Language Barriers

As I talk about traveling to other people sometimes they look at me in shock and say, “You went to Cambodia? Do you speak Cambodian?” I always explain to them that I don’t speak anything in Cambodian. The usual response is a blank stare as if I were crazy. I know some people think that I’m crazy, but I know that as a reader of this blog you agree with me completely.

You should never let a language stop you from traveling. Probably the most difficult place to navigate that I’ve ever been is Russia. As you know they use the Cyrillic alphabet in Russia. Their letters look somewhat similar to ours, but not completely alike. Before I went to Russia I spent two or three days looking at the letters learning how to pronounce each of the letters. By the end of a few days of studying I felt pretty confident in most letters. Obviously I didn’t take into account the fact that their average word is much longer than ours. I would get started pronouncing something, and wouldn’t make it to the end of the word because I had gotten lost.

By a few hours of studying I was at least able to do some pronunciation and able to navigate a little bit. Sometimes I would get on the subway in Moscow, which is amazing, and take the train in one direction. I would get off at the next stop to make sure that I was headed in the right direction. I didn’t care that it was taking more time to get to my destination because I could ride the subway in Moscow from stop to stop and look at all of the decorations and tiles, and statues, ect. It is an amazing experience. I know that might come to a shock to you if you’ve ever been to NYC. The New York subway usually smells like an armpit and looks like one too. This is not the case in Moscow. A simple google search will show you some of the stops. I recommend you explore a little bit, and then book your tickets. 🙂

Feel free to leave comments and explain to us how your traveling experiences have been in regards to language.

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