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Etiquette Be Damned. Stop Asking, “Do you speak X language?” It’s Rude and Pointless.

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In a previous post Learning Danish – Surprising Realizations I discussed my evolving relationship with Danish.  One of the things I didn’t discuss was the surprising advice I received from Danish friends regarding one of the cornerstones of a traveler’s phrase book; the oft used opening inquiry, “Do you speak X language?”.

If you’re like me, you’ve ...

Backpacking / Europe / Hosteling / Human Interactions / Living Abroad / North America / Scandinavia / South America / Study Abroad / Tips & Tricks / Travel / Travel Tips

How “Howdy” Has Made Me A Better Traveler – Considering Cultural Identifiers and Their Value

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Each time we interact with a stranger there’s a significant amount of uncertainty. When that interaction occurs between people from different backgrounds, cultures, and languages that level of unknown is magnified significantly. To convey our background and express ourselves while reducing that uncertainty we dress a certain way, talk a certain way, and when it comes to ...