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Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Old Jan 14th 2007, 10:20 pm
  #76  
Jesper Lauridsen
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On 2007-01-02, EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque) <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> I think your screen name says it all! (Although you even
> manage to misspell "weird".) Yes, one CAN "get by" with
> only English in most of Western Europe. Should one at least
> TRY to acquire a smattering of the languages actually spoken
> by the citizens? Yes, of course! (Simple politeness would
> seem to dictate that.)

Sure, if you want to severely limit the number of countries you're
going to visit.
 
Old Jan 15th 2007, 5:17 pm
  #77  
EvelynVogtGamble
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Jesper Lauridsen wrote:

> On 2007-01-02, EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque) <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>I think your screen name says it all! (Although you even
>>manage to misspell "weird".) Yes, one CAN "get by" with
>>only English in most of Western Europe. Should one at least
>>TRY to acquire a smattering of the languages actually spoken
>>by the citizens? Yes, of course! (Simple politeness would
>>seem to dictate that.)
>
>
> Sure, if you want to severely limit the number of countries you're
> going to visit.

Really? Don't you generally KNOW which countries you are
going to visit before you depart? I've never found
pocket-sized phrase books all that expensive (or bulky to
carry in my luggage), and for English-speakers they are
available in most modern languages. How difficult is it to
learn "good morning (day, afternoon, evening)", "excuse me",
"please", "thank you", "I'm sorry, I don't speak ___ "?
(And maybe also "where are the toilets?")

The only language in which I failed to make myself
understood was Hungarian - my "please" and "thank you"
elicited only blank stares, and I'm still not sure whether
it was the word or the desperation in my voice that produced
the coffee I ordered!
 
Old Jan 15th 2007, 8:31 pm
  #78  
Deeply Filled Mortician
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Let is be knownst that on Mon, 15 Jan 2007 11:17:34 -0700,
"EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)" <[email protected]> writted:

>
>
>Jesper Lauridsen wrote:
>
>> On 2007-01-02, EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque) <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>>>I think your screen name says it all! (Although you even
>>>manage to misspell "weird".) Yes, one CAN "get by" with
>>>only English in most of Western Europe. Should one at least
>>>TRY to acquire a smattering of the languages actually spoken
>>>by the citizens? Yes, of course! (Simple politeness would
>>>seem to dictate that.)
>>
>>
>> Sure, if you want to severely limit the number of countries you're
>> going to visit.
>
>Really? Don't you generally KNOW which countries you are
>going to visit before you depart? I've never found
>pocket-sized phrase books all that expensive (or bulky to
>carry in my luggage), and for English-speakers they are
>available in most modern languages. How difficult is it to
>learn "good morning (day, afternoon, evening)", "excuse me",
>"please", "thank you", "I'm sorry, I don't speak ___ "?
>(And maybe also "where are the toilets?")

I also don't know what Jesper was trying to say!

>The only language in which I failed to make myself
>understood was Hungarian - my "please" and "thank you"
>elicited only blank stares, and I'm still not sure whether
>it was the word or the desperation in my voice that produced
>the coffee I ordered!

Hungarian is one of the hardest, and few people would ever bother
learning it. I met a Dutch girl there that claimed to, but I never saw
her have a conversation with someone.
--
---
DFM - http://www.deepfriedmars.com
---
--
 
Old Jan 15th 2007, 9:57 pm
  #79  
-Martin
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On Mon, 15 Jan 2007 11:17:34 -0700, "EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>
>
>Jesper Lauridsen wrote:
>
>> On 2007-01-02, EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque) <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>>>I think your screen name says it all! (Although you even
>>>manage to misspell "weird".) Yes, one CAN "get by" with
>>>only English in most of Western Europe. Should one at least
>>>TRY to acquire a smattering of the languages actually spoken
>>>by the citizens? Yes, of course! (Simple politeness would
>>>seem to dictate that.)
>>
>>
>> Sure, if you want to severely limit the number of countries you're
>> going to visit.
>
>Really? Don't you generally KNOW which countries you are
>going to visit before you depart? I've never found
>pocket-sized phrase books all that expensive (or bulky to
>carry in my luggage), and for English-speakers they are
>available in most modern languages. How difficult is it to
>learn "good morning (day, afternoon, evening)", "excuse me",
>"please", "thank you", "I'm sorry, I don't speak ___ "?
>(And maybe also "where are the toilets?"

Did you never have difficulty understanding the answer in a foreign language,
unless you were actually in the men's toilet, when you asked the question?

>)
>
>The only language in which I failed to make myself
>understood was Hungarian - my "please" and "thank you"
>elicited only blank stares, and I'm still not sure whether
>it was the word or the desperation in my voice that produced
>the coffee I ordered!

So how do you understand the answers?
--

Martin
 
Old Jan 16th 2007, 9:07 pm
  #80  
EvelynVogtGamble
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Martin wrote:


>>Really? Don't you generally KNOW which countries you are
>>going to visit before you depart? I've never found
>>pocket-sized phrase books all that expensive (or bulky to
>>carry in my luggage), and for English-speakers they are
>>available in most modern languages. How difficult is it to
>>learn "good morning (day, afternoon, evening)", "excuse me",
>>"please", "thank you", "I'm sorry, I don't speak ___ "?
>>(And maybe also "where are the toilets?"
>
>
> Did you never have difficulty understanding the answer in a foreign language,
> unless you were actually in the men's toilet, when you asked the question?

I think, if I'd been in the MEN'S toilet, they would have
made my mistake clear without resorting to words! ;-)

> So how do you understand the answers?

In my experience, since my accent and limited knowlege of
their language is obvious, most people I encounter either
reply in English, flag down someone else who speaks English,
or point me in the proper direction. (If my question is
more complicated than that, they have even been known to
find a reply in my phrase-book, and point to it.)
 
Old Jan 16th 2007, 9:36 pm
  #81  
-Martin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On Tue, 16 Jan 2007 15:07:12 -0700, "EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>
>
>Martin wrote:
>
>
>>>Really? Don't you generally KNOW which countries you are
>>>going to visit before you depart? I've never found
>>>pocket-sized phrase books all that expensive (or bulky to
>>>carry in my luggage), and for English-speakers they are
>>>available in most modern languages. How difficult is it to
>>>learn "good morning (day, afternoon, evening)", "excuse me",
>>>"please", "thank you", "I'm sorry, I don't speak ___ "?
>>>(And maybe also "where are the toilets?"
>>
>>
>> Did you never have difficulty understanding the answer in a foreign language,
>> unless you were actually in the men's toilet, when you asked the question?
>
>I think, if I'd been in the MEN'S toilet, they would have
>made my mistake clear without resorting to words! ;-)
>
>> So how do you understand the answers?
>
>In my experience, since my accent and limited knowlege of
>their language is obvious, most people I encounter either
>reply in English, flag down someone else who speaks English,
>or point me in the proper direction. (If my question is
>more complicated than that, they have even been known to
>find a reply in my phrase-book, and point to it.)

In that situation I find asking using a phrase book phrase a total waste of
time. It was bad enough being able to ask questions in French without being able
to understand the answers
--

Martin
 
Old Jan 16th 2007, 9:38 pm
  #82  
David Horne
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Martin <[email protected]> wrote:

[]
> In that situation I find asking using a phrase book phrase a total waste
> of time. It was bad enough being able to ask questions in French without
> being able to understand the answers

I can't say I've had any more problems as a tourist in the countries
where I didn't know a word of the language compared to those where I
did.

--
(*) ... of the royal duchy of city south and deansgate
David Horne- http://www.davidhorne.net
(don't email yahoo address) usenet (at) davidhorne (dot) co (dot) uk
 
Old Jan 17th 2007, 9:08 am
  #83  
-Martin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On Tue, 16 Jan 2007 22:38:33 +0000, [email protected] (David Horne, _the_
chancellor (*)) wrote:

>Martin <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>[]
>> In that situation I find asking using a phrase book phrase a total waste
>> of time. It was bad enough being able to ask questions in French without
>> being able to understand the answers
>
>I can't say I've had any more problems as a tourist in the countries
>where I didn't know a word of the language compared to those where I
>did.

Nor me.
--

Martin
 
Old Jan 17th 2007, 1:06 pm
  #84  
barney2
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

In article <1hs21gl.1n7jw7182qrr4N%[email protected]>, [email protected]
(David Horne, _the_ chancellor (*)) wrote:

> *From:* [email protected] (David Horne, _the_ chancellor (*))
> *Date:* Tue, 16 Jan 2007 22:38:33 +0000
>
> Martin <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> []
> > In that situation I find asking using a phrase book phrase a total
> > waste
> > of time. It was bad enough being able to ask questions in French
> > without
> > being able to understand the answers
>
> I can't say I've had any more problems as a tourist in the countries
> where I didn't know a word of the language compared to those where I
> did.

Indeed. It always works out somehow, and since most necessary dealings
involve you getting something from them in exchange for money, there's an
incentive for both sides to understand.

I think it might be a lot harder in a country where one didn't know the
alphabet, though I've never been in that position (I haven't visited
Russia or Greece, and my Asian experience is limited to the Middle East,
where I used to at least recognise a few words and the numbers in Arabic
script. That will change this coming March...)
 
Old Jan 17th 2007, 3:29 pm
  #85  
B Vaughan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On Wed, 17 Jan 2007 08:06:01 -0600, [email protected] wrote:

>Indeed. It always works out somehow, and since most necessary dealings
>involve you getting something from them in exchange for money, there's an
>incentive for both sides to understand.
>
>I think it might be a lot harder in a country where one didn't know the
>alphabet, though I've never been in that position (I haven't visited
>Russia or Greece, and my Asian experience is limited to the Middle East,
>where I used to at least recognise a few words and the numbers in Arabic
>script. That will change this coming March...)

I found it a bit disorienting in China not being able to decipher any
of the signs. However, even there, one manages to communicate and the
Chinese are good at it. I remember ordering duck in a restaurant by
quacking. It worked, but I went on to order broccoli by drawing a
picture and they interpreted my broccoli as mushrooms.

One thing I found amusing was that the Chinese are accustomed to
communicating with other Asians using Chinese characters as a lingua
franca. (Most Asians recognize the main characters.) So they would try
to reinforce what they were saying by drawing the character in the
palm of the hand.

I haven't been in China for 15 years, so all that may have changed by
now.
--
Barbara Vaughan
My email address is my first initial followed by my surname at libero dot it
I answer travel questions only in the newsgroup
 
Old Jan 17th 2007, 5:39 pm
  #86  
EvelynVogtGamble
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Martin wrote:

> On Tue, 16 Jan 2007 15:07:12 -0700, "EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)"
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>
>>
>>Martin wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>>>Really? Don't you generally KNOW which countries you are
>>>>going to visit before you depart? I've never found
>>>>pocket-sized phrase books all that expensive (or bulky to
>>>>carry in my luggage), and for English-speakers they are
>>>>available in most modern languages. How difficult is it to
>>>>learn "good morning (day, afternoon, evening)", "excuse me",
>>>>"please", "thank you", "I'm sorry, I don't speak ___ "?
>>>>(And maybe also "where are the toilets?"
>>>
>>>
>>>Did you never have difficulty understanding the answer in a foreign language,
>>>unless you were actually in the men's toilet, when you asked the question?
>>
>>I think, if I'd been in the MEN'S toilet, they would have
>>made my mistake clear without resorting to words! ;-)
>>
>>
>>>So how do you understand the answers?
>>
>>In my experience, since my accent and limited knowlege of
>>their language is obvious, most people I encounter either
>>reply in English, flag down someone else who speaks English,
>>or point me in the proper direction. (If my question is
>>more complicated than that, they have even been known to
>>find a reply in my phrase-book, and point to it.)
>
>
> In that situation I find asking using a phrase book phrase a total waste of
> time. It was bad enough being able to ask questions in French without being able
> to understand the answers

Maybe you look too competent! (I find a pitiful, helpless
expression works well.)
 
Old Jan 17th 2007, 6:30 pm
  #87  
-Martin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On Wed, 17 Jan 2007 11:39:00 -0700, "EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>
>
>Martin wrote:
>
>> On Tue, 16 Jan 2007 15:07:12 -0700, "EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)"
>> <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>
>>>Martin wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>>Really? Don't you generally KNOW which countries you are
>>>>>going to visit before you depart? I've never found
>>>>>pocket-sized phrase books all that expensive (or bulky to
>>>>>carry in my luggage), and for English-speakers they are
>>>>>available in most modern languages. How difficult is it to
>>>>>learn "good morning (day, afternoon, evening)", "excuse me",
>>>>>"please", "thank you", "I'm sorry, I don't speak ___ "?
>>>>>(And maybe also "where are the toilets?"
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>Did you never have difficulty understanding the answer in a foreign language,
>>>>unless you were actually in the men's toilet, when you asked the question?
>>>
>>>I think, if I'd been in the MEN'S toilet, they would have
>>>made my mistake clear without resorting to words! ;-)
>>>
>>>
>>>>So how do you understand the answers?
>>>
>>>In my experience, since my accent and limited knowlege of
>>>their language is obvious, most people I encounter either
>>>reply in English, flag down someone else who speaks English,
>>>or point me in the proper direction. (If my question is
>>>more complicated than that, they have even been known to
>>>find a reply in my phrase-book, and point to it.)
>>
>>
>> In that situation I find asking using a phrase book phrase a total waste of
>> time. It was bad enough being able to ask questions in French without being able
>> to understand the answers
>
>Maybe you look too competent! (I find a pitiful, helpless
>expression works well.)

I had zero problems speaking English everywhere I went.
--

Martin
 
Old Jan 28th 2007, 2:55 pm
  #88  
Jesper Lauridsen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On 2007-01-15, EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque) <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>
> Jesper Lauridsen wrote:
>
>> On 2007-01-02, EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque) <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>>>Should one at least
>>>TRY to acquire a smattering of the languages actually spoken
>>>by the citizens? Yes, of course! (Simple politeness would
>>>seem to dictate that.)
>>
>>
>> Sure, if you want to severely limit the number of countries you're
>> going to visit.
>
> Really? Don't you generally KNOW which countries you are
> going to visit before you depart? I've never found
> pocket-sized phrase books all that expensive (or bulky to
> carry in my luggage), and for English-speakers they are
> available in most modern languages.

Getting a phrasebook doesn't qualify as "acquiring a smattering" of
a language in my book.
 

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