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S/O Poll about Languages

The Big Sky Country Welcomes Us Home!

Re: S/O Poll about Languages

  • For me it's mostly European coutries that I visited - only twice did I encounter people who didn't speak some English better than I spoke their native lanuage (once in France, once in Switzerland).  It seemed like everyone else in the travel industry had much better English than my Spanish, German, French, Czech, or Italian. 
    The Big Sky Country Welcomes Us Home!
  • image MTbridess:
    It seemed like everyone else ...had much better English than my Spanish, German, French, Czech, or Italian. 

    This has been my experience in every country I've been to. We're extremely lucky that you can almost always find someone in another country that speaks English. I've tried to learn other languages when I've visited other countries (Spanish and Swahili) because I've spent a lot of time there. However, people there were always more eager to practice their English! 

    Eric and Amanda 9.1.07
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • I studied German, French and Spanish in some form so I've always been prepared to use my language skills when I've traveled.  However, I find that many times, especially in more tourisy, resort areas, people see you struggling a bit with their language so they just end up speaking to you in English.  While I appreciate the gesture, it also doesn't help my skills especially when I want to try to speak in their native tongue. 

    I studied in Germany when I was in HS, and this happened a lot.  The students there were so proud of their English skills that they only wanted to talk to us in English - not German.  So I can't say I honed my language skills as much as I'd hoped for.

    Married July 21, 2007

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • You forgot the option for people who have traveled/lived in another country but spoke the language fluently! 


    I went to Germany for about 10 days with my brother who was fairly fluent in German.  

    I've been to Mexico a couple times for short trips and to Costa Rica on our honeymoon for problem finding folks who spoke English fluently there...well, in CR when we were robbed, we had a bit of a hard time communicating with the cops but we eventually worked it out.  

  • I need an option for "half of the family speaks another language."  My half-sisters' father's family (got that?) speaks Spanish when they're together.  I follow along just fine, but can't really speak it.
    A big old middle finger to you, stupid Nest.
  • Sort of weird because it was a USAF base in a foreign country.  So think of an American town plopped down in the middle of a foreign country.  Even then, though, the Dept of Defense schools required local culture classes and language classes for all the kids and my brother, sister and I all spoke a fair amount of Japanese, enough to get around off base and understand some Japanese writing, but I would never say that any of us were fluent.  My dad was a bit better than my mom but my mom has always been bad when it came to languages.

    DD -- 5YO
    DS -- 3YO

  • I did a semester of college in Mexico.  Up to that point I had taken 11 years of Spanish and I still struggled while living there.  As with any language, book version, and spoken language are 2 VERY different things.  When I'd go out and try to speak Spanish, the locals would speak English back to me :)

    Had I started learning a second language early in life it would have been a heck of a lot easier.   

  • I lived in Spain and in the city where I was living (Valencia) not many people spoke English well or at all. ?Most people spoke Castellano (what we'd recognize as Spanish) and Valenciano (a local dialect). ?Some spoke a bit of English, but not a lot. ?I definitely really needed to know quite a bit of Spanish to get along, so it was a great place to study. ?You couldn't fall back on English as well as you could in Barcelona or Madrid.

    Also, in Portugal, I found that English was not that common, especially outside of Lisbon.?

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • I took three years of German and one of Latin in high school, then German was one of my college majors.?

    I lived in Munich for a month as part of a college class. I got along fine, and rarely resorted to English, although I'm sure my grammar was atrocious at times.?

    I love German and wish I had more chance to use it, because I'm really rusty. When I'm down in Florida, one of my parents' neighbors is German and sometimes has guests who only speak a little English. I ended up doing some translating when I was down there recently and it was nice to be speaking German again!

    ETA: I also had a business trip to Finland, and spoke not a word of Finnish. I was able to get along with mostly English and some German, mostly b/c the trip was pretty tightly managed.?


    DD1, 1/5/2008 ~~~ DD2, 3/17/2010
  • I moved to the US and only knew 10 words...does that count?  I carried a dictionary with me for the first few years because I didn't expect anyone to cater to me.
  • image 1coolmama:
    I moved to the US and only knew 10 words...does that count?  I carried a dictionary with me for the first few years because I didn't expect anyone to cater to me.

    G you rock :)  You can't even tell that English isn't your first language

    ETA: obviously on the nest you can't tell, I meant in person, the only accent I hear is New York :)

    Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • I was in Switzerland and knew absolutely no German, so that was tricky as far as signs and things, but I found that most people spoke English.  I also took French in HS, but don't really remember a lot of it, and when I was in France I think I actually had a harder time than in Switzerland, because I found that people were less willing to speak English.  I had some idea of what they were saying, but not every word, so that was tricky. 
  • I went to another country but could speak fairly well -didn't see that option.

    I took 3 yrs of Spanish in HS, but then didn't speak it except in short conversations at work (restaurant) for a year.  When I was 18 I knew I was going to Mexico for a while & brushed up on Spanish to at least be able to have basic conversations. 



  • You left off a major category.  Lived there, learned the language.

    My father lived in Holland when I was a kid.  I was expected to learn Dutch and did.  If X and I have moved to Croatia, I would have expected to learn that too.

  • I lived in Italy & didn't know the language (though I took it while living there & found it easy to pick up relatively).  I had had lots of Spanish but struggled more in Spain than Italy with the language (I think the Italian replaced the Spanish I once knew--LOL). I traveled lots of places in Europe where people didn't speak much English...non-touristy parts of Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Hungry, even parts of Italy & France...I took dictionaries with me & tried my best.  In common tourist cities, they often would stop you mid-sentence & speak to you in English.  But living in Europe is different than the US, if each of our states was a different language, you bet your ass most of us would know more than one language. 
    AKA Carol*Brady! IHO my upcoming 10yr Nestiversary--Back to old screenname. My own Marsha, Jan & Cindy... image Designing a Life Blog
  • I used to speak German fluently, and I can get by in French and Spanish.  I have traveled in Asia and Eastern Europe, though, and faced some interesting language-related challenges. Aside from charades, one trick I learned was to use a phrasebook and a pack of notecards. When I traveled in Poland and rural parts of Hungary and the Czech Republic in the mid-1990s (yeah, I'm an oldster), I would write a simple phrase from the book on a notecard because I couldn't pronounce anything. DH and I have used a similar trick with cab drivers, etc in some parts of Asia. I learn as many phrases as I can, though, or try other languages to see if the local person and I can find a common one.
  • I was born in the US, spent 4 years in Asia where my first spoken words and language was an Asian language.  I then moved back to the US and started school in a fully English speaking kindergarten class (no ESL, no translator) barely knowing my own name in English and grew up to be fully bilingual.

    In high school, I picked up French and became partially tri-lingual. In college, I picked up a little bit of Spanish and became proficient in cussing in four languages..that's assuming you don't count the different dialects of Asian languages.  Clear as mud? Wink

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