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Traveling abroad on your own?

  Tags: Europe | Travel | French
 Language Learning Forum : Immersion, Schools & Certificates Post Reply
18 messages over 3 pages: 1 2
drygramul
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Italy
Joined 2658 days ago

165 posts - 269 votes 
Speaks: Persian, Italian*, EnglishC2, GermanB2
Studies: French, Polish

 
 Message 17 of 18
08 July 2014 at 10:01pm | IP Logged 
You won't have much use of French in Italy either, except maybe for the North-West region. Which I assume one would skeep anyway in his first travel to Europe or Italy. Italy is sadly behind in contrast with other European Countries in terms of second language knowledge, according to Eurostat.

https://d28wbuch0jlv7v.cloudfront.net/images/infografik/norm al/chartoftheday_1513_Two_Thirds_of_Working_Age_Europeans_Kn ow_a_Foreign_Language_b.jpg
Keep in mind that this stats count basic scholastic knowledge, so the percentage of people actually able to speak or understand you is far lower.

Edit: size of the picture

Edited by drygramul on 08 July 2014 at 10:02pm

1 person has voted this message useful



SamD
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4849 days ago

823 posts - 987 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, French
Studies: Portuguese, Norwegian

 
 Message 18 of 18
10 July 2014 at 8:31pm | IP Logged 
Even if you speak nothing but English, you can still go to Europe, but you will miss out on a lot if you don't speak at least a little bit of at least one other language.

French and German are your best bets for a second language. You'll find multilingual signs and polyglots who work with tourists in the most famous (and expensive) places. If you want to get a real sense of daily life and get to know people who aren't paid to talk to you, you really should learn the local language(s).

I lost my passport and railpass on a train headed out of Milan. In those days, my Italian was weak. The railroad official who asked for my ticket spoke no English. A passenger across the aisle asked if I spoke French and helped me. I would encourage anyone going to Italy to learn at least a little Italian or carry a good phrasebook or electronic translation device.

You'll find magazines and newspapers in French at large train station newsstands in many places in Europe. A friend in Barcelona claims it is easy to find books in English and French in stores there.

A few years ago, my son went to Europe for a few months and went almost everywhere a Eurailpass would take him. He had four years of Spanish, a smattering of conversational Polish he learned from the neighbors and had minored in Japanese in college. I suggested he pick up some French and German on his own. He used the Spanish in Spain, didn't get to Poland and had a few casual conversations with Japanese tourists on trains. He said the French and German made the most difference.

Your trip is up to you. What do you most want to see? What do you want to do?
2 persons have voted this message useful



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