Most people would say English is the main language spoken around the globe and some might say Chinese comes second. Every country speaks English and easy travel and no communication difficulties they might add. But the truth is far beyond that (based on my personal experiences in certain countries). Never really been travelling around the world but eventually will have to checklist my travel bucket list, or not.
As you may know, I am current living in Vietnam and English is not their main language even they do study in school but the standards level of English isn’t that great. Except sending your kids to English centre which most low income families couldn’t afford to pay. Most adults can speak basic English and even so some are not confident to speak to foreigners. Only main cities such as cafes or restaurants, speaking English is required but not for locals shop and smaller town would be based on recommendations or tour guide.
Most Asian people are look alike (you know what I mean) and that can be troublesome for some people to be mistaken as a local instead of foreigners only because based on looks. I usually often mistaken as a Vietnamese lady and talking to me in Vietnamese which 98% of it I couldn’t understand. I may look like Vietnamese but am not. And in return when they hear English, immediately backing off as could not respond back to me in English.
Going to local market doesn’t trouble me at all. Most of the time I tried to avoid having conversations at all. Negotiations price not common in local market, but common in tourism market. As long I know what I want to buy and asking for price (in Vietnamese – only that I managed to learn) and pay. Cheaper and convenient for me compare to supermarket for local meat and vegetables.
Visited China once few years back for a friend wedding, and I would say most doesn’t really speak English. Luckily I can speak Mandarine which is okay, little rusty now. Big cities most people can speak English so no trouble there.
English speaking countries such as United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and few more are easy to get around, orders food, read food labels, get directions, or have normal conversations. Europe country such as Germany, Italy, France, and more other country that English is not main spoken language and to get around won’t be easy because mostly would require to speak their language.
Learning a new language at later age is ain’t easy. I’ve tried to learn Vietnamese and not easy because of the tone and the writing too. After awhile, I’ve stop learning and only managed to remember few basic Vietnamese language just enough to get me to local market. Knowing that I have to learn another new language is kinda thrilling but in the same time annoying.
Growing up I’ve learned 4 languages but doesn’t mean learning new language going to be easy. It takes time and efforts and a lot of communication involves. How about you? Have you encountered any language barrier or communication difficulties before? Leave me a comment below! Happy weekends ahead.