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It often happens that you go to a different country for a vacation. That’s great. But when in another country it is recommended to know at least several basic words in the local language.
It is not mandatory, of course, but it is key to a successful vacation. For instance let’s say you come from a country in Eastern Europe and you go to Austria. A must know word is “verboten” – “forbidden” in German. You will be able to more easily identify what you’re not allowed to do. A short example: it is forbidden to park your car with its back side against the parking’s wall. That is because the exhaust gas from the car leaves a dark and ugly spot on the parking wall. If you choose to park like that you may even get a fine.
Sometimes it helps to know as many foreign languages as possible. I was in Bulgaria a year ago and I wanted to buy a purse but that object had no price. So I asked the saleslady the price – in English. She didn’t understand a word I was saying. My luck was that my husband knew the numbers in…. Russian. So they understood each other and I managed to get that purse.
Of course you won’t be able to learn all the languages in the world. Sometimes a travel guide with most common words and phrases/questions as guidelines might be a good solution. In other occasions you will just have to rely on your non-verbal abilities to make yourself understood. It is not easy, but you will have to try and succeed. And it will be fun for the locals – as it is for you when a foreigner tries to explain something with gestures.
However remember: when going to a new country that has a language not close to yours, try to learn several basic words. These words may end up making all the difference in the world. Please share with us your experience on using such words in local language and how you managed to enjoy your vacations.