilet?"

The handiest thing to learn in any language is how to count. That way when they tell you how much something costs, you can understand them and give them the correct amount. You can learn that much in an hour. It will tag you as an experienced traveler, and their estimation of your intelligence will go up when they realize that, unlike most tourists, you are smart enough to count past 10 without taking off your shoes.
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Old 10-03-2014, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Bremerhaven, NW Germany
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My mother tongue is German, so if i could only speak that i wouldn't come very far besides Austria, Switzerland (altough Swiss-German can be also hard to understand for someone from the northern parts of Germany) and the adjoining border regions of Germany.

I haven't been to many countries yet (and only inside Europe) but i noticed that especially the younger generation spoke English quite well in most european countries.
The only experience where i had real difficulties with speaking English was when i was in Paris, some people there refused to reply in English it so in that case i switched to my basic school-French there.
However that was over ten years ago, so this might have changed.
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Old 10-03-2014, 03:02 PM
 
3,565 posts, read 1,877,900 times
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Anybody can pick up a close enough approximation of the essential traveler's vocabulary in a language they don't understand:

Hello
Goodbye
Please
Thanks
Where is the (toilet, street name, point of interest, train station, bus station)?
This/that one (water/bottle of water is helpful, too)
Sorry/Excuse me
Do you speak (English/Spanish/Chinese/whatever)
Basic numbers

That vocabulary plus non-verbal communication will keep you fed, boarded, and alive in essentially any location.
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Old 10-03-2014, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Maui, Hawaii
679 posts, read 618,467 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterseat View Post
Yes. If you have a map, money, and know the universal sign for "have to pee".
Quote:
Originally Posted by BusyMeAK View Post
Easily.
^^^^Yup
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Old 10-03-2014, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,349,406 times
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Yes, people do it all the time...

Do you think the majority of people who visit Rome know Italian? Sharm el-Sheikh Arabic? Cancun Spanish?

Where it becomes more useful to know the language is in those places still not visited by millions of foreign tourists, and especially in the situation of independent travel.
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