In Reply to: You mean: German/Swiss/Dutch speak English posted by John Feng on August 18, 2000 at 13:29:37:
You're right. I meant for my generalization to apply only to those areas to which I traveled, namely, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France. But I agree, I didn't make that clear.
As always, a good dose of courtesy, the right
attitude, and creative sign language will get
you thru in Italy and France.
Well, there you go. That's also definitely true. You always have to remember when you travel that you're a guest in their guest in their country and if you think about how you'd like a guest in your own home to behave, that goes you a long way.
People are proud of their countries and cultures and my experience is that if you can show good manners and interest, keep a smile on your face and try to remain flexible (e.g., about eating foods that perhaps you wouldn't choose here at home), that you usually get a good response and a good outcome, despite any language problems.