YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!

Changes

Jump to: navigation, search

Talk

3,201 bytes added, 00:27, 19 November 2012
Using English: fix double re-direct
{{traveltopic}}
The world has over 5,000 different languages, including over 20 with 50 million or more speakers. Travel can bring you into contact with any of these. This article tries to give an overview of how to cope with language difficulties, an important problem for many travellers. See our [[List of phrasebooks]] for information on specific languages. == Using English Coping without a language == There are several ways to cope with travel in countries where you do not speak the local language. You can learn some of the local language and/or a regional language. It will rarely be practical to learn a language for a short trip, but bring a [[list of phrasebooks|phrasebook]]! Learning the basics of pronunciation, greetings, how to ask directions, and numbers (for transactions) can be enough to fulfill nearly all the essentials of travel on your own, and can be a fun activity on long flights or bus delays. While locals are generally understanding and do not expect foreigners to be fluent in their language, any attempt to speak the local language is generally appreciated, even if your vocabulary is restricted to some basic greetings and numbers, and your pronunciation is not very good. This applies even in areas where English is widely spoken.
English is very much a world language — it is taught as a second language in many places — Try any other languages you speak. Older Chinese often speak Russian, some Turks and it is possible to travel almost anywhere using only EnglishArabs speak good French or German, and so on.
Nearly anywhere, if When one or both players has limited skills in whatever language you stay in heavily-touristed areas and pay for a good hotelare using, enough of ''keep it simple''! Keep sentences short. Use the staff will speak English to make your trip painlesspresent tense. Avoid idioms. Nearly anywhere, you can hire an English-speaking guide Use single words and translator--especially if you take care of it beforehand. Travelling this way may not be as cheap or as interesting as it could be, but it will be relatively easyhand gestures to convey meaning.
[[Image:World map percentage english speakers by countryIf none of those work for your situation, you can just smile a lot and use gestures. It is amazing how far this can take you; many people are extremely tolerant.png|thumb|center|380px|English-speaking percent of population by country]]
For It is also fairly common in things like negotiating a price to write down numbers or key them into a business trip, paying calculator for good hotels and guides or translators may be the best strategy; the convenience and ability display to get things done are more important than cost. For a backpacker on a tight budget, this is not a good strategy; coping with language difficulties should be considered part of the adventure. Many travellers fall somewhere between; they may choose a hotel where English is spoken, but they will also have linguistic adventures in the marketsother party.
== Regional languages ==
In many areas, it is very useful to learn some of a regional language. This is much easier than trying to learn several local languages, and is generally more useful than any one local language.
[[Image:World regional languages map.png|thumb|center|349px480px|The world's major regional languages]]
Regional languages that are widely used in across large areas encompassing many countries are :* '''[[RussianSpanish phrasebook|Spanish]] ''' for [[Central AsiaSpain]] and the most of [[CaucasusLatin America]], .* '''[[Arabic phrasebook|Arabic]] ''' for the [[Middle East]] and , [[North Africa]], [[FrenchSomalia]], and [[Djibouti]].* '''[[Russian phrasebook|Russian]] ''' for parts of [[EuropeRussia]], [[Belarus]], [[Ukraine]], the [[Baltic States]] and , [[AfricaCentral Asia]], [[Mongolia]] and the [[SpanishCaucasus]] for most of .* '''[[Latin AmericaFrench phrasebook|French]]. Other languages such as ''' for [[PortugueseFrance]], [[MandarinBelgium]], [[HindiSwitzerland]], and former colonies: [[GermanQuebec]], [[PersianFrench Guiana]], and most of [[SwahiliWest Africa]] are important for particular areas., and various others
Even in really out-of-the-way places, you should at least be able to find hotel staff and guides who speak the regional language well. English is unlikely to be much use in a small town in [[Uzbekistan]], for example, but Russian is fairly widely spoken.
Regional languages are often useful somewhat beyond the borders of their region. Some Russian is spoken in Northern China, some German in Turkey, and so on.
Other useful regional languages include: *'''[[Chinese phrasebook|Chinese]]''' as the lingua franca for multilingual [[China]], as well as [[Taiwan]] and [[Singapore]].*'''[[German phrasebook|German]]''' for [[Germany]], [[Austria]], [[Switzerland]], [[Liechtenstein]] (also useful throughout [[Central Europe]] and in [[Turkey]]).*So-called '''[[Hindi phrasebook|Hindustani]]''', a language comprised of mutually intelligible Hindi and Urdu, for [[India]] and [[Pakistan]].*'''[[Malay phrasebook|Malay]]/[[Indonesian phrasebook|Indonesian]]''' is useful, naturally, for [[Malaysia]] and [[Indonesia]], but also for neighboring [[Brunei]], [[Singapore]] and some parts of [[Southern Thailand]].*'''[[Persian phrasebook|Persian]]''' for [[Iran]], [[Afghanistan]], and to a lesser degree [[Tajikistan]].*'''[[Portuguese phrasebook|Portuguese]]''' for a motley assortment of [[Portugal]], [[Brazil]], [[East Timor]], [[Angola]], and [[Mozambique]].*'''[[Swahili phrasebook|Swahili]]''' for [[Kenya]], [[Tanzania]], [[Uganda]], [[Rwanda]], [[Burundi]], and to a lesser degree the other countries of [[East Africa]]. Even in really out-of-the-way places, you should at least be able to find hotel staff and guides who speak the regional language well. English is unlikely to be much use in a small town in [[Uzbekistan]], for example, but Russian is quite widely spoken. Regional languages are often useful somewhat beyond the borders of their region. Some Russian is spoken in Northern China, some German in Turkey, and so on. In Uzbekistan, Persian could be worth a try. == Using English == Language  English is very much a world language — it is spoken in many countries and widely taught as a reason for second language — and it is possible to travel==almost anywhere using only English and a broad smile.
It is fairly common for language to be part The map below shows the percentage of the reason English-speakers for various travel choicesnations. Keep in mind, however, that English-speakers are not evenly spread over a country.* Some travellers choose destinations based partly on In nations where English is not the primary language. For example, an English speaker might choose -speakers are more likely to visit be found in major cities and near major tourist attractions. In [[MalaysiaJapan]] rather than , for example, there is a higher concentration of English-speakers in [[ThailandTokyo]] or and [[JamaicaOsaka]] rather than , but the percentage drops significantly when you travel to more rural parts, like [[MexicoShikoku]] because it is easier to cope with a country where English is widely spoken.* Others may choose a destination where a language they want to learn or improve is spoken; see [[Language tourism]].* Still others may use language teaching as a method of funding their travel; see [[Teaching EnglishKyushu]].Language is almost never the only reason for these choices, but it is sometimes a major factor.
[[Image:World map percentage english speakers by country.png|thumb|center|480px|English-speaking % of population by country (grey== Coping without a language ==no data)]]
There are several ways to cope with travel Nearly anywhere, if you stay in countries where English is not spoken. Perhaps another language will work.* Learn some heavily visited areas and pay for a good hotel, enough of the local language. It staff will rarely be practical speak English to learn a language for one make your trippainless. Nearly anywhere, but bring a [[list of phrasebooks|phrasebook]]! Learning the basics of pronunciation, greetings, how to ask directions, and numbers (for transactions) you can be enough fulfill nearly all the essentials of travel on your own, hire an English-speaking guide and can be a fun activity on long flights or bus delays.* Try a regional language.* Try any other languages translator--especially if you speaktake care of it beforehand. Older Chinese often speak Russian, some Turks and Arabs speak good French Travelling this way may not be as cheap or Germanas interesting as it could be, and so on.* Try simple English: Keep sentences short. Use the present tense. Use single words and hand gestures to convey meaningbut it will be relatively easy.
If none of those work For a business trip, paying for your situationgood hotels and guides or translators may be the best strategy; the convenience and ability to get things done are more important than cost. For a backpacker on a tight budget, you can just smile this is not a lot and use gesturesgood strategy; coping with language difficulties should be considered part of the adventure. It Many travellers fall somewhere between; they may choose a hotel where English is amazing how far this can take you; many people are extremely tolerantspoken, but they will also have linguistic adventures in the markets.
It is also fairly common English differs between its varieties and the variant of English used often depends on which among the US and UK had greater ties to the country in things like negotiating a price to write down numbers or key them into a calculator for display to question. Our [[ English language varieties]] article gives you an idea of where which variety predominates and some of the other partywords that differ among variants of English.
==Widely used expressions==
A few English words may be understood anywhere, though which ones will vary from place to place. For example, "OK" and "bye-bye" are used in Chinese and many Chinese speakers also know "hello" and "thank you". Unless you are dealing with educated people, however, that may well be the extent of their English.
French words also turn up in other languages. "Merci" is one way to say "thank you" in Persianand in Bulgarian.
English idioms may also be borrowed. "ta-ta" is common in India, for example.
Some words have related forms across the Muslim world.
* "Thank you" is ''shukran'' in Arabic, ''tashekurteshekkür'' in Turkish, ''tashekor'' in Dari (Afghan Persian), ''shukria'' in Urdu.* The word for peace, used as a greeting, is ''shalom'' in Hebrew, ''salaam'' in Arabic, ''salamatselamat'' in Indonesian.
Even if you use the form from another language, you might still be understood.
Some loanwords may be very similar in a number of languages. For example, "sauna" (originally from Finnish) sounds similar in Chinese and English among other languages. ''Naan'' is Persian for bread; it used in several Indian languages, though the recipe varies.
The word for tea is approximately "chai" across most of Asia (Hindi, Russian, Persian, Turkish, ...), "cha" in standard Mandarin and Cantonese (albeit with different tones) and "teh" in the Minnan dialect and in Indonesian (in fact, the English word tea was derived from ''teh''). == Language as a reason for travel== It is fairly common for language to be part of the reason for various travel choices.* Some travellers choose destinations based partly on the language. For example, an English speaker might choose to visit [[Malaysia]] rather than [[Thailand]] or [[Jamaica]] rather than [[Mexico]] because it is easier to cope with a country where English is widely spoken.* Others may choose a destination where a language they want to learn or improve is spoken; see [[Language tourism]].* Still others may use language teaching as a method of funding their travel; see [[Teaching English]].Language is almost never the only reason for these choices, but it is sometimes a major factor. {{Usabletopic}}  {{related|List of phrasebooks}} [[fi:Paikallinen kieli]]
1,052
edits

Navigation menu