Speaking English Abroad


Taking English for Granted

Traveling in Europe alone is a lot easier than I thought it would be. Most of that is due to there being very little language barrier. And no I'm not talking about how I can speak French, that's only been helpful in two of the nine countries I've visited so far. What's helped me is that I speak English. Sure knowing please and thank you is a must, but after that I haven't really been stuck when it comes to trying to communicate. And that's when I notice just how much we take out native language for granted. 

The international travel language, at least in Europe, is English. If you want to travel in Europe but don't speak the native language, then the next best thing is English. So basically anywhere you go that is touristy enough, you will be able to find someone that speaks English. But like I said before, it's rude to just assume so it's best to ask people before if its alright to speak English. But after this communication is not limited.

And that's huge. We don't realize how great it is for us English speakers to travel. We don't have to worry too much. But for non-English speakers, traveling is most likely a bit harder. In many countries in Europe, learning English is required, and I'm not talking about the two years of Spanish that we do in high school. No these are years of learning the language. So in order to successfully travel, others are expected to learn English to communicate. For us travel is less intimidating because we won't need to learn another language. And that's great, for English speakers. But that's just another privilege that we have when we travel. 

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