Sponsor Message:
Non Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Language Barriers In Europe, Tips For A 1st Timer?  
User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3538 times:

I'm planning my first trip to Europe sometime this summer (see Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe (by Fly2HMO Feb 27 2008 in Non Aviation)) and I was gonna post this in that other thread but I figured I'd start another one since it may be of interest to others.

I'm 100% fluent in English (duh), and 100% in (Mexican) Spanish. I've traveled a f*ckload, but within the confines of American and Mexican borders, so language has never been an issue for me.

I'm not worried at all while in Italy, Italian being so incredibly similar to Spanish, but I'm kinda curious about Switzerland and Germany, and specially Greece. I know most people know English, and (being Europe) probably Spanish. I just don't want to come off to the locals as the typical dumb tourist that expects everybody to know English.

Either way, I figured asking,to whom whoever I'd be talking with whether he/she knows either Spanish or English. When my parents went to Europe they actually said they were better off speaking Spanish than English, but that was 30 years ago, I figured things have changed a lot since back then.

Any suggestions for this noob?  snaggletooth 

84 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGSM763 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3518 times:

It's said all the time but really helps. Learn a few phrasebook type phrases of the language you need to use and try and use them. In general people will be patient with you but if they decide to bring the conversation into English/Spanish let them. The only problem with this approach is if you do to well and they start babbling away at you but this doesn't happen too often.

User currently offlineNewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3514 times:



Quoting FLY2HMO (Thread starter):
and specially Greece.

I speak only English, and I did fairly well in Greece this past summer. There did seem to be a fair amount of people that didn't know English (or didn't want to speak it to me  Wink), but I was able to get by pretty well. Especially near the tourist areas, it's fine. I only had one bad experience, with a taxi driver in Athens, where myself and the three people I was with spoke no Greek, and the driver spoke no English, but somehow we made it across Athens.

I noticed that after I learned basic works like 'hello,' 'excuse me,' and 'thanks,' in Greek that the people were much more responsive to requests for assistance.



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineVonRichtofen From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 4627 posts, RR: 36
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3496 times:

Germany/Switzerland will be no problem at all. Almost everybody speaks English. Many better than the average North American it seems haha.

But don't expect to hear much Spanish outside of Spain.



Kris



Word
User currently offlineAA777 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 2544 posts, RR: 28
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3492 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting FLY2HMO (Thread starter):

Getting around Europe on English and Spanish will not be a problem. In Switzerland, people speak like 100 langauages (its amazing).... and almost everyone is fluent or at least knows a little English. Germany....also, I found that many people know enough english to help you out. In italy I think you will be surprised... I think many more Italians have a better command of spoken English than Spanish... despite the fact that Spanish and Italian are so closely related. You will have an easier time glancing through Italian menus, writing, signs etc (I too speak spanish). SO that will be handy for you...

Of course its nice to try and make an effort in their language- it makes them feel like you arent just 'another' American who expects everyone to speak English. You will definitely be more well recieved everywhere, when you at least try to speak the langauge.

In Greece, its fine if you are in the touristy areas... like Newark777 mentioned- watch out for the taxis. I had a terrible experience with my family involving being SCREAMED at when we tried to squish four people in the back of his Mercedes. We stayed in the car...what we should have done, was opened the door and gotten another cab because the guy was such a di*k to us....he didnt have to start yelling.... anyways. So thats my warning about Athens. Otherwise the people were extremely nice.

-AA777


User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3474 times:



Quoting FLY2HMO (Thread starter):
I know most people know English, and (being Europe) probably Spanish.

It really depends on where you are, and who you're speaking to. However, I don't necessarily agree with you on the Spanish front, unless you're in Spain of course! I'm not really sure where you got your perception of Spanish being generally spoken in Europe, but I wouldn't bank on it.

People that deal with tourists on a regular basis will probably have a smattering of English, if not more. But try taking a taxi in some remote corner of Hungary (for example) and you might have problems, if you see what I mean.

But there are of course regions within Europe with higher proportions of English speakers than other regions. In my experience, a lot of people in the Nordic countries speak very good English, as do people in Holland, and to a certain extent, Germany and Switzerland. These are just examples, and I am not deliberately excluding any other countries. As far as I'm aware, English is taught in schools in a lot of European countries. Generally, younger people are more likely to speak English than older generations.

What I would say to you is, never assume that whoever you are dealing with speaks English. Try and learn at least a few words of the local language of the countries you visit, especially the basics like 'hello', 'excuse me', 'please', 'thankyou', 'I would like...' etc., but perhaps most importantly, learn the local equivalent of "Do you speak English?"!! It will of course help if you understand when they respond in the negative, in which case you can resort to international sign language! We all know how to ask for the bill in a restaurant using sign language wherever in the world we happen to be, right? We can also point, and draw diagrams if necessary.

If you are taking a taxi somewhere, try and have the address of your destination written down...it helps a LOT!

But on NO account ever resort to SHOUTING IN ENGLISH if you find that the person to whom you are speaking doesn't understand you!! It's not only insulting, but gets you absolutely nowhere. Similarly, if you find that someone does speak good English, don't be tempted to speak to them using colloquialisms and slang. They may speak good English, but may not necessarily understand you if you speak to them in the same manner as you would speak to your buddies back home. Common sense prevails.

You shouldn't generally have too many problems in Switzerland and Germany, although I'm not sure about Greece. Get yourself to the bookstore and invest in some phrasebooks...it will be appreciated.

I hope that helps.



Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlineToulouse From Switzerland, joined Apr 2005, 2757 posts, RR: 58
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3419 times:



Quoting FLY2HMO (Thread starter):
I know most people know English, and (being Europe) probably Spanish.



Quoting FLY2HMO (Thread starter):
When my parents went to Europe they actually said they were better off speaking Spanish than English, but that was 30 years ago, I figured things have changed a lot since back then

As others have said I wouldn't count on using Spanish, except in Spain of course. I'm fluen in Spanish, and I can tell you it has been of no use anywhere in Europe except Spain (with Toulouse and in general south-western France being one exception where given the proximity to Spain and the huge number of Spanish exiles who came here during the Spanish civil war and Franco era (dictatorship) I'd say it's one of the only places outside Spain in Europe where you nearly have a better chance of finding Spanish speaking locals than ones who speak good English.

Quoting GSM763 (Reply 1):
It's said all the time but really helps. Learn a few phrasebook type phrases of the language you need to use and try and use them. In general people will be patient with you but if they decide to bring the conversation into English/Spanish let them.

Totally agree. Just never persume people speak English, as you are already showing. Many people don't like when people (whether American, British or Irish) persume everyone speaks English, and if this is you attitude (which doesn't seem to be yours) some people who do speak English will pretend not to. But, remember the British and Irish are one of the most frequent tourists around many southern European resorts, so locals are used to tourists who only speak English. Central Europe (Switzerland, Germany) and in much of northern Europe and the Scandinavian countries you'll foten find locals who speak more correct English than us natives do!
Anyway, just be polite, realise you're the foreigner and simply ask people kindly if they speak English (or learn how to ask this in the local questions) and you'll have no problems.
Like anywhere, once you are polite, you'll find you have no problems. Don't forget Europe is the number one tourist destination in the world (France and Spain alone occupy 1st and 2nd place in number of foreign visitors) so people are used to dealing with foreign visitors.

And most importantly, enjoy your first visit to Europe and I hope you'll love it and it will be the first of many visits!



Long live Aer Lingus!
User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3405 times:

Just a general advice. When speaking English in Europe, try to speak CLEARLY, and bear in mind that most people on the Continent learn British English in school, and so might misunderstand you. For example, the Ground Floor is NOT the 1st Floor, and what is 2nd Floor in the USA is 1st Floor over here. And then, some English expressions are in use in a non-English way, for instance "City" is used in the way of "downtown". In most restaurants YOU select your table, the personnel only approaching you when you are seated. To drink coffee with a steak is regarded as rather strange.

User currently onlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13963 posts, RR: 63
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3396 times:



Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 3):
But don't expect to hear much Spanish outside of Spain.

When I was sent to work on short notice in Italy some years ago, I started up using a mix of English and Spanish, but over the weeks I learned more and more Italian words (I also deliberately bought Italian newspapers for practice). I had to return after a few weeks, but I'm sure if I would have staid for a few months, I would have become fluent in Italian.

Jan


User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4801 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3393 times:



Quoting FLY2HMO (Thread starter):
I'm not worried at all while in Italy, Italian being so incredibly similar to Spanish, but I'm kinda curious about Switzerland and Germany, and specially Greece. I know most people know English, and (being Europe) probably Spanish. I just don't want to come off to the locals as the typical dumb tourist that expects everybody to know English.

Either way, I figured asking,to whom whoever I'd be talking with whether he/she knows either Spanish or English. When my parents went to Europe they actually said they were better off speaking Spanish than English, but that was 30 years ago, I figured things have changed a lot since back then.

Well most countries in Europe are fine with English except France (many/most (not all) French have a dislike of anyone speaking English or people who can't speak French very well). Countries like Germany and Switzerland tend to learn English as it is the International language and most people there under 40 can hold a conversation. Spain speaks less English but since you speak Spanish you will of course be fine and like you said Italian is similar... I remember meeting a bunch of Italians in Spain and they said the languages were close enough. BTW Italians, Germans etc quite often like speaking English so that they can practise and quite often in Europe people from different countries use English to communicate as it is a common language. (Little known fact but in WWII the Germans and the Japanese didn't bother to learn each others languages as their common enemies spoke English so they just learnt English and used that between them).
Not sure about Greece.
Have a great trip!  Smile



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlineSignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2992 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3377 times:



Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 9):
many/most (not all) French have a dislike of anyone speaking English or people who can't speak French very well

Kind of... From when I lived in France, the French are very appreciative of anyone foreign who speaks French, or attempts to. Many French people do speak good English, but they choose not to on principle. (I have come accross this many times!) Advice is to buy a phrase book (Lonely Planet's Western European phrase book is good). Learn a few local phrases, then ask if they speak English (or Spanish). If in France, perhaps just ask then if they speak Spanish - many French have negative impressions towards Anglophones.

All in all, a few hours learning some phrases on the plane will make your time here much more immersed and enjoyable. Have fun!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineToulouse From Switzerland, joined Apr 2005, 2757 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3368 times:



Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 9):
except France (many/most (not all) French have a dislike of anyone speaking English or people who can't speak French very well).

Living in France over 5 years now, I totally disagree with you.

Quoting Signol (Reply 10):
From when I lived in France, the French are very appreciative of anyone foreign who speaks French, or attempts to

This is true. They are quite proud of their language, and do appreciate foreigners trying to speak it.

In my experience the French are actually embarrassed about speaking English and think their "French" accent is awful (which I always tell them many English natives actually find attractive), so it's usually more a questions of a lack of confidence rather than a dislike of anyone speaking English or people who can't speak French very well. Paris is a different storry, but they even criticise how Provincial French, Swiss, Belgians and people from Quebec speak French. It's in my opinion the capital superiority syndrome, however I have met many Parisians while in Paris who were happy to speak English, yet any bad language-related experience I've ever had in France was in Paris.
English is studied by the vast majority of young French... but of course just as Spanish or French is taught to many of us in our native countries, the standard isn't always great.
If you come to France, with the open attitude you seem to haveFLY2HMO, you'll have no problems.



Long live Aer Lingus!
User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 24
Reply 12, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3350 times:



Quoting BAViscount (Reply 5):
a lot of people in the Nordic countries speak very good English, as do people in Holland,

One major reason behind this is the fact that TV series and movies get screened in their original language (= English) with local subtitiles. Reading subtitles is quite boring and so people start to learn the spoken language from TV quite easily.
For many of the conuntries mentioned it is just uneconomical to dubb all these movies etc.

Story is different in Germany with its 80+ M people (plus Austria plus German-speaking Switzerland): Here you have a big number of customers so dubbing all movies and TV series in german language is economical and all viewers expect to listen to a dubbed movie.

Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 3):
But don't expect to hear much Spanish outside of Spain.

Speaking Spanish (or "Castellano" how it is called in Spain) will be of good use in Portugal, too but you should make very clear that you understand that you are in Portugal. First contact should be in Portuguese, than English and lastly Spanish in order to not offend people.

Same is true in Catalunya where Catalan is the first language and Castellano only the second one.
Approach people and apologize that you only speak Castellano and usually it will be okay for them to hold the conversation in Castellano.

Bottomline:
Show respect to local people & languages. While it may be okay for many to being approached by an Englsih speaking foreigner, some could feel offended ...
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineBraybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 5626 posts, RR: 32
Reply 13, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3349 times:

I would have to agree with most of the posters above. The first thing I do in a foreign country is learn the words for "thank you" in their language. It's always appreciated and makes a difference, EVEN in Paris: my French wouldn't get me far, but by attempting the basics I've found the Parisians to be among the most pleasant people to deal with.

In Germany you won't have a problem: most people are quite fluent in English. And if you want to avoid sounding like a dumb tourist learn a few simple phrases. Simple as that.


User currently offlineTreeny From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 319 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3337 times:



Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 3):
Germany/Switzerland will be no problem at all. Almost everybody speaks English. Many better than the average North American it seems haha

Amen to that!!!!!!

Times when I have travelled to Germany I have been rather ashamed of how well they speak compared to me!

My advice I suppose echoes many of the comments here. With regards to your phrases learn how to "break the ice" a little bit with the usual hello, how are you kind of phrases and then in their language to apologise, say you only know the language in its basics and ask if they speak English.

I generally make a joke in that I use phrases and then say "ok ,I admit it, I dont know any other phrases so could we speak in English". Believe me they will respect and treat you far better if you break the ice and then admit you now need to speak in English.

I too am fluent in Spanish (Argentine Version) and have used it in Europe (France and Italy to be specific) to help me along in terms of within my head (Translating signs, menus, listening to people) but dont assume that by you speaking in Spanish if English doesnt work that you will be OK.

Many here have said about speaking properly and clearly which is a must too. Always be on your guard though. When one speaks more than one language often it can be useful not to share the fact for ones own gain. In this case, say you are dining with friends or something along those lines, dont start for example sledging a waiter or the food or whatever thinking they wont know what you mean because you can bet they have heared it before!!!

Good luck and enjoy the tour!


User currently offlineKiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8536 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3321 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 9):
Well most countries in Europe are fine with English except France (many/most (not all) French have a dislike of anyone speaking English or people who can't speak French very well).

it's funny how often I hear that repeated - I speak lousy French ( comes of living in Bruxelles where virtually everyone speaks word perfect English* )
but when I trot out my crap French in France people are generally very nice and in fact in Paris I have found a disconcertingly large number of the supposedly legendarily rude Parisians will actually reply to me in English ..... and smile while doing so



* actually , if I am honest , it comes more from a combination of laziness and embarassment - I shudder every time I hear myself try to speak French



Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently offlineToast From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3312 times:

Here's my short summary of the language situation in Europe as I see it:

The whole of Scandinavia, Finland, Luxembourg, Flanders, and the Netherlands: English is de rigueur, everybody except old people speaks it fluently.

France: be patient with the usually atrocious accent. If you're travelling off the beaten path in France, good luck. The same goes for Wallonia in Belgium, where language skills are probably even worse than in France.

Spain: Spanish of course, and since you probably have a Mexican accent, you needn't worry about annoying a Basque or Catalan. English is used only in touristy areas, which actually means in quite a lot of places.

Portugal: while almost everybody understands Spanish, they'll invariably answer your queries in Portuguese. You'll probably be able to get the gist of what they're saying.

Germany, Austria, Switzerland: young people almost always speak good English (wis zat fabulous Ahnuld accent). Anyone with a suit and necktie is almost bound to speak English.

Poland: most people are completely monolingual, and communication can be an issue. The exception are young and well-educated Poles, but those live in the UK anyway.

Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia: while catching up with their English skills, German is still probably the most widely understood foreign language.

Italy: they'll understand your Spanish, and are likely to speak some English.

Romania: many people speak French. English, not so many.

The Balkans: hit-and-miss.

Greece: English is OK in touristy areas.

Turkey: good English is spoken in touristy areas. If you look German, as I apparently do, some people will want to practice their German on you ("do you know my brother Ahmet Beyoglu from Hamburg?")

Russia, Belarus, Ukraine: learn Russian or leave, you imperialist swine!  Wink Seriously, while many Slavs are multilingual, they usually only speak other Slavic languages.

Baltic states: their English is improving fast. Russian still understood by most, if not exactly loved.

Scotland: no English spoken as far as I can tell.  duck 

And,as other have already said, wherever you go, learn a few basic phrases in the local language and use them, however bad your accent may be. People will love you. The Netherlands might be an exception as the Dutch take a lot of pride in their English skills and could be annoyed by "do you speak English?". No need to ask - they all do.

Bon voyage!  Smile


User currently offlineFiatstilojtd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3310 times:



Quoting Toast (Reply 16):
The Balkans: hit-and-miss.

But they understand English/British/U.S./EURO Money  Wink. In the past especially Deutsche Mark and Dollar, now preferably Euro  Smile

Quoting Toast (Reply 16):
(wis zat fabulous Ahnuld accent)

Nah, don't generalise


User currently offlineKiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8536 posts, RR: 13
Reply 18, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3309 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Toast (Reply 16):
The Netherlands might be an exception as the Dutch take a lot of pride in their English skills and could be annoyed by "do you speak English?".

I wouldnt ask the Swedes or the Flemish either - unlike the Dutch they wont be annoyed but it will probably take them a good 10-15 minutes to stop laughing at the question



Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently offlineBNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3173 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3297 times:

Any european will understand enough English if they are providing a service to tourist in exchange of Euros. Even a person trying scam money of you will also speak English as well.


Why fly non stop when you can connect
User currently offlineBoeing744 From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 1829 posts, RR: 23
Reply 20, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3245 times:

Very good list Toast. However...

Quoting Toast (Reply 16):
Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia: while catching up with their English skills, German is still probably the most widely understood foreign language.

I definitely found this to be true in the Czech Republic, but not at all so in Hungary. No one would reply if I asked things in German, so either they didn't speak it, or they prefered to speak English.

Quoting Toast (Reply 16):
The Balkans: hit-and-miss.

I can't speak for the whole area, but I found Slovenians to have the best English skills of any other country in Europe. That's just from one day there, but everybody seems to speak it, to a very high level. I also met a big group of Croatians in Budapest once, and they all spoke very good English.


User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3234 times:



Quoting Boeing744 (Reply 20):
No one would reply if I asked things in German, so either they didn't speak it, or they prefered to speak English.

-
I in Hungary on two visits to Budapest generally asked people whether they preferred German or English. Some 80% were in favour of German while the other 20% (mostly at the airport) preferred English. And the German speakers understood and spoke German perfectly well.


User currently offlineAjd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3212 times:



Quoting FLY2HMO (Thread starter):

I'm not worried at all while in Italy, Italian being so incredibly similar to Spanish, but I'm kinda curious about Switzerland and Germany, and specially Greece. I know most people know English, and (being Europe) probably Spanish. I just don't want to come off to the locals as the typical dumb tourist that expects everybody to know English.

The majority of Europeans won't speak any Spanish, unless you're in Spain. It's not a language schools teach here, or at least not as much as German/French/English. With most countries, the younger generation will speak enough English to help you, but still learn a few local phrases. Unless you're in France, i tried that and it still didn't work  Wink You'll be fine in Germany/Switzerland, German is a lot like English (English being a Germanic language) so any phrases you learn should come pretty naturally. Be careful though, in Switzerland they speak Swiss German, Swiss French, Romansh and Italian all as national languages, and different areas speak different languages. Like others have said, the majority of younger people do speak enough English to understand/help you.


User currently offline767Lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3187 times:

Ask this guy about it:

Pilgrimage From UK To India Ends In Calais (by Signol Feb 29 2008 in Non Aviation)


User currently offlineSK601 From Belgium, joined Jun 2005, 976 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3182 times:

A bit off topic: never ask "Where can I exchange my US Dollars into EURO Dollars???"

We pay with EUROS not Euro $ !! (i.e. in most countries in Europe)

(I work at the airport and travellers from the US ask me this question at least a few times a week, and I think it's annoying)
 biting   boggled   grumpy   irked   sarcastic 


25 TheSonntag : And please, don't behave like hollywood celebrities stating "I can speak German, I can say Sauerkraut, Schnitzel and guten tag" But saying Danke inste
26 Post contains images N1120A : You have absolutely no reason to worry. The vast majority speak at least conversational English. You may have problems if you get outside areas that
27 Post contains images Andaman : As mentioned above, it's always good to learn few phrases of the languages and the basic facts about the countries you are travelling to. An American
28 Post contains images Fiatstilojtd : Arnies inofficial styrian Hymne - NO JOKE Hi Boeing744, when I was in Debrecen (near the Ukrainian/Romanian border) I was very surprised to find out
29 Post contains links and images ME AVN FAN : - The following map will explain the matter : - -
30 Boeing744 : Well, I stand corrected. It seemed to me in Budapest that people much preferred English, but I was only there for a day, so couldn't get such a good
31 BlueElephant : My Best advise is to be polite and learn some phrases in the local language. And ask the people in the local language if they speak...English or Spani
32 Post contains images David L : True but I can't remember meeting a Swiss-German who didn't also speak "Hochdeutsch" and, as far as I can tell, Swiss French is very similar to "Fren
33 Jcs17 : One thing to keep in mind, in countries with heavy immigration like Sweden and France, if you go to a convenience store or tobacconist -- an immigrant
34 Toast : On the other hand, said immigrant may very well be a Hidu or Pakistani and thus speak English... Huh? You have got be kidding... On the contrary, "t
35 EL-AL : You should have no problem visiting Europe. I speak only English/Hebrew, and I was always capable to communicate with the local residents. If I can gi
36 JCS17 : Nope. I had a store clerk, a cab driver, and a bartender all question my use of "tu" instead of "usted," and the cabbie got especially ticked off. Th
37 Post contains images AA61Hvy : Maybe it's because you're an asshole? In all honesty, every time I've traveled abroad, an attempt at the language, a picture of what you're looking f
38 Mir : Best way to do that is to buy yourself a few phrasebooks and learn the basic stuff - good morning/afternoon/evening, please, thank you, excuse me, do
39 Post contains images BAViscount : LOL...apparently I Iook German too! On my last visit to Turkey at the beginning of February I was asked a number of times if I was German...I haven't
40 Viscount724 : That's generally true, probably slightly more so in the German-speaking part of Switzerland (e.g. ZRH) than the French-speaking part (e.g. GVA). Howe
41 Post contains images Pyrex : Yes. 1) Most widely spoken language in Europe is English, followed by German and French. Don't assume that everybody speaks spanish. 2) If you go to
42 TheSonntag : True if you look at which languages people in Europe are able to understand. As a mother tongue, German leads by far, as around 100 million speak Ger
43 BAViscount : OK, as a lot of people seem to being the same thing, to summarise: 1. English is widely spoken by at least the younger generations across most of Euro
44 Boeing744 : Yep! Another good thing is the alphabet. You never know when you may need to spell out a hotel or street name to someone (or have it spelled to you).
45 JJJ : Maybe you went to the Canaries? There the use of usted is standard, but doesn't necessarily mean that they think you're being rude to them. Honestly,
46 Post contains images ME AVN FAN : In German speaking Switzerland, school education is in Standard-German /Hochdeutsch/Schriftdeutsch) and the newspapers and magazines, the corresponde
47 Post contains images Zkpilot : Good for you, living in France one would assume (or hope that you would have picked up the language so no problem). I, like many people on A.net work
48 BAViscount : All I can say to that is "Aber warum?!?!".
49 Post contains images NoUFO : That's why:
50 BAViscount : OI!!!!!!!!! Are you saying I look like that bloke?? I don't even know who that is! I'm assuming he's German, but he could be from anywhere in the wor
51 Post contains images SandroZRH : Priceless
52 Post contains images NoUFO : Well, somewhat ... without the hairdresser and the make-up. A TV host, but believe me, you don't really want to know ...
53 ScarletHarlot : He's the guy who showed the naked skydivers on his show...and the one guy's very dangly willy!
54 AverageUser : I for one am not bored at all with any subtitles I see, I plain love them. Everything is subtitled here, down to anyone speaking Farsi or Indonesian
55 FLY2HMO : Thanks a million for the replies, been out of the computer for a while, got lots of reading to do!
56 Post contains images Metroliner : Go to England... go to Spain? Everyone speaks English, everywhere. You'll be fine... Hahaha!
57 NoUFO : When a friend from Nevada visited Munich, even the guy at the car rental did not speak English. How they can employ people not capable of at least a
58 Post contains images Metroliner : I spent a year in Hamburg trying to get Germans to speak German to me! I found that everyone had some English knowledge, which they enjoyed practicin
59 Post contains images BAViscount : I hate that! I can get by in German, but even when I speak to people in German they often reply in English (when I'm in Germany of course!!) - I didn
60 ME AVN FAN : - Waaarum ? Due to your hair, your eyes, your face .................. eeeverything !
61 BAViscount : If I look soooooo German, why do Germans answer me in English when I speak to them in German?!?! Sheesh!
62 Post contains images Pelican : I've to admit I'm one of those Germans. It's because I can't speak English very often when not on a holiday. Hence I use every chance to practice my
63 Post contains images ME AVN FAN : I suppose, because your German does NOT sound soooooooo German !
64 NG1Fan : FLY2HMO, Why don't you take up another language? Say German? Biggest language in Europe in terms of native speakers. Language, apart from communicatio
65 StealthZ : FLY2HMO, Relax and enjoy, a few words will go a long way. You will find like someone earlier said, a smile and an attempt works wonders. Many people a
66 SWISSER : Europe is no big problem for getting around, try getting a taxi to MBK shopping center in Bangkok, or explain the guy you need to go to Suvarnabhumi..
67 N1120A : Someone generally around the same age will almost always go to tu as a way of showing familiarity. It is still always proper to use vous when a man s
68 Post contains images Ariis : I would say most of younger Poles should speak more or less comprehensive English (especially in large city areas). Your mentioning UK is somewhat a
69 OzGlobal : Well, living in Paris for 5 years, I think the "capital superiority syndrome" is a bit of a Provincial myth also. My ever improving French has almost
70 Post contains images WunalaYann : We do. It is honestly very harsh and guttural from our "French" hearing perspective. But just as we find Anglophone accents in French very attractive
71 Jush : French people have negative impressions towards every country except France. They won't try to communicate with you in any other language wheter it i
72 Post contains images ME AVN FAN : - They that way give you ample opportunity to practice your French !
73 CXfirst : I have never had problems in Europe with language. Never. I speak Norwegian and English fluently, and a tiny bit of Spanish. As you can speak English
74 Post contains images WunalaYann : Next time I look up "generalisation" in the dictionary I expect to find your statement as the prime example.
75 Post contains images LH423 : I know of a slightly bigger market of almost 400 million native speakers that generally dislikes dubbed movies. It's also a cultural thing. Unless yo
76 Post contains images WunalaYann : And for good reason... They have the guts to tell us the WE englicise French. People in glass houses...
77 StealthZ : That it is because, despite our "faults" we Australians, Americans, British and most Canadians have the good grace to know and accept that we are NOT
78 Braybuddy : I couldn't disagree more! I only have the most basic of basic French, but always use it as best I can when in the country. More times than not the Fr
79 Jush : I reckon you are right. But it was written with no offense intended. You got it. I think our French members won't take offense as well. Regds jush
80 ME AVN FAN : - Amazing is that the news-broadcasters of their TV-station speak fairly normal French, at least as long as being in that function. But otherwise, th
81 ScarletHarlot : Tabernac! Face de singe! Calisse!!!
82 Post contains images Toast : Rural and low-brow Québécois is incredibly hard to understand. Many, if not most Canadian soap operas are subtitled in France. Luckily, most Québ
83 Post contains images WunalaYann : Actually they do not. At all. They even call us "maudits Français" (bloody French). They simply think they are Québécois. Which means neither Cana
84 FlyboyOz : Yeah...I don't speak german well and can't explain to them. I have seen that most german people are very very considerate I've ever seen. I can give y
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Your Wishlist For A.net Meetings In Europe posted Sun Feb 3 2008 14:34:38 by HT
IQ In Europe : Germans 1st posted Mon Mar 27 2006 15:29:43 by Airboeing
Car Rental For 20's Yr Old In Europe? posted Mon Nov 7 2005 11:02:23 by Ibhayi
Top 5 Cities In Europe For Travelling College Stud posted Wed Aug 10 2005 01:48:09 by A330Fan1
Entry Requires For Latin Americans In Europe posted Tue May 3 2005 15:08:24 by Arcano
Best City In Europe For A Single Man! posted Tue Apr 5 2005 05:14:18 by LegalEagle
Gonna Be In Europe For Three Months... posted Sat Feb 5 2005 07:22:34 by Saxdiva
Outlook For The Dollar In Europe posted Sat May 17 2003 18:54:18 by Wardialer
Car Hire In Spain/Portugal For 18 Year Olds? posted Mon Feb 11 2008 05:49:44 by B742
IPhone A Flop In Europe? posted Fri Dec 7 2007 03:49:07 by Joni