Flybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1798 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
The UK is obviously a good place to start. Germany I've heard has an excellent grasp of English in the main cities (Frankfurt, Munich etc.). France, however, may not be the best place for English speakers... especially Americans, because of lingering cultural tensions between the two nations. However, if you do plan on going to France (particularly Paris) you should make an attempt to speak French... the people there I've heard are more receptive if you engage them in the native language rather than assuming that they speak English off the bat.
I've also noticed when traveling in Asia (could be true in Europe)... that young people, particularly the college aged crowds, are more inclined to know English than the older generations.
"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
Agill From Sweden, joined Feb 2004, 1003 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Well you could probably get by pretty much everywhere, but Netherlands, and Scandinavia are very safe for making yourself understood in english. I thought Italy was a bit hard to communicate in since most poeple I met there didn't speak much english, but usually you get by anyway.
MadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10686 posts, RR: 39
Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
You can go to Cyprus and Malta. Both are English speaking places. They are both part of the E.U. Not only these islands are international business and banking centers but they also have a very old history.
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
STT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16644 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
English is widely spoken/understood in Europe. My Wife and I took our Honeymoon in Europe back in '06, we visited;
Marseilles, Aixen Provence, Nice France
Florence, Rome, Naples, Positano Italy.
We had no troubles at all, in fact I was pleasantly surprised how friendly everyone was to us Americans (even in France). We found many comforts of home in Europe, Dunkin Donuts in Barcelona, Starbucks, McDonald's etc..
Don't sweat it, the only trouble you will find will be tv. I found Tv in Europe to be dreadfully dull.
Braybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 5544 posts, RR: 33
Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
You won't have a problem in most western European cities, even in Paris, but you'll draw a blank from Parisians if you address them in English. A few words in French go a LONG way to dismantling that famous Gallic froideur. Even in the larger eastern cities you'll get by. It's part of the fun of travelling doing your best to interact with the locals anyway. Outside the UK and Ireland, as Deaphen says, you won't have a problem at all in the Netherlands as the Dutch all speak better English than we do, as do the Danes and other Scandinavians. In Switzerland, Belgium and Germany English is widely understood, less so in the Mediterranean countries, but nearly everyone under 40 can speak and understand some.
Falstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 5949 posts, RR: 28
Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 2): Germany I've heard has an excellent grasp of English in the main cities (Frankfurt, Munich etc.).
In the old DDR side of the country I found few people that could speak English. Maybe if I was hanging around younger people I would have but the over 40 crowd were generally not English speakers. I met plenty of people that wanted to speak English. I didn't have any trouble, but I was with two native Germans so I didn't have to do much talking other than to them.
Quoting STT757 (Reply 7): We found many comforts of home in Europe, Dunkin Donuts in Barcelona, Starbucks, McDonald's etc
I have seen that stuff too, but I don't go anywhere on vacation I can go at home.
ME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 26
Reply 11, posted (5 years 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
In Switzerland you will have no problem in urban areas like Zurich, Basel, Berne, Schaffhausen, St. Gallen, Kreuzlingen/Konstanz, Lucerne, Zug, etc. And none in Geneva and Lausanne. It may be a bit different in non touristic rural areas of course. Much depends on YOUR English. If it is near to classical British English, ok, but if it is a heavy US dialect, please simply speak slowly and clearly. The proforma question "do you speak English" will usually result in a "Yes" of sorts and is the polite way.
Us330 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 3836 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (5 years 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
From where I've travelled--England/Scotland (obviously), the Netherlands (since few non-Dutch actually speak Dutch), Denmark (same as the Netherlands--don't try speaking German though--I made that mistake and was slightly reprimanded (tried to be all smart and cool and asked for tickets to the Hauptbahnhof, then was told the Germans had left in 1945... )), Germany, and Switzerland.
Spain there are people who speak English, but less compared to the other countries I described.
That said, if you are going to Europe, don't pick a country just because it is easier to speak English, go to a country because you are interested in its history, culture, etc. For example, if you are a huge Victor Hugo fan, go to France even if you can't speak French--you'll get by anyway, and have some great stories to tell.
Andaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting STT757 (Reply 7): Don't sweat it, the only trouble you will find will be tv. I found Tv in Europe to be dreadfully dull.
At least in the Nordic countries the foreign tv programs are shown in the original language with subtitles, not dubbed like in Germany and Italy, that should help ,) And a lot of British/American stuff on tv here, the Finnish tv produces news in English also.
Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 11): if it is a heavy US dialect, please simply speak slowly and clearly
Would say the same about Nordic Europe, English is widely spoken but some American terms don't say much here. We only know the metric system, for an example.
And it's always useful to find out something about local culture beforehand - same goes with Europeans traveling to US of course... like tipping less common here and tipping with US dollars not a good idea, happens sometimes.
Acheron From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1528 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (5 years 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting STT757 (Reply 7): We found many comforts of home in Europe, Dunkin Donuts in Barcelona, Starbucks, McDonald's etc..
To be honest, I don't see the point of going to europe(or anywhere, for that matter) and eat stuff you get back at home, anyway.
I prefer to try the local restaurants, and they are probably far more healthier anyway.
TSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3028 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (5 years 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
As I've never been outside the US, I'll relate what my better-travelled friends have told me on this subject:
Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 11): Much depends on YOUR English. If it is near to classical British English, ok, but if it is a heavy US dialect, please simply speak slowly and clearly.
A friend of mine who spent some time in the UK said that he was quickly and rather emphatically informed on a couple of occasions that the language he spoke was not "English", but "American". Since he too is from Alabama, I'm guessing that to UK ears his language was exceedingly "American".
Quoting Falstaff (Reply 9): Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 2):
Germany I've heard has an excellent grasp of English in the main cities (Frankfurt, Munich etc.).
In the old DDR side of the country I found few people that could speak English. Maybe if I was hanging around younger people I would have but the over 40 crowd were generally not English speakers. I met plenty of people that wanted to speak English.
Another friend visited Germany hoping, among other things, to improve his language skills by speaking German to native German-speakers. Much to his dismay, almost all the native Germans he met insisted on speaking English to him to practice and/or improve their language skills.
Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
STT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16644 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (5 years 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting Acheron (Reply 14): To be honest, I don't see the point of going to europe(or anywhere, for that matter) and eat stuff you get back at home, anyway.
The only place we visited in Barcelona that we have back home is Starbucks, while I loved the coffee in Barcelona the portions were just too small. A large cafe Americano con leche at the typical Barcelona cafe was just too small, I needed a 16oz.
Starbucks will never get off the ground here in the Netherlands. I believe there is just one Starbucks in the whole country, in Amsterdam. Their coffee is gnat's pee.
However, when visiting Europe, don't let yourself be guided by language, or lack thereof. Go for the history and the culture. Surely someone intelligent enough to be a doctor can learn a smattering of two or three European languages - outside of English. Walking in a Dutch bakkerij (bakery) of a Saturday morning and greeting the bakker (baker) with a cheery goede morgen (good morning) will earn you some points.
Arguably the best countries in the world for coffee lovers are Spain and the Netherlands.
Pyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 3741 posts, RR: 28
Reply 18, posted (5 years 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
In general you should be fine pretty much anywhere. After all, you are only going for 10 days to travel around and not to do business. In the worst case scenario, pointing at stuff at looking at the value in the cash register should get you through most day-to-day situations. That said:
Spain and Italy are notoriously bad in those respects. Plenty of reasons to avoid Spain, really, and the inability of speaking English is just one of them, but it is not like you will starve to death and miss your flight because of it.
Quoting TSS (Reply 15): Another friend visited Germany hoping, among other things, to improve his language skills by speaking German to native German-speakers. Much to his dismay, almost all the native Germans he met insisted on speaking English to him to practice and/or improve their language skills.
I keep having that same problem with my French. I love the French language but have barely no opportunity to practice it so my French is quite bad. However, whenever I have tried using it recently (in Paris, Montreal and Tahiti) people almost immediately switch over to English and don't give me a chance to practice it. Some of them even address me in English straight away, before I even open my mouth (I must have "tourist" written all over my forehead or something). The ones who do speak French with me are usually nice enough to acknowledge the effort I am doing and keep going even though the conversation would flow much smoother in English.
Quoting RobertNL070 (Reply 17): Arguably the best countries in the world for coffee lovers are Spain and the Netherlands.
Dear God, please tell me you are kidding.
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
Allrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 1812 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (5 years 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 8): You won't have a problem in most western European cities, even in Paris, but you'll draw a blank from Parisians if you address them in English. A few words in French go a LONG way to dismantling that famous Gallic froideur.
I agree with Braybuddy in that you should try to learn at least a few polite words in the local language - it's not difficult and it helps to demonstrate that you respect the fact they do have their own language and culture. I've never had a problem in France. Sometimes I'll find someone who can't speak English, but then they have tried to find someone who can usually speak better English than my paltry French.
I found the level of English to be better in the Netherlands and Germany than in the UK. Many UK accents are impenetrable and I dun unnerstan nuffink wat dey speak.
AirCatalonia From Spain, joined Nov 2007, 536 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting Dr.DTW (Thread starter): What countries are best suited for the English-only traveler, and which should I avoid?
If you speak slowly and you try to make yourself understood, you should have no problem. The only places where you may encounter some difficulties are perhaps southern Spain and Italy (not the big cities). Then the "far east" (eastern Europe) is a different story and you may have some issues getting by in the areas with most Russian influence, but I presume you are planning a trip to western or central Europe.
LTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 51
Reply 23, posted (5 years 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting Falstaff (Reply 9): In the old DDR side of the country I found few people that could speak English. Maybe if I was hanging around younger people I would have but the over 40 crowd were generally not English speakers.
That is true, because most of them in the old DDR learned Russian instead of English as first foreign language.
That being said, if you go to Germany, you should have no language problem even if you only speak English. And if they don't speak English, then they'll certainly understand some of it, after all, the English and German language are related in some way.
Scorpio From Belgium, joined Oct 2001, 4971 posts, RR: 45
Reply 24, posted (5 years 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Here in Belgium, it depends on where you go. In Dutch-speaking Flanders (with cities like Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, etc.) and in bilingual (French and Dutch) Brussels you'll have no problem at all, with levels of English as high as in the Netherlands and Scandinavia. If you go to French-speaking Wallonia, you might have some more difficulty, though you should get by.
: Thank you all so much... What about these cities: Lisbon Madrid Barcelona There are the three I'm considering.... Thanks Ed.
: You shouldn't have much trouble as a tourist in any of these cities, but as others have said, Spain does lag most of Western Europe in English access
: I have never been to Barcelona and it has been a while since I was in Madrid for the last time but I can tell you that in Lisbon you should be just f
: As an English only speaker I've always relied on translators - Palms in years past and some nice ones on the iPhone/touch. Another rule is to learn to
: Many Europeans have a very strong grasp of English. In general, the "weaker" a language in a country, the stronger their grasp of English is. In the N
: I would certainly recommend Barcelona, by far my fave Euro city. A beautiful, fun city. Loads to see and do and its got a beach!!! Most hotel desk sta
: And those would be? I have never had a cup of coffee in the Netherlands (even though I've been there about 10 times) so I can't give you an opinion.
: If you have enough time come to Kosova, its a great place to visit, and you would not have problem with English here at all. Kiqa
: My very first trip to Europe was to Spain in late 2006 and I didn't speak Spanish. I absolutely LOVED IT ! Flew into Madrid for a couple of days then
: Hi Doc I have travelled trhough Germany Czech Replublic Hungary Netherlands Germany Finland & Spain and had no problems at all. France whoever I found
: Well don't keep is in the dark, I am eager to find out what European destinations are great for coffee lovers.
: The United Kingdom... honestly. When you travel to other parts of Europe, English can get you by but you will run into some problems (as I have). I pr
: I am very happy to say that this is absolutely incorrect. I am sad to see that this cliché keeps popping up, despite overwhelming evidence of the co
: Let me just say everyone is very welcome in Germany, especially Americans. There may sometimes be political tension between our countries, but the ge
: I wouldn't really worry about it that much, you'll find someone who can speak a bit of English. I hear quite a few people say that in Germany people s
: Another point. I started going to France and Spain some thirty years ago, wonderful countries by the way, and nobody, but nobody spoke a word of Engl
: Wow. Talk about a slap in the face. I am sorry to hear you have had bad experiences but that was one big generalisation...
: LOL, I would'nt bet on that, there is even Starbucks in VIE, that's like having a mosque in Vatican City. Advise for Americans travelling to Europe.
: It's pretty easy really, you can break down Europeans understanding and speaking of English into 2 camps, those countries which dub ie Germany, France
: Well if you will drive to France in your German registered car and they see you getting out of your car...................
: Thank you. For a moment I thought I had lived on another planet for 25 years.
: Please tell me that you are kidding, I was in Kosovo late last year it was a bugger of a place when it came to people understanding English, when it
: Well, who would not be? I went to Japan 7 years ago and people really appreciated I could speak a bit of Japanese. Then I had to speak English becaus
: You are aware that Dublin is actually in Ireland and not the UK right?
: I have spent time in Italy, France, Spain & Portugal. Speak only English with a very flat Australian accent. I had more language problems in SFO than
: Exactly. When I went back-packing for a few weeks after my graduation, I spent two weeks in France and Italy, and my Italian and French language skil
51 ME AVN FAN
: - Starbucks in Europe and the Middle East, in most places at least, very swiftly discovered that people prefer good but small coffees over the Americ
: Nice analogy. But the there are thirteen "mosques in the Vatican City". See: http://www.starbucks.com/retail/loca...x?a=1&CountryID=14&FC=RETAIL&City
: Only 40% of Belgians have French as their national language The rest uses some strange form of Dutch, which they now, under the influence of a silly