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Old 07-11-2003, 11:41 AM   #1
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As I have said on a few posts before, I plan on going to Eastern Europe this upcoming year during the winter (that is the 'down' season, correct?). One thing that kind of worries me is not being able to speak the local language. Has this ever been an issue with anyone else?
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Old 07-11-2003, 12:34 PM   #2
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Cincy, you would be surprised on how quik you pick things up whe you really have to. On my travels in Cuba, I started out not speaking one work of Spanish, execpt "Cerveza" (beer). I had no choice but to learn words to get me by, some of the very small towns i passed through had no one speaking english. I had to learn and fast, I learned enough in a few days to get me buy, now i can asure you there were problems, but
body language and patients really paid off. Just keep in mind a couple of things Spanish, French and Italian are very similar languages, if you can speak one you can learn the others quickly, i know a bit of frenchm so I caught onto spanish not to bad, And when I was in Italy i could not carry on a in depth conversation, but i could hold my own. You can pick up a dictonary to learn from, but it might be considered rude to be looking up every work people say to you. learn key pharses you will need and go from there. Do your best to understand people, do not avoid them because you do not speak the language and youwill do fine.

Remember, items you buy will have labels, read them, stores will have signs in the specific language, learn what they are, and how to use them, look for works and pictures togeather to relate one to the other.

No one thing to keep in mind, if the country your in doesn't use the "english" alphabet, you might run into problems, but learn as much as you can before you go.

Most community colleges, and community centers have language courses, I know they are not to much $$$ here, you might wanna check those out to help ya.



Russian Alphabet


Croation Alphabet


Chinese Alphabet ( one of them )


Greek Alphabet




There are more, this is just to give you an idea of what is out there....
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Old 07-11-2003, 12:41 PM   #3
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sounds good dawg, thanks! :D
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Old 07-11-2003, 04:17 PM   #4
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If you plan on staying mainly in the big cities of each country, yóu should be able to get by on English just fine. Look for other backpackers walking around and ask them for tips on where to go, what to do, and what to avoid.
Also, go to Best Buy or Radio Shack for an electonic translator. Some offer 5 languages or so. You basically punch in a phrase in english and it will give you the language translation in the language that you choose.

HereŽs an interesting site for learning languages- Parlo.com. I think they offer Spanish, Italian, German, French, and English.

You can also go here- online translator Type in some common phrases that youŽll need like "whereŽs the bathroom," "what time is it" " wheres the bus station" "wheres the closest hostel" "ho do I get to the airport" etc...
get the tranlation and print it. You can do 1,2, 5, or however many sheets of translations per language that you think youŽll need. then stuff them in your guide book when you head out to Europe.
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