There are several languages I'd like to be able to speak, merely because I like the sound of them. In high school I studied French because it was the prettiest sounding alternative to the three foreign languages offered: Spanish, German, French. I did well in that class, especially with speaking it, which I credit my dad for. He spoke French très bien. He'd start up a conversation and expect me to respond only in French. English, American Sign Language and French are the only languages I've learned and the last two are pretty rusty.
There are so many countries I want to visit. Learning a language well enough to speak to the native populace of all that I want to go to isn't going to happen. But at the least I can learn important words and phrases that visitors to an English-Is-Not-The-Primary-Language country might squeak by with and not make an utter hash of it (a favorite British phrase of mine!)
Welcome to Part 1/Segment 4 of my Future Expeditions series: Countries To Visit Wish List
In Italy, the phrases-to-learn-so-I-can-get-by will have to be Basic 101 tourist talk because there are so many variants of standard Italian and subcategories that vary from region to region.
Huh??! I can talk better than that!
Yes Sì No No Hello! Ciao!
How are you? Come stai? Good morning! Buongiorno! Good night! Buonanotte! Please Per favore
Thank you Grazie You are welcome Prego
Do you speak English? Parli inglese?
Where is the bathroom? Dov'è il bagno?
How much is it? Quanto costa?
I don't understand Non capisco
I'm from Missouri Io sono di Missouri
(in case someone wants to know where this American who is butchering their language hails from)
Yes Ja No Ingen Hello! Hallå!
How are you? Hur mår du? Good morning! God morgon!
Good night! God natt! Please Vänligen
Thank you Tack You are welcome Du är välkommen
Do you speak English? Talar du engelska?
Where is the bathroom? Var är toaletten?
How much is it? Hur mycket är det?
I don't understand Jag förstår inte
I'm from Missouri Jag är från Missouri
While in Sweden, I'd drive - or maybe just walk - over to Norway and Finland and Denmark. Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and Danish are closely related so what I learn in Sweden I might be able to pass off as the other three, with some variations on a theme.
If you're wondering where I got the spellings of the words and phrases above, and those below, they come from English/That Language, dictionaries. As an author one of my favorite things to do is to write a non-English speaking character because it gives me the opportunity to learn a little about another language. Consequently, I have a mini foreign language dictionary library. But to learn how to pronounce the words, I either find someone who speaks the language, or use an online tutorial.
Okay, on to Russian. My fascination with this language came from that roommate I told you about at the beginning of this post. She was a Russian language and literature major, education minor - from Texas. Her dream was to travel to Russia and teach English as a second language. How did she get interested in the Russian, language, you ask? The movie, Dr. Zhivago. After seeing it she was hooked (and really wanted out of west Texas!)
А Б В Г Д Е Ё Ж З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Ъ Ы Ь Э Ю Я
Again, the same phrases, in Russian but in letters English speaking folks can read....
Yes Da No Net Hello Privet
How are you? Kak dela ? Good morning! Dobroye utro!
Good night! Spokoynoy nochi! Please Pozhaluysta
Thank you Spasibo You are welcome Pozhaluysta
(can someone explain to me why 'please'
and 'you are welcome' are the same?)
Do you speak English? Ty govorish' po-angliyski ?
Where is the bathroom? Gde nakhoditsya tualet?
How much is it? Skol'ko eto stoit ?
I don't understand YA ne ponimayu
I'm from Missouri YA iz Missuri
Good thing I love a challenge because I'll have sure have one if I go to any of these countries hoping to converse with, or at least understand the people who have spoken the language their entire lives. But I can take comfort in knowing that if I make a fool of myself I won't ever see them again!