How much of a country's language do you learn before visiting?
Personally, while I would love to be multilingual, I know it's not reasonable to learn the language of every country before I visit, even conversationally. Most people I know pick a few key phrases to learn before they arrive, e.g. "Where is the bathroom?" "Where is the train station?" "My name is ..." etc. I always make a point to learn one phrase, and if I've learned that one phrase, I can generally get along with people just fine:
Above you can find the native phrase for "thank you" for each country I visited on my European extravaganza trip this summer. You'll notice "Swiss" isn't on there because I visited the French area of Switzerland and used "merci." (In fact, I'm told the Swiss language, "Romansh," isn't even taught in most of the Swiss schools anymore; residents speak Italian, German or French depending on where they live.) Also note I have the female version of thank you in Portuguese; men would say "obrigado."
Another good phrase I like to know in foreign countries is "excuse me" or "I'm sorry," for the inevitable bumping against other people in large crowds.
I'm excited to learn: How much of the language do you learn? Can you speak any other languages fluently or otherwise? Link up below with your travel-related post!
Next week: Freebie! I'll be sharing photos from my trip to Granada and Ronda in the Andalusia region of Spain, including a visit to the Alhambra and one of the world's oldest bullrings!