Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Language Survival Kit

The challenge of travelling to non English speaking countries is communicating.
Lonely planet travelers who do not patronize travel tours put themselves at risk by plotting their own routes. Yet, surprisingly they manage. One with an inquisitive mind who is direction oriented can survive with key words.

In Italy, the basics I could not do without are:
“Boungiorno. Mi scusi. Per favore. Dov’e un termini? Dov’e? Grazie. Chiao!”
Bwon∙jor no. mee∙skoo zee. Per fa∙vo∙re. Do ve u termini? Do∙ve? Gra∙tsye.

In France where the citizens have the distinction of a strong pride for their language, I survived with:
“Bonjour . Excusez moi/Pardon. S’il vous plait. Ou est Charles de Gaulle Estoille? Ou est? Merci. Au revoir!”
Bon∙zhoor. Ek skew zay mwa/par∙don. Seei voo play. Oo ay Charles de Gaulle Estoille. Oo ay? air see. O rer vwa.

In Tagalog, the translation is:
Magandang araw po! Makikisuyo. Saan po ba ang MRT station? Salamat po! Saan? Babay.

Caught in a problem I’d say“ Aiuto! in Italian (a yoo to!), Au secours! in French (o skoor!). Saklolo in Tagalog. Then help comes along.

Through these, I am able to see the wonders these 1st world countries brag about. “Chiao. Au revoir. Paalam.”

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