Don't Be the Obnoxious American

Monday, August 3, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| , |

Monday, August 3, 2015


When out of the country, no one wants to be the obnoxious person who has to secretly hope everyone they come in contact with either speaks English or can translate a crude sign language system. Most people have the best intentions to travel equipped with a few key phrases (particularly "do you speak English?") in the language of the land they are visiting. 

If you are visiting multiple countries on your adventure then the goal becomes much more far fetched. Before traveling from Paris to Italy for spring break, I had just felt comfortable with basic conversational French. The idea of Italian phrases was too much and even common greetings and words that are almost identical in Spanish escaped me. The silver lining of that experience was that a lifetime of eating a American/Italian restaurants sort of prepared me to navigate the menu, which if we're being honest is the most important lesson.

A year ago I had the best of intentions of knowing much more than the basic German for Travelers. But, alas, one month out and I'm doing good to count to ten. Slowly. As the realization began to sink in I frantically started flying through Duolingo lessons and daily Coffee Break German sessions hoping to get a crash course in language learning which has never been my strong suit. Instead of Spotify, I have German radio turned on in the background hoping that something will sink in.

Do you have any tips or resources for learning the bare necessities for vacation? 

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