Is it a bad idea to travel to another country if you dont know how to speak its language

I wanna go to ukraine

  1. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    >I wanna go to ukraine
    This is a bad idea.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      I know but I still wanna go

  2. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    No, it's fine if you don't speak the language. I've been to many such. I wish you luck in Ukraine, bro. Post updates!

  3. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    know a handful of survival phrases and stay in the tourist containment zone
    but not in Ukraine

  4. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Actually the worst kept secret is is, there's almost a reverse correlation between speaking the local language well, and how well you're treated by local people.

    When you're just off the plane, almost any tourist, student, businessman or English teacher is at least a little endearing. You barely know anything about the local people, and your ignorance or prejudices about and towards them are usually generously chalked up to the propaganda and miseducation you were subjected to. Besides, people want to give you a good impression, and so there's no point pulling rank or status. It's all try our delicious food, isn't this old building majestic, aren't our women delightful.

    When you've learned the local language, this unfortunately doesn't always endear you to natives putting it mildly. For the most xenophobic, it marks you out as an intruder who has overstayed his welcome. And even to the more cosmopolitan, friendly sorts, it begins to produce an unease and concern: what conclusions are you now beginning to come to about their people, now that you're behind the language barrier? You are no longer as naive, as easily fooled. And now that you are likely gaining a more realistic view of the native, he may begin to feel there is no purpose in being friendly or hospitable: you are no longer in the audience watching the proverbial play, you have barged your way onstage, inelegantly pushing your way into becoming one of the characters.

    Speaking the local language very well (especially if it's not popular, or a local patois almost never learned outside that particular territory) likely betrays you as someone who's likely lived there for five years or more. You are no longer a visitor to be wined, dined, charmed and sent on your way full of praise of their hospitality and kindness, but the beginnings of an embryonic national minority group, or depending on the situation, the last dregs of colonialism, someone to be watched, managed, dealt with.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      he knows.
      >When you've learned the local language, this unfortunately doesn't always endear you to natives putting it mildly. For the most xenophobic, it marks you out as an intruder who has overstayed his welcome.

      Thailand in a nutshell and believe me when the rose tinted glasses came off i was seething. the second you open your mouth and speak thai to ANY tourism employed person they start frowning because they know they can't scam you. its fucking apalling

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      Disclaimer tho, this doesnt work in france and many other countries with proud people who dont give a shit about burger speak

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      great post. well written. heres a (you)

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      Have a (You) for this original pasta.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      Iunno what country you are referring to. Thailand? I speak Spanish, Chinese and Japanese and enjoyed my time 100000% more after learning the language. Thinking about picking up Vietnamese.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      this is what happens when you spend all your time in sea shitholes

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      Bullshit. I wanna strangle fresh off the boat morons every time. Goofy morons taking photos of literally fucking everything and anything. Buck teeth slant eye morons.
      >OH HERROW PREEZ

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        >Implying white piggus don't do that when you are in their country (I know cause I take pictures of mundane Asian shit myself).

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      lol what

      I studied Hindi-Urdu for two years in college and then did a post-graduate fellowship in the same subject. I can read, write, and speak the language(s). If anything, being able to speak reasonably proficient Hindi-Urdu has only improved my travels in India and Pakistan. People are often amazed that a foreigner has any working grasp on a local language. If I speak in Hindi to an auto-wala, a storekeeper, or just about anyone, they're instantly more helpful than if I'd defaulted to English (which is ironic, because English-speaking Indians usually default to English to demonstrate status and their educational qualifications).

      Of course, being able to speak the language has set off alarm bells for some people--but those people are so fucking stupid their opinion isn't even worth considering (i.e., "foreigner can speak our language, he is probably a CIA agent/Christian missionary/trying to re-colonize us).

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        Hey UrduAnon, I'm going to Islamabad next week. I know how to count in Urdu, 4 tenses and like 100 phrases. I'm gonna visit Berlitz and Zaban language schools and see which one is best for me. I plan to stay in Pakistan - visas permitting - until I'm an intermediate speaker. I am also considering a private teacher comes to my house and I pay him 660PKR per hour ($3.30), insanely cheap.
        I'm gonna live in Islamabad for the next 6 months at least because it seems the cleanest, safest and comfiest with close access to beautiful nature.
        Any advice you have on anything this topic related would be much appreciated. Language advice, Pakistan advice etc.

        • 4 months ago
          Anonymous

          >I am also considering a private teacher comes to my house and I pay him 660PKR per hour ($3.30), insanely cheap.
          Just some advice for this: Don't hesitate to try different teachers for two or three lessons each and then pick the one you found the best.

          • 4 months ago
            Anonymous

            >Just some advice for this: Don't hesitate to try different teachers for two or three lessons each and then pick the one you found the best.
            That's good advice. I'll do that. TY.

        • 4 months ago
          Anonymous

          >I plan to stay in Pakistan - visas permitting - until I'm an intermediate speaker
          Are you going on a tourist visa? If so, good luck getting an extension. We practically had to torment the visa office to get mine. At one point, I was traveling with a visa that had been expired for nearly 2 months. When I started harassing the e-visa office to at least look at my application, they told me I'd falsified my information and could have a case registered against me.

          After calling them repeatedly thereafter, they realized they had checked the wrong person's application. To make a long story short, do not put your faith in them. I would even advise submitting your extension through a travel agency, simply because a competent agent will iron out any difficulties by bribing the Nadra idiots for you.

          >I'm gonna live in Islamabad for the next 6 months at least because it seems the cleanest, safest and comfiest with close access to beautiful nature.
          True, but Islamabad is also boring as shit. It has some great hikes nearby, though, and people are much more Westernized than elsewhere in Pakistan.

          If you drink or plan to drink, make friends with Westernized Pakistanis--they can help you find a "bootlegger." While foreigners are entitled to purchase booze in Pakistan, provided that they aren't Muslim, it's nonetheless a bit of a hassle, since there are very few authorized retailers (usually inside 5-star hotels; Karachi is the only big city, IIRC, that has actual standalone liquor stores).

          At any rate, you'll easily make friends. Pakistanis are incredibly friendly, especially if you have any interest in their language and culture. I got past a few military checkpoints in Lahore just because the M.P.s were so delighted to see a foreigner speaking Urdu, lol.

          • 4 months ago
            Anonymous

            cont.

            >Language advice, Pakistan advice etc.
            I studied Hindi-Urdu in university and did my language fellowship through a major U.S. university, so I can't give much guidance on finding a program there. Just make sure that you have the right visa for what you're trying to do. The I.S.I. can and will monitor you. They probably won't give a fuck about minor visa violations, but if you do anything else wrong, it could be cause to deport you.

            (if you think I'm being paranoid: one of my friends in Lahore stayed close to an I.S.I. compound. My friend said I should stop wasting money on a hotel and stay with her. A few days after I arrived, the I.S.I. showed up at her landlord's doorstep and firmly instructed him that foreigners aren't allowed in the Cantonment area. I also received regular calls from police and intelligence officials while traveling across Sindh. Surprisingly, they didn't see to care when I went to Peshawar and KPK)

            >language advice
            Schools aside, I could give you the contact information of a very good tutor in Lahore. He's not especially organized but he's good at what he does. IIRC, he charges about $10 USD per hour. Even if you take regular classes, I think he'd be a great supplement. He does in-person and Zoom. I'd opt for Zoom, since he was always late for my in-person lessons (often by hours).

            • 4 months ago
              Anonymous

              cont.

              >Pakistan advice
              Ask away. I work remotely, so I was limited in my ability to travel; there's at least one other anon who's been all over Pakistan. Not sure if he's here or not. I was in Pakistan for about ~6 months. Spent most of my time in Lahore, took day-trips and 1-2 week trips here and there (Karachi, Peshawar, Swat Valley, Hunza, lots of places in Punjab, etc).

              Anyway, have fun. I'm in India now (wife is Indian). I do prefer India to Pakistan for a variety of reasons, but you won't find much friendlier people than you will in Pakistan. Furthermore, even if you're pale as a bedsheet, you can still blend in if you wear shalwar kameez and can speak a bit of Urdu. People always just assumed I was a Pathan. It was kind of funny--random Lahoris would try to speak to me in Pashto. One guy almost hit me with his car, and we started screaming at me in Urdu. He then switched to English to try to "intimidate" me (English proficiency = education, authority in India/Pakistan). Homie shut the fuck up and drove away once he realized I was foreign lol.

              • 4 months ago
                Anonymous

                If I do a solo trip through Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iran, is it a good idea to wear a shalwar kameez everywhere? I dont speak any hindi etc but I would like to be unacosted by people in boda gaya, dehli, mumbai, the trains, and any country side I might go to.

                I’d be afraid to be called out as a foreigner just cos-playing. You make it seem like it is a magic garment that will keep scammers away. Should I also grow a beard, wear a pagh (that seems too much)? I always learn a bit of the language anyway, but should I also learn “fuck off” is pashto to complete the look?

                The racists on this board have disuaded me from going to the subcontient. If this shalwar kameez tip is true, I’ll go tomorrow. thanks

              • 4 months ago
                Anonymous

                shalwar kamiz would only work in pakistan cuz of high pashtun population(many pashtuns look white). downside is you might face some discrimination at security checkpoints if a cop thinks ur afghan. in india or bangladesh the cultural dress is slightly different and if ur white youll stick out like a sore thumb anywhere and would attract a lot of attention. wearing shalwar kameez in iran would very likely get u arrested for suHispanicion of being a spy.

              • 4 months ago
                Anonymous

                >If I do a solo trip through Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iran, is it a good idea to wear a shalwar kameez everywhere?
                Same Anon you're replying to. I broadly agree with

                shalwar kamiz would only work in pakistan cuz of high pashtun population(many pashtuns look white). downside is you might face some discrimination at security checkpoints if a cop thinks ur afghan. in india or bangladesh the cultural dress is slightly different and if ur white youll stick out like a sore thumb anywhere and would attract a lot of attention. wearing shalwar kameez in iran would very likely get u arrested for suHispanicion of being a spy.

                . However, I don't think wearing shalwar kameez in Pakistan would ever pose any problems. Unless you actually do speak fluent Urdu--or Pashto--most people will realize you're a foreigner once you start talking.

                Furthermore, military checkpoints will immediately demand your I.D.--in your case, a passport. You won't have any problems.

                >Bangladesh, India, Iran
                Can't speak for Iran.

                However, as the other anon said, there are a lot of White-looking Pathans--I saw unironic redheads in Swat. While most Pathans are swarthy, they still comprise a large enough percentage of the population for people to not be too surprised to see a blond "local" (you'll get second looks, but most people will assume you're Pathan before assuming you're a foreigner. If you're wearing Western clothes, then they'll just assume you're foreign).

                This isn't the case in India or Bangladesh. You cannot blend in here. Nevertheless, your feel of being "hassled' is overblown. You might get bothered by beggars or drug dealers in the sorts of tourist spots that attract budget backpackers; just pretend these people don't exist and most of them will leave very quickly.

                IME, most Indians are just normal people. A lot of them are genuinely curious about foreigners. Unless--again--you're in a hyper-touristic spot, any attention you get is likely to be friendly.

              • 4 months ago
                Anonymous

                If I do a solo trip through Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iran, is it a good idea to wear a shalwar kameez everywhere? I dont speak any hindi etc but I would like to be unacosted by people in boda gaya, dehli, mumbai, the trains, and any country side I might go to.

                I’d be afraid to be called out as a foreigner just cos-playing. You make it seem like it is a magic garment that will keep scammers away. Should I also grow a beard, wear a pagh (that seems too much)? I always learn a bit of the language anyway, but should I also learn “fuck off” is pashto to complete the look?

                The racists on this board have disuaded me from going to the subcontient. If this shalwar kameez tip is true, I’ll go tomorrow. thanks

                As a brief addendum: while a White person usually cannot pass as a "local" in India, how you dress can significantly impact how people appraise and treat you. A lot of tourist touts in Delhi, for instance, specifically target first-time tourists who just arrived in India--they know that anyone who's spent more than a week here will be wise to their game, and they don't bother.

                If you appear confident, wear normal Western clothes, and seem comfortable in your surroundings, a lot of people are going to assume you're an expatriate or an exchange student.

                I saw the Karl Rock video of "Indians AMAZED white guy speaks FLUENT Hindi blahblahblah" but they didn't look very...happy nor amazed. maybe poojeets are just assholes to everybody or Karl filmed the worst reactions. I do know that other language YouTubers cherry pick reactions
                [...]
                Kek

                Those sorts of videos are stupid and intended exclusively to pander to Indians who think a White person learning Hindi is somehow indicative of India being a superpower.

                I've only watched one Karl Rock video, which was him shilling garbage-tier Royal Enfield motorcycles in New Zealand. I never took him seriously after that and never watched any of his further videos. While I cannot comment on "reactions" to his Hindi, I am speaking from experience when I say that many people are very pleasantly surprised to see foreigners speaking any amount of Hindi (let alone regional languages, like Bengali or Telugu).

                Of course, most people don't have "crazy" reactions; if they care to talk, they might compliment your Hindi, ask how and why you learned it, and then steer the conversation elsewhere. For example, I once took a shared auto-rickshaw in some bumfuck city in Chhattisgarh. The auto-wala was very pleased to learn that A) I'm American and B) I speak Hindi. After repeatedly establishing that I was from the United States, he spent the entirety of the 20-minute ride speaking non-stop about his deep-seated love for professional wrestling (this included repeated questions as to "how far [I] live from W.W.E." as well as loving descriptions of The Great Kali and the Undertaker).

              • 4 months ago
                Anonymous

                >hile I cannot comment on "reactions" to his Hindi, I am speaking from experience when I say that many people are very pleasantly surprised to see foreigners speaking any amount of Hindi

                See Bald & Bankrupt as an example. His Hindi is genuinely bad; he doesn't have even an elementary grasp on basic grammar and tenses. However, people praise him up and down for speaking "fluent" and "good" Hindi just because he can kinda-sorta string some sentences together, which is more than most foreigners in India can say for themselves.

                (not criticizing others, BTW--there's genuinely no point learning an Indian language in-depth unless you have a reason for doing so. Enough people here speak English that you never really need Hindi unless you're planning to spend substantial amounts of time in the villages and countryside. Even then, you'll still find the odd person who lived in the U.S. or has a cousin in Canada and can communicate without issue)

              • 4 months ago
                Anonymous

                thanks anons, I am wondering more generally if I should jump into a cross-subcontinent trip (like, Bangkok to istanbul, over ~3 months) or if I’m overestimating the areas. I’m afraid that it’ll be too much boring country side, especially a desert like pakistan and the marshes of bangladesh, when really I should just fly from capitol to capitol. I like to wonder and “wing it”, does the area lend itself to that or should I do a lot of research on areas first and take the long distance trains to skip most of it?

                sorry OP, this is a india thread now. If I made a dedicated one it attracts 4chan.

              • 4 months ago
                Anonymous

                is that u karl rock?

        • 4 months ago
          Anonymous

          lol ur chilling if ur in islamabad or a big city, most ppl can understand basic english.

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        I saw the Karl Rock video of "Indians AMAZED white guy speaks FLUENT Hindi blahblahblah" but they didn't look very...happy nor amazed. maybe poojeets are just assholes to everybody or Karl filmed the worst reactions. I do know that other language YouTubers cherry pick reactions

        is that u karl rock?

        Kek

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      This is more true in some countries, less true in others. It depends on their level of inferiority and/or xenophobia. This generalization (even when accurate) is also limited to the natives who go out of their way to be around tourists to either charm or exploit them. Without knowing a bit of the language, you can never interact with the other 80 - 99.99% of the population (it's a big range depending on how dependent the economy is on tourism).

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      >bad idea to travel without local language?
      Certainly not. I would assume that most people don’t know most local languages when they travel, with the exception of very commonly studied languages like English, Spanish, or French, which many otherwise ordinary visitors might be conversant in.

      While I don’t really agree with these takes

      he knows.
      >When you've learned the local language, this unfortunately doesn't always endear you to natives putting it mildly. For the most xenophobic, it marks you out as an intruder who has overstayed his welcome.

      Thailand in a nutshell and believe me when the rose tinted glasses came off i was seething. the second you open your mouth and speak thai to ANY tourism employed person they start frowning because they know they can't scam you. its fucking apalling

      (in the Thai case I found my quality of life significantly improved by speaking Thai, but I was living in Isaan, where there are few tourists and people are probably less jaded—learning the local Lao dialect was even better, although it made me sound like a yokel in Bangkok whenever I used it by mistake), I do think that the insulation provided by not speaking a local language makes some things easier—you miss a lot, basically, including a lot of the less pleasant parts of wherever you are. I can see how it might add to a sense of ‘getting away from it all.’ Nevertheless, I always try to speak or pick up some local language, not least because I just enjoy it.

      >Ukraine
      Broadly speaking, this is a stupid idea. But not speaking a local language is perhaps the least stupid thing about this prospect. Note that different languages are useful in different parts of the country—tensions and present warfare aside, you meet more Russian speakers on the street in Odes(s)a than Ukrainian speakers, whereas in Kyiv/Kiev your chances are probably more like 50/50. Only bigger Ukrainian town where found Ukrainian speakers far outnumbering Russian speakers on the street was Lviv, which was also the only place I noticed anything resembling dissatisfaction with my speaking Russian rather than Ukrainian; people in most of the rest of the country were cheerfully or very casually bilingual. This may have changed since February. But you’re not going to UA anytime soon if you aren’t, in fact, stupid.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      This may be true but not everywhere. Here in Serbia, if you manage to learn our language, you will become a microcelebrity and appear on TV every once in a while. I know several examples of this. But I also know some examples of what you said, mostly that I've met IRL. For some of them, it's like I almost forget they're a foreigner, so there is no special treatment.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      There's definitely a sense in which this is true, but it depends on whether or not you're going to be a continuing source of validation for them. Do you seem cynical or naive? Is knowing the language a part of your jadedness, or could you have come there for the first time with a head full of vocabulary, etc? Either way, I agree that you'll be taken for granted if you seem like a long-term resident. You should appear to be ready to go at any moment. That's actually a principle that applies to almost any context. People should not think they have all the time in the world to get on your good side.

  5. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    I went to kyiv in 2018 for a week. My flight was bangkok to ny on Ukraine airlines, which was the cheapest. It had the connecting in Ukraine, and I was able to book it so that it was the same price to stay for the week (multicity).

    It was cool, made me want to go to russia, which soon I might. The language was no issue, I downloaded ukrainian on google translate and just held up my phone. People then didnt like to speak russian even if they understood it, and I’m sure it’s worse now. They’re mutually intelligable mostly.

    I was stopped by police, asked for my passport. This was only because I was dressed like a clown (I had one of those chinese grandma straw hats) and I learned later that I was walking infront of their parliament building (just looked like some bank).

    I am certain that you will get a lot of strange looks, and police will be very suHispanicious of “I just want to look around”. I hate to say it, but I am sure a lot of rapists have come to Ukraine to take advantage of the chaos. Do you look like a child molester anon?

    A lot of places may have closed to tourists, even churches. A lot of honest people have probably fled and you may be left with a higher concentration of criminals. Hostels are probably closed or full of refugees. Chernobyl is probably closed to tours as there was a war there recently, but if its open maybe that makes it cooler.

    I think the war is on the border again, kyiv is safe from the frontline, and if you go to kyiv you will see why they couldnt take it from the east, it has a massive river and cliff on that side.

    All that considered, if youre white you’ll blend in, any open toursit places will probably be empty of tourists. But in 2018 there were no foreign tourists at all, other than 20 something party types.

    So if you want to go you’re going for the weather, and the parks might have refugees idk.

  6. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    i heard ukraine is a lovely country to visit this time of year, you should definitely go anon. have fun tbh!

  7. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    > if you dont know how to speak its language

    this is the best way to learn the language truly. my friend moved to japan for college and learned japanese within a year pretty well so yea u just gotta get punted in that countries culture and immerse then u will adhere

  8. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Depends on the area. I felt that my very basic understanding of Spanish (more written, can't hear it) was serviceable in Mexico but I was completely lost in Colombia.

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