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English signs

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1. Posted by cumbria78 (Budding Member 6 posts) 8y

Has anyone gone into a town abroad and had a real problem cos theres no english signs?
eg. me/partner were in prague. Got bus to near the zoo and walked to the Botanical Gradens on the other side down a side st but there was no English signs so we spent ages trying to find the bloody Tropical house thats connected to it, but down the side, further along. Cos when u get in the gardens the sign lead u on a total chase. I got dehydrated with the heat. Walking fast. Time was getting and still no Tropical house thing. Finally found it just down the side of the road that leads you to the gardens!!
It was the same in Prague centre. English leaflets but no english street signs. What century do these people live in?. If it wasn`t for us tourists thy would go bust!

2. Posted by spongehead (Full Member 119 posts) 8y

For a start, the world doesn't revolve around Anglo-saxons and second, I'd much prefer that countries keep to their own language and culture instead of pandering to tourists by erecting signs in English. Half the fun in going overseas is in the exploration. But if you're insistent on enjoying everything in a language you feel comfortable in, try touring the Commonwealth (and N. American) countries only.

3. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3720 posts) 8y

Quoting spongehead

For a start, the world doesn't revolve around Anglo-saxons and second, I'd much prefer that countries keep to their own language and culture instead of pandering to tourists by erecting signs in English. Half the fun in going overseas is in the exploration. But if you're insistent on enjoying everything in a language you feel comfortable in, try touring the Commonwealth (and N. American) countries only.

Exactly - other countries shouldn't have to change just to suit the English-speaking tourist world. When you walk round London as far as I know you don't see all the signs in numerous different languages just to suit the tourists. Part of the adventure is exploring and not knowing where you might end up and I would be disappointed if everything was as easy as it is at home; it would definitely take some of the fun out of my travelling.

4. Posted by Buffalo (Full Member 120 posts) 8y

I agree with the others Cumbria, reread your post, you sound like my granny, a bit silly really!

[ Edit: Edited on Aug 4, 2008, at 2:31 AM by Buffalo ]

5. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

Prague? Never had a problem finding my way around. And I went to some backwater places by public, with a touristy map.

Even non English speaking countries are relatively easy to find yourself around. Latin script especially. Try Chinese or Cyrillic signs, now they are fun to work out. Then again try a developing country with no signs at all.

Once you get use to visiting countries that don't speak english it gets easier and you'll find your way.

Probably won't be long before all out PDA's and watches will have GPS so we'll never get lost. So enjoy it while we still have the freedom to be lost!

6. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 8y

Quoting cumbria78

It was the same in Prague centre. English leaflets but no english street signs. What century do these people live in?. If it wasn`t for us tourists thy would go bust!

Are you for real? Are you the kind of tourist that walks around with a cellphone that takes pictures? Please stay at home!

7. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y

I tend to agree with everyone else. Part of any "adventure" is working out the kinks of your travels and no signs in English is just a kink. Next time, take a guide book, pocket translation dictionary, a pad of paper and pen plus get a map or several. The pad and pen come in very hand for drawing pictures of what you are looking for and people usually appreciate the effort you've put forth to show them what you want. Rather like a game of charades - entertaining in and of itself. Stopping to get some water may have connected you with someone who could have pointed you in the right direction while staving off that dehydration too.

Ultimately, you are a guest in their country. English may be the universal language but not everyone in the universe is required to speak it nor create signage for those of us who do.

8. Posted by chayisun (Budding Member 163 posts) 8y

Whenever my Wife and I go away we always try to learn some of the language used in the places we go.

It's fun and it is really wonderful to see the expressions on the faces of people when we use the local language....Particularly from me when we go to Taiwan....

9. Posted by laurim (Respected Member 260 posts) 8y

The only time I've had trouble finding my way was in Mykonos, Greece. I had a map but other than showing me where things were in relation to the water, it was useless. Even if they had street signs, I couldn't read their alphabet. Made it challenging and exhausting but I found where I wanted to go.

10. Posted by cumbria78 (Budding Member 6 posts) 8y

Thankyou Laurim. Finally. I`m far from racist. I always learn a few words of the language before I go. Like hello, thankyou, toilets etc. It`s just I`d heard such good reports of Prague when me/boyf found it more difficult than anticipated and weren`t told about any of the problems of getting around we came upon. You can buy all the maps in the world and not be able to find your way around a city you`ve never visited before. I don`t care what people say. There is still a language barrier when you visit abroad. Whoevers fault is irrelevant. It`s usually both anyway. Purely a lack of education available. You can`t learn Czech at college or on a short course in your local community ctr or thai for that matter. Maybe greek, Italian, Spanish but not the more wider European.