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Old 04-18-2012, 11:26 AM   #16
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Learning foreign languages for a moto ride is a waste of time and effort if you speak English.

If you pick up a few sentences here and there it won't get you any closer to having a real conversation with anyone, anyway. And to get good enough to have a meaningful conversation takes a long time. If you like it, do it. If not, forget about it.

I do want to learn Spanish before I go down to Latin America again, but that's a different story. Tons of Spanish speaking countries down there, and very few people speak English.
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:51 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Witold View Post
Learning foreign languages for a moto ride is a waste of time and effort if you speak English.

I would say it's a sign of respect for the language and culture you are entering into, and as a guest in another country, it could only enhance the trip. It's not about being fluent, but about making an effort. People are more eager to meet you halfway if they know you are trying.

Whereas solely relying on English and expecting that others will cater to you is disrespectful. Could you 'get by'? Most likely you could.

If you're doing a RTW or something, clearly it's difficult to learn everything that you'd ideally like, but I think at least a page of common phrases in each language you'll encounter will go a long way.
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:39 AM   #18
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I agree. And there are few things that are as rewarding as making yourself understood in a language other than your mother tounge. It makes buying a damn train ticket feel like an accomplishment

And while it's impossible to learn all the languages in the world, in those places where English is not the lingua franca it's rewarding for both yourself and the person you communicate with if you share some other language. I've experienced this plenty of times in the former Soviet Union republics for example.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:02 PM   #19
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Smile big and wave your hands

Learning foreign languages for a moto ride is a waste of time and effort if you speak English.
I hope what youre saying is that English is widely spoken in most of the world.

When you travel you can be an ambassador or an embarrassment.

Why take a motorcycle trip? Traveling overland is rewarding and even if you love triple digits you will still be going slow compared to a plane. It is disrespectful to not learn a few phrases in the language of each place you pass through. If you dont enjoy language learning that do it out of respect. If you do enjoy it, it can actually be one of the most rewarding things that travel has to offer. People and places go hand in hand. Meet them, talk to them, or atleast try to connect as best as you can.

Or you can just hand over money whenever you need help instead of trying to communicate, thats the other option. I wouldnt call that being a traveler though. I would call that being a sucker.

As far as this thread is concerned, Jimmy you are on the right track if you are already practicing. You will certainly find yourself in many places where a few phrases will enhance your trip and make it more fun and fluid. English is widely spoken but German is fun and Italian is just plain cool. The French are very cool people when you try to speak a little French with them. If you dont, expect the cold shoulder.
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