Make a Linguistic Impression in Europe

Business woman over the background with a different world langua

Business woman over the background with a different world languages (foreign language school)

 

Going to Europe this summer? Don’t forget to take the time to brush up on the local language – unless your travels will be exclusively in the British Isles. Sure, English travels well in most places around the globe, but Europeans really appreciate it if you attempt to communicate in the local language (even if it’s mediocre). Think about it, how would you feel if tourists suddenly approached you and asked you for something in a language you don’t even understand?

But it isn’t only because the locals appreciate the attempt. There are a few places in Europe where the locals understand very little English. For example, if your travel plans include Madrid, you’ll definitely want to know some Spanish phrases, because few Madrileños (as they are colloquially known) speak English including the major tourist areas. And if your travel plans take you to places outside of the major tourist centers, then a few local phrases are a must.

What phrases should you know? A command of the following English phrases in the target language are essential:

  • Hello; good morning; good afternoon; good night; goodbye
  • How are you?
  • Thank you
  • You’re welcome
  • Please
  • Where is…?
  • A table for one/two please
  • I would like…
  • I’m looking for…
  • I’m from…
  • I want to go to…(for taxi and Uber rides)

Additionally, you should know the local words for water, bread, coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, beer, wine, or any of your favorite foods on a daily basis. In case of emergency, a few phrases in emergency lingo will come in handy.

How should you master the suggested phrases before your trip? I recommend using Duolingo. It’s a free language-learning app available on most mobile devices. All you do is sign up for a free account and pick the language you wish to learn, and most of the common European languages are available for selection. It is even available for false beginners. I use it to maintain my command of Spanish, learn German and since I’m going to be working in Poland, I’m using it to learn Polish. Rosetta Stone is another popular option. Moreover, certain airlines offer language courses in their entertainment systems, so you could pick up a few words during the 8 hour plus flight (unless you prefer sleeping through the flight). Of course, phrase books are another option if you prefer something on paper.

Now certain European languages are just dang on hard to grasp. However, you should attempt to learn a few words in French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

When attempting to communicate in the local language, do not be offended if the recipient responds in English. They are not necessarily mocking your pathetic attempt to speak local. They may in fact speak English and feel you’ll understand if they communicate in English. Everyone’s happy!

So happy travels and remember to try and make an impression. Who knows, you might even make new friends across the pond! It’s always important to show respect for the people and culture. After all, you’re a guest in their country! You don’t have to be fluent, but a few words always go a long way!

 

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Who Should You Root for at the 2018 World Cup?

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Here’s a little random fact about me: I love soccer! I watch Spanish, Portuguese and English league soccer during the season, I played competitively in high school until I got injured during my senior year, and my dad was a professional back in England for a couple of years. Soccer is in my blood; it’s religion for me. And you can bet I’m eagerly awaiting the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which begins next week.

So what’s it all about? Every four years, 32 of the best footballing nations compete for soccer’s ultimate crown. This year it takes place in Russia, and sadly many of perennial soccer nations won’t be there: Italy, Netherlands, Chile, Ivory Coast and the USA. With the United States not in it, you might think the World Cup isn’t worth passing up baseball games, BBQs, etc. However, the World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events on the planet! It seems the world stops for the beautiful game. Sports Illustrated claims “the Super Bowl will never match the World Cup for global attention, no matter how many games the NFL plays on other continents.” Pretty interesting if you ask me!

Interested in watching the World Cup? Not sure who to support? I suggest my five picks (feel free to take or leave):

  1. Spain – winners of the World Cup in 2010, Spain return after a disappointing performance four years ago in Brazil. Spain qualified in a group featuring Italy. They come with a youthful players from Real and Atletico Madrid. With a strong desire to make up from their early exit in Brazil, Spain will look poised to go all the way to the final in Moscow. They will be in Group B with Portugal, Iran and Morocco.
  2. France – Finalists at Euro 2016 and World Cup winners in 1998, France are a good bet. With players like Griezmann and Mbappe will likely go far in the knock-out stages. Their group features Peru, Australia and Denmark.
  3. Argentina – They’ve won the trophy twice, and made it to the final in Brazil only to have the title snatched by Germany. They will be hungry for revenge, and with Lionel Messi as their star player, who would bet against them? They will take on Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in their group.
  4. Germany – The Germans come to Russia as defending World Cup champions. Last year, they won the Confederations Cup in Russia, thus proving their worth as favorites for this year’s tournament. They open their group with Mexico, followed with Sweden and South Korea. With players such as Muller, Ozil, Hummels and Ter Stegen, Germany will be a potential soccer juggernaut in Russia.
  5. Colombia – If you’re familiar with James Rodriguez and Cuadrado, you’ll know that Colombia will be no pushovers. They already proved that by reaching the quarterfinals in the last World Cup. And they’ll be ready to go further this year. Colombia plays with heart and won’t go down without a fight. Their group includes Poland, Japan and Senegal.

 

So who do I think will win? Hard to say. Every team that’s made it will offer something special. We will also see a few surprises, and that’s what makes the World Cup so fun to watch. Of course, I will be supporting Spain, England and Egypt. Wherever you are, whoever you are supporting (even if you’re just watching the game for the hell of it), enjoy the beautiful game!

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Weekend Writing Warriors – “Come ‘ere and say that!” #8Sunday

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Welcome to the weekly 8-10 sentence blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors and happy post-Cinco de Mayo! Click on the link for participation guidelines, as well as the official list of participating authors. Thanks for including me in your Sunday reading!

Continuing with another snippet from Due For Love, we pick up from last week’s edition. Melissa was attempting to water the plants in her dad’s garden when the patio deck suddenly burns her feet (it’s plus ninety outside). Her ex-boyfriend, who has a part-time job taking care of Melissa’s next-door neighbor’s house, laughs at her misfortune. The snippet has been formatted to meet the ten sentence rule.

Warning: snippet contains coarse language; reader discretion advised

Mocking laughter sails through the air behind me as I pour an entire can’s worth of water all around my feet in order to cool this damn deck down, before collapsing onto the patio couch.

“Melissa, yo-you’re too much,” Chris teases in between guffawing. After three years together, I can recognize that sometimes-squeaky voice instantly, and if he’d knew what was good for him, he’d shut the fuck up before I rip his damn throat out!

        I snap my head over my shoulder, wincing as I caress the bottoms of feet, to find Chris with his arms wrapped over the fence. “The hell you laughin’ at?!”

       “You…the star of your new show,” he quips with a cheeky smile.

       “What fuckin’ show?”

      “Melissa on a Hot Tin Deck!”

      Ignoring the burns, I jump to my feet and lock eyes with the boy that killed three years of love with five cruel words. “Come ‘ere and say that to my face, ya little shit!”

Well Chris should be more sensitive – and run for his life! Your thoughts and feedback are much appreciated! And many thanks to everyone for congratulating me on my new job!

I’m off to Madrid on Wednesday, which means I will be away from W.W.W. for a bit. I’ll be visiting friends in Spain, Portugal, Poland and Germany over three weeks, and I will finally get to meet my friend, Elyzabeth M. Valey!

Hopefully, spring is being good to you wherever you are! See you again soon!

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