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Venice to Lisbon most useful language

 Language Learning Forum : General discussion Post Reply
Poll Question: What language the most useful in a journey from Athens to Lisbon?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
3 [17.65%]
9 [52.94%]
5 [29.41%]
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14 messages over 2 pages: 1
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 3855 days ago

2224 posts - 6708 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Creole (French)

 Message 9 of 14
27 September 2015 at 2:45pm | IP Logged 
Enrico, as you know, all of the Romance languages are different, just like the slavic languages are different. Spanish will help with Italian, but it is not, I repeat- NOT, Italian. With Spanish, you can get by with basic communication, provided that your interlocutor is patient. Portuguese (though Portugal is not a Mediterranean country) is close enough that if your Spanish is good, you can get by with basic communication, once again, provided that your interlocutor is patient- you may not understand the responses though. I've never used Spanish for communication with Portuguese-speakers because I speak Portuguese, but I have witnessed native speakers of either language communicating with each other, more or less. I, myself have managed to get by with Spanish with Italian-speakers but I also have knowledge of two other Romance languages and can fill in the blanks. Your mileage may vary.

So, people are saying "Spanish" because it is obviously good for Spain and it will help in Portugal and Italy but not so much in French. Spanish is by no means a lingua franca but it has a closer relationship with Italian and Portuguese than French has with Portuguese. French has a closer relationship with Italian but not so close with Spanish and Portuguese.

There is no one, single, Romance language you can learn that will take you all across the Mediterranean from Rome to Lisbon. French is the Romance language language I find to be least like the others in terms of pronunciation. Without French, in France, Spanish won't serve you very well except perhaps some for reading.

If you seriously just want to travel, English is the language that will serve you best in all of these countries. Working on improving your spoken English would probably be the best use of your time, along with basic phrasebook vocabulary and phrases for daily needs in the other languages. If you want to blend in with local culture, learn Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese, and wait a few years.
6 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 4654 days ago

819 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, French, EnglishC2, GermanB1, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Sanskrit, Arabic (classical)

 Message 10 of 14
27 September 2015 at 8:58pm | IP Logged 
It depends on when you want to travel:

201.5 CE/AD: Latin
2015 CE/AD: English

In both moments, some of the local tribes won't understand you, but they are, for the most part, friendly.
8 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 5553 days ago

531 posts - 722 votes 
Speaks: Spanish, Italian*, English, French, Portuguese

 Message 11 of 14
16 October 2015 at 12:28pm | IP Logged 
You have to bring with you an "English Interlingua Dictionary"
and learn a little bit of "Interlingua Grammar" ar.pdf
Interlingua is a constructed languaged based on Romance languages
In Spain Portugal and Italy almost everybody will understand you
Also in France many people will understand you, with more difficulty.

In Croatia, Montenegro and Greece many people understand English and Italian.
In Albania Italian is widespread.
1 person has voted this message useful

Mad Max
Joined 3644 days ago

79 posts - 146 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*, French, English, Russian
Studies: Arabic (classical)

 Message 12 of 14
10 November 2015 at 6:10pm | IP Logged 
Well, My vote is for Spanish because Spanish is relatevely easy for Portuguese speakers
and Italian speakers. Spain is between Portugal and Italy, geographycally. At the same
time, if a Portuguese only knows Portuguese and some English is easier Spanish language
than French or Italian.
I think that it is the same for an Italian, at least phonetically.

When I was in Portugal, I spoke in Spanish and the Portuguese people in their own
language and we could understand each other.

The same in Italy. Italian is a little less similar. So, sometimes I spoke Spanglish
(Spanish with some English words). It was enough to understand each other.
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 5190 days ago

9753 posts - 15778 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 Message 13 of 14
10 November 2015 at 11:08pm | IP Logged 
If you're literally going to travel along the coast, then Italy has the longest coastline out of these ;)
2 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 5040 days ago

851 posts - 1008 votes 
Studies: German

 Message 14 of 14
08 January 2016 at 11:42pm | IP Logged 
To me, Czech, as we were in a car with a Czech couple on a similar trip.

1 person has voted this message useful

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