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So who's made an effort ...

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Old April 21st, 2013, 04:59 PM posted to rec.travel.europe
David Horne[_2_]
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Posts: 890
Default So who's made an effort ...

Tom P wrote:

On 04/15/2013 06:18 PM, David Horne wrote:

I didn't start learning Spanish until my mid 20s as my partner is
Peruvian. I wouldn't say I'm 100% fluent but I'm told that I speak it
very well, and with a pretty good Limeño accent! Probably no surprise as
I've learned most of it by listening and practising.

Great stuff! Monica, my Spanish teacher, is from Peru.

Meant to add- Peruvians have a reputation for some of the clearest
Spanish in Latin America. While it's a reputation they promote, IME
other Latin Americans have agreed...


(*) of the royal duchy of city south and deansgate
www.davidhorne.net (email address on website)
"[Do you think the world learned anything from the first
world war?] No. They never learn." -Harry Patch (1898-2009)
Old October 15th, 2013, 11:50 PM posted to rec.travel.europe
Jack Campin
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Posts: 135
Default So who's made an effort ...

to learn the language of the countries they visit?
I've been to Italy almost a dozen times but haven't learned anything
beyond a few phrases.

I'm OK at those languages I learned at school/college (e.g. French,
German, Italian) and speak Spanish with my partner, but I admit to going
to many countries where I haven't bothered to learn the most basic
phrases. I haven't encountered terrible problems so far, I have to say.

The one place where I've had real problems was in Slovakia. The issue
was that Marion has serious food intolerances to wheat and dairy, so
we needed to know what was in what we were eating. But Slovak food
labelling is dreadful both in shops and restaurants, and packaged foods
were generally only labelled in Slavic languages (no English, German,
French, Italian or Turkish, any of which I can read labels in). Also,
Slovak food tends to be unidentifiable brown goo (compared with Turkish
or Bosnian food, where you can just look at it and see immediately what
it's made of). Further, Slovak has as many different words coding the
presence of wheat or dairy products as English does ("malt", "whey",
"sodium caseinate", "bran", "cheese powder", "butterfat"...) and food
handling staff are even more clueless about the basic composition of
what they're serving than their British counterparts are. We ended up
with a bizarre diet restricted to what we could positively identify.

e m a i l : j a c k @ c a m p i n . m e . u k
Jack Campin, 11 Third Street, Newtongrange, Midlothian EH22 4PU, Scotland
mobile 07800 739 557 http://www.campin.me.uk Twitter: JackCampin
Old October 17th, 2013, 03:30 AM posted to rec.travel.europe
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Posts: 2,816
Default So who's made an effort ...

Jack Campin wrote:
to learn the language of the countries they visit?
I've been to Italy almost a dozen times but haven't learned anything
beyond a few phrases.

Having studied most of my life to become an opera singer, I have a
smattering of German, French and Italian (although far from fluent).
When I took my first European tour (Prague-Vienna-Budapest) I took along
phrase-books to help. I found Czech difficult enough, but Hungarian
totally impossible! (Even my attempts at "Good Morning" drew only blank
stares, and I am convinced it was only the desperation in my voice when
I pleaded for "kava" that produce the desired coffee from a
sympathetic waiter.)

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