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Practical Language

Travel Forums General Talk Practical Language

1. Posted by newguy (Full Member 197 posts) 11y

Apart from English, the world's lingua franca, what other language is useful in getting around the world, especially Europe?

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

French, I would think. It also helps you get around the Latin languages, if only a little.

3. Posted by newguy (Full Member 197 posts) 11y

From experience, i was thinking French too. What about Eastern Europe? Anyone able to fill me in on the most commonly spoken language there?

4. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 11y

Around the world? English, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and Arabic between them will probably get you fixed virtually everywhere.

French would probably be next, with Portuguese an option in terms of numbers of speakers (because of Brazil), although it's really only relevant for 5 or 6 countries, and you can probably get by with some Spanish anyway.

In Europe, i'd say German (it is a useful second language in Eastern Europe in particular, even though English is widely spoken in the 3 main German speaking countries). Apart from that, Russian in parts of Eastern Europe (especially old Soviet Block, and where Cyrillic script is used) and one of French/Spanish/Italian for Southern Europe.

5. Posted by MattXIII (Full Member 272 posts) 11y

Spanish mainly. But english is taught just about everywhere nowadays.

6. Posted by newguy (Full Member 197 posts) 11y

Thanks Gelli, for the extended information u've written in this thread. I realise there's already a similar thread written in the past, so am i empowered to shut this thread down or leave it as it is?

7. Posted by BritHockey (Full Member 34 posts) 11y

Quoting Jared

What about Eastern Europe? Anyone able to fill me in on the most commonly spoken language there?

Slavic languages make up the majority of languages in Eastern Europe. Older people there will speak Russian but won't be happy doing so. Recently kids have learnt English and German as the second and third languages. The Slavic languages from Serbian up to Polish, from Czech over to Russian, are all VERY similar. Most use our alphabet. Learn one and you can fudge them all. Romanian is to Italian as Portuguese is to Spanish. Hungarian is like... Martian. A completely different animal. Most there will know German, Russian or English.