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most useful language

Travel Forums Europe most useful language

1. Posted by flanbos (Budding Member 24 posts) 10y

what does everyone think the most useful language to lern is for somone trvelling in europe to lern is?

im planning on going around most of europe if i can afford it and i wanna focus on lerning a fair bit of one main language to help me out most?


2. Posted by Peter (Admin 5847 posts) 10y

Depends where in Europe. French and German will probably be most helpful overall as they are spoken in a variety of countries and many Europeans learn one or both languages as well.

Of course, if you plan to spend a lot of time in one particular country, then the story is all different.

3. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

Assuming you already speak English, I agree with Peter. Bear in mind, though, that german is still not looked upon very friendly in parts of eastern Europe. French may be a good alternative.

4. Posted by Dem (Full Member 78 posts) 10y

Spanish could be an alternative. More and more people in the last couple of years across europe is taking lessons to learn it. And it should be also very useful if one day you plan to go to South America.

5. Posted by Winkekatze (Full Member 41 posts) 10y

@ bentivogli:

Which parts of eastern Europe do you mean

- I never faced any problems with people in Poland, Estonia, Latvia, etc ... Some of them could even speak some German or wanted to learn it or were planning to come to Germany for studying or working. Especially the people in the Baltic states were very friendly and open-minded - maybe even more than people in some countries of western Europe.

Filika - Best regards,


[ Edit: sorry, no website promos please. ]

6. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1384 posts) 10y

German would be the most useful, unless you are planning to spend a lot of time in countries like Spain, Italy or France. As said before Spanish would be really helpful in South-America although it is a bit different from the Spanish spoken in Spain. French is very helpful in Africa.

In my opinion it is always good to try to speak a few words of the language regardless of the place you are visiting.

7. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

Quoting Winkekatze

@ bentivogli:

Which parts of eastern Europe do you mean


I speak decent german, but found (in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, mainly) that esp. the older generation was more comfortable speaking french. No idea why; they just did.


8. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1384 posts) 10y

To speak with the words of John Cleese: "Don't mention the war."

It is still true, that a lot of (older) people in Europe, don't like/want to speak German for this reason, although the war ended more than 60 years ago. Sometimes it helps, to speak German with a accent, to let them know, that you are not really German.

9. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

One would expect that these days, they hate Russian more than German in those parts... but anyway, they don't call French the diplomatic language for nothing