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Old 07-20-2017, 08:52 AM
 
9,519 posts, read 13,444,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
Almost every traveler speaks to them in English, it has nothing to do with you being American.
Most foreign locals want to speak English to tourists if they know it. It's a good way for them to practice.
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:10 AM
 
Location: SoCal
13,226 posts, read 6,326,744 times
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If they don't know English, they let you know right away. I was in an Italian store and the clerk there told me. Don't be afraid.
But only one time I experienced rudeness was in Paris at a big department store. I have not been back there since.
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Old 07-20-2017, 12:57 PM
DKM
 
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
2,826 posts, read 1,007,799 times
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This isn't the 80's anymore. Unless you are going to a far flung isolated region, tourists are expected to not know the local customs and usually speak English. Who would be offended by that? Not anyone in the tourist business. If you want to show your appreciation in a restaurant, tip well. Don' t worry about what people say about local tipping customs, Americans are known for tipping the most in the world and everyone likes money.
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Old 07-20-2017, 03:17 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,226 posts, read 6,326,744 times
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That's true. The Italian waiters at one restaurant near our hotel in Italy treated us really well. We tipped, but not as generously as in the states, but nonetheless they were really appreciative of the tip. They remember us, we were eating there for a whole week, so we frequented this place.
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Old 07-20-2017, 04:34 PM
 
5,461 posts, read 2,923,476 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Sol View Post
One time I was trying to talk to someone and he couldn't understand me, so without really thinking I repeated what I said louder and I could tell it bothered him.
Why do people do that???!!!

I have never had a problem. I normally ask first if they speak English. I have always been fortunate. I have found that every place I have been love American Tourist.
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:23 PM
 
Location: On the road
5,938 posts, read 2,891,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiGi603 View Post
I have found that every place I have been love American Tourist.
Same same.

I roll my eyes when I hear people who say Americans are disliked everywhere, if anything it seems like the opposite is true. In many less touristy places of the world we've actually had local shop keepers and store owners get pretty excited that they had Americans in their place.
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Old 07-21-2017, 11:41 PM
 
1,293 posts, read 948,496 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Ohhhkay, yes I think we all agree...but what's that have to do with tourism and the topic at hand?
Thanks for a totally irrelevant, unnecessarily obvious, and misdirected response.
Originally Posted by Old Sol
Whenever I travel abroad, I constantly worry about doing something offensive or coming across as rude without really meaning to. There are also the language issues where I'm sure the people I'm talking to are thinking "oh great, here's another incompetent American tourist who expects me to speak English fluently." One time I was trying to talk to someone and he couldn't understand me, so without really thinking I repeated what I said louder and I could tell it bothered him. I've also been in a number of embarrassing situations where I've been in a very rule-oriented country and gotten fussed at for something like jaywalking or parking in the wrong place.

I guess that's just a part of travelling, learning as you go along, and you just need to develop a thick skin.

You replied:

-- English is the global language of business


- Nope, my comment is totally relevant because you (you in capitals) replied with grossly "unnecessarily obvious" remark to a post of a non-arrogant (as opposed to you) person who is thoughtful and can see both sides of interaction with locals.
People who do real travel try to learn local cultures and habits, get a glimpse of other countries' life. If you only do guided tours, being shoveled from the hotels to the buses and back, delivered like in packages to the Berber villages and other fake attractions, then yes, it's "business" and yes, you will have English speaking personnel to attend to your needs. It's kinda an easy way, not really interesting - you can watch a documentary for much cheaper.
Besides, when people do travel to explore other places, it's usually not "business" it's fun, and what fun is it to be in the same environment?
My friend takes people to places where cannibals live. He does speak their language, not they learn his.
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Old 07-22-2017, 04:11 AM
 
619 posts, read 365,935 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Sol View Post
Whenever I travel abroad, I constantly worry about doing something offensive or coming across as rude without really meaning to. There are also the language issues where I'm sure the people I'm talking to are thinking "oh great, here's another incompetent American tourist who expects me to speak English fluently." One time I was trying to talk to someone and he couldn't understand me, so without really thinking I repeated what I said louder and I could tell it bothered him. I've also been in a number of embarrassing situations where I've been in a very rule-oriented country and gotten fussed at for something like jaywalking or parking in the wrong place.

I guess that's just a part of travelling, learning as you go along, and you just need to develop a thick skin.
Just keep an open mind, and be mindful of the fact that different norms and rules*exist* even if you're not cognizant of what they *are*. Knowing that different cultures have different concepts of personal space, or following pedestrian rules, e that in some countries*latte* means *boiled milk with nothing else in it*(yeah, learned that one the hard way) will go long long way.

in travels, I've come across mostly friendly people and sometimes obnoxious people, just like at home
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Old 07-22-2017, 05:21 AM
 
1,528 posts, read 905,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BusyMeAK View Post
Originally Posted by Old Sol

You replied:

-- English is the global language of business


- Nope, my comment is totally relevant because you (you in capitals) replied with grossly "unnecessarily obvious" remark to a post of a non-arrogant (as opposed to you) person who is thoughtful and can see both sides of interaction with locals.
People who do real travel try to learn local cultures and habits, get a glimpse of other countries' life. If you only do guided tours, being shoveled from the hotels to the buses and back, delivered like in packages to the Berber villages and other fake attractions, then yes, it's "business" and yes, you will have English speaking personnel to attend to your needs. It's kinda an easy way, not really interesting - you can watch a documentary for much cheaper.
Besides, when people do travel to explore other places, it's usually not "business" it's fun, and what fun is it to be in the same environment?
My friend takes people to places where cannibals live. He does speak their language, not they learn his.
The status of English is far more than just the 'global language of business' in Europe. Can you have a richer experience visiting a country speaking the native language. Yes, of course. That should be obvious. Guided tours to fake native villages is a step far beyond traveling around Europe speaking English (as Europeans themselves generally do when traveling around Europe outside of their home countries).

You also say: "They actually might be pretty content without any English at all"
This might well be the case if they don't have any desire to have a global outlook. Happy to be parochial. Don't want to use the internet except for the little corner of it that's in their native language. Don't care to have a good job in anything except for parochial roles. Don't care to participate in global education or continuous learning. Don't want to books that haven't been translated into their native language. Don't want to write or read blogs that extends beyond their relatively small country. Don't care about writing or reading reviews of hotels and restaurants (most are written in English...even those written by people from their own country!).

I'm not saying that this is your view but I always shake my head when people (usually Americans) are 'saddened' by the proliferation of English across Europe. As if they somehow feel bad that 'their' language has destroyed some of the authenticity of Europe. What's the alternative? Keep Europe a museum of multiple languages where nobody can talk to each other? Might feel authentic for your week's visit to Europe but that's not really good for Europe.
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Old 07-22-2017, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,070 posts, read 19,008,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
If they don't know English, they let you know right away. I was in an Italian store and the clerk there told me. Don't be afraid.
But only one time I experienced rudeness was in Paris at a big department store. I have not been back there since.
LOL. The only time I experienced rudeness when I didn't speak their language was when I was in Wales. Couldn't understand a damn word those people were saying, and they got peeved with me. Cut my trip short because of that,

The Scots were much nicer. When I had difficulty with their accent, they repeated themselves trying to match my American accent.

I've travelled internationally a lot to many countriestudents, and those are the only two places where I had significant trouble communI caring. My English mother would have been embarrassed.
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