Native English speakers are lazy, ignorant and downright rude – or so we can appear when encountered abroad in non-English speaking countries. However when we were preparing for our trip from London to Australia we were determined to put some time and effort into learning the languages of the countries we were visiting. Those efforts were rewarded tenfold even when we were only able to exchange a few words.
We chose to concentrate on Russian and Mandarin as we were spending a month in Russia and three months in China. We also prepared to learn some Vietnamese and Indonesian (two other places where we intended spending several weeks) along the way and downloaded courses in preparation.
At the end of our trip we had the following observations to make: Continue reading