I confess — other than Latin, I was never very good about picking up foreign languages (and alas, speaking Latin won’t get you too far these days).
I used to joke that I could say the word for “beer” in 18 languages, especially since some of them were variations of the word “beer.” And even I couldn’t forget how to say cerveza. (I was also fluent in vino and café.)
I have been able to draw on my somewhat less-than-stellar performance as a French student in high school and college and, during months of travel in Spain, learned enough, among other necessities, to ask for the hombres room after drinking too much cerveza.
All this is to say that I wish I had absorbed more of the local languages while traveling, especially in my younger days, since so many people around the world now speak English that it’s… Continue reading