Active Now

Slartibartfast
excon
Nanoose
Randy D
Kittigate
Zack
Discussion » Statements » Rosie's Corner » When visiting a country whose native language is different from yours are you able to say a few words in that language?

When visiting a country whose native language is different from yours are you able to say a few words in that language?

That's what a Mugger does when visiting foreign-speaking countries.  I think that shows great respect to be able to do that. Can you and do you do that too?

Posted - Mon at 6:11 AM

Responses


  • 11958
    I haven't, but Germany is on my bucket list. I'm not fluent, but I can make myself understood.
      April 5, 2021 6:15 AM MDT
    3

  • 105079
    May I ask why Germany in particular R? For me if I had a bucket list it would be Greece...Athens...specifically the Acropolis. Or where my dad was born in Izmir, Turkey which was renamed to something else I think or Amasya, Armenia...where my mom was born. I have nothing against Germany mind you. Or Germans. But in terms of lyrical beauty can it beat Switzerland or France or Italy? Thank you for your reply and Happy Monday to thee and thine! :)
      April 6, 2021 2:27 AM MDT
    1

  • 11958
    I'm into Baroque and Classical. Pachelbel, Bach and Beethoven were German, Mozart was Austrian but the Salzburg dialect is closer to Bavarian than it is to Viennese. I also like their beer, and their architecture. And nowhere beats the Germans for engineering.
    I can sing Höch Deutsch, I speak it with an Austrian twang because I learned it that way.
    Ireland, the UK and the Czech Republic are also on the list, the places you specifically mentioned are not. Although I have a French surname, je ne parle pas Français and nowhere particularly appeals - the family was originally Catalan Basque anyway, they fled to France to escape the Spanish Inquisition (they hadn't expected it).
      April 6, 2021 4:34 PM MDT
    2

  • 105079
    Like a tapestry R. Your preferred music is very intricate. The more you look at a tapestry the more you discover each time you view it. I expect you can get lost in that music. Like a maze that takes you here and there leading you deeper in. I think it is the music mathematicians might prefer...higher math being their speciality. I think that music is always refined and even delicate at times. Fragile like lace and beautiful because of its delicacy. I like minor key melodies. Haunting. Wistful. Maybe even melancholy. Something tangential to this I'll share with you. Perhaps you can relate. An ex-husband (we remained friendly) told me that his favorite time of day was after dinner. He'd put on headphones and listen to his favorite classical music so as not to bother his family as he sipped Cognac! Ever do that? Thank you for your very informative reply. So your people fled certain death as did mine long ago. Small world or has every group fled from somewhere to somewhere else? I'll ask! :)
      April 7, 2021 3:16 AM MDT
    1

  • 16931
    Most of the cities in the countries I've visited are English-speaking in which case I don't butcher their language.  When I'm in a small town where English is not commonly spoken, I try to speak the language (in most cases, Spanish) and can make myself fairly well understood with vocabulary and hand signals.  I have found that when you make an attempt to speak to someone in their native tongue, they appreciate it unless you're in the USA and then too many people think that everyone should speak English and they make a visitor feel uncomfortable.  
      April 5, 2021 1:12 PM MDT
    3

  • 105079
    I agree with thee (surprise surprise surprise!) that any effort you may make to communicate in their language is well-received even if your pronunciation causes eyebrows to rise. It means you care enough to try. As for Americans typically the average arrogant selfish self-centered boors? I think America is the only country in the world that prides itself on ignorance and vanity. The ugly american believes everyone should speak his/her language and cares nothing about learning anything about any other country or its people. Typical ugly american style as embodied in FOOTOO and his ilk. Thank you for your reply L and Happy Monday to thee and thine! :)
      April 6, 2021 2:31 AM MDT
    1

  • 16931
    To be fair, the French aren't much better.  They laugh at you even when you try and speak French unless you have the absolute perfect pronunciation .
      April 6, 2021 1:53 PM MDT
    2

  • 105079
    I wonder which country's people treat visitors more kindly? I shall ask. Not being a traveler I wouldn't know. Thank you for your reply L! :)
      April 10, 2021 5:39 AM MDT
    1

  • 16931
    Other than one incident involving a waiter in a restaurant in Rome, I've never found the people unpleasant in any country I've visited.  
      April 10, 2021 8:15 AM MDT
    1

  • 105079
    That's good to know. Thank you for your reply L! :)
      April 10, 2021 8:15 AM MDT
    1

  • 35930
    Some Deutsche and a bit of Pусский.
      April 5, 2021 2:38 PM MDT
    2

  • 105079
    I'm fluent in both. Just kidding. Just joking. Thank you for your reply E and Happy Monday to thee and thine! :)
      April 6, 2021 2:32 AM MDT
    1

  • 2951
    I've scraped by with fragments of French remembered from school, where I honestly thought I would never visit the country, let alone only a few years after leaving school.

    I managed a few words of Norwegian, to the delight of the locals who all learn English at school but rarely meet any foreigners who know any Scandinavian languages. Greek was the most awkward for me by having to think in a different alphabet as well as different words. 

    It's only good manners to at least learn the basic terms of politeness in the country you intend visiting, often printed in their own little section at the start of the phrase-books.

    '

    The staff and French tourists in one shop in a village in rural France found my attempt to buy a fluffy toy marmot to take back as a present for someone, rather amusing. I managed just enough to ask so far, but then my language failed with a fractured "...le petite animal.. oh, er, dans le fenetre." The girl behind the counter led me back outside so I could point to it, then she fetched one from the store-room, waving it above her head and pressing it so it squeaked loudly, while exclaiming "Ah, le marmotte, monsieur!". The native tourists found it all hilarious.

    I know a few Welsh words but only as place-name elements. However, a friend once told me of him and a couple he knew visiting a pub in rural North Wales. They were pretty sure the regulars were talking in English when they entered, but then switched to Welsh. The trio bought their drinks and stayed a while, but when they left, as they reached the door, the man turned and bade everyone farewell, loudly and cheerfully, in Welsh. Two men who'd been propping up the bar all along, blushed deeply and looked very embarrassed. My friend said he had asked what that was all about, once they were safely outside.  "These two had been making crude remarks about Julie," his companion had replied, " and wouldn't have known I can understand Welsh!"  
      April 5, 2021 3:26 PM MDT
    3

  • 11958
    My hovercraft is full of eels!
      April 5, 2021 4:49 PM MDT
    1

  • 105079
    You never know how much "strangers" can understand and so it's best by far to be polite and kind. I think that's grand that you show respect to the locals by attempting to speak their language. I'm sure it is endearing to them even if you fracture the language. It means you care enough to try. I think Americans are the only single language speaking country and dam* proud of it. Proud of the arrogance and the ignorance which shows you how bigly we Americans SUCK at being respectful of other cultures. SIGH. Merci mille fois mon ami. Gracias. Danke Schoen. Shot shunuryagalyem. That last one is phonetic Armenian. Happy Monday to thee and thine Durdle! :) An aside. My dad learned to speak Greek when he and his family fled the Turkish genocide of Armenians. They fled to Crete and lived there for a few years before they emigrated to America. My mom and her parents fled to Paris so her first language was French. This post was edited by RosieG at April 6, 2021 1:25 PM MDT
      April 6, 2021 2:39 AM MDT
    1

  • 1947

    Let's go through the languages.

    Latin (Was my best at school). Ancient Rome closed before my time 

    French (next best): No problem being understood: trouble came when they replied at full speed. 

    German: Early use of Meine Frau on honeymoon to explain to Jungfraujoch guard that I was waiting for her coming out of toilet. Later she had to get some medication - leaflet in French, German and Italian (not English) - made sense of it one way or another. There was also a trip to East Germany when a chap left his wee daughter in a pram in my care (God knows why). I had eventually to comfort her with "Papa kommt". 

    Albanian - happily sang songs in Albanian Even brought "ai është Zot" (He is Lord) back to teach the Boys' Brigade. Attempts to use for real met with blank stares. 

    Hebrew : No attempt to speak, but boned up vocabulary. Hero when I knew sign for toilets (שֵׁרוּתִים) at a remote petrol station. 

    Hungarian: impossible language. Advice to brush up German waste of time. Came unstuck in cafe off beaten track trying to get tea with milk, a totally alien concept to them. Could not get them to understand milk in any language. 

    Russian : Bucket list to go to Moscow and St Petersburg. Learnt it mainly for cheap Soviet era chess mags. On East German trip (1985) they boasted 40 years of brotherhood, but when I tried to buy Pravda I got a different story from the natives. Dresden tourist notices in German, Russian and Polish only. 

     

     

    This post was edited by Malizz at April 10, 2021 6:02 AM MDT
      April 6, 2021 6:04 AM MDT
    2

  • 105079
    Let me guess. You are an INTERPRETER for the United Nations, correct? Good grief Malizz! That is QUITE A LOT. I salute you! Can you pick a favorite? Which language do you prefer and why? Thank you for your reply Malizz! :)
      April 10, 2021 6:03 AM MDT
    1