Drinking with coworkers last Friday at the pub someone asked me, "What's the most common phrase you've had to use in your travels that isn't in the first chapter of a language book?" That honestly stumped me and I had to think on it for a bit. On my third pint I realized that I knew how to say "it's broken" in four different laguages--English, French, Spanish, and Russian. I guess with stays in hotels, riding in vehicles of different, and upkeep of personal gear, broken things come up often in life. So, that's my "most used phrase that's not in the first chapter of a book". What's yours?
Yes, it was the last trip taken with my former husband, who would lose his balance. I needed to ask the person at the Central Station to open the handicapped elevator as there are no rails to hold going down the stairs in front. I thought for a while, and I had bought my grandkids a book in Italian with an old witch - they loved to hear it in Italian, and I could make out most of it - so it was the 'old lady' --- 'vecchia'. So I pointed to elevator and said 'tuto vecchio' (which did not make a lot of sense, 'all old' - but he got the point. Other than that - I usually manage so I can't think of something that reoccurs - maybe I need some Port first ;-)
Is it allowed to take a picture of the food? PJ
Probably some version of getting tea without sugar, or (like you) some version of getting something fixed. As in, holding something broken/ripped toward someone, looking hopeful, and saying "fix?" in whatever language works. I use "where am I" a lot too, but I think that's chapter 1.
Hahaha... PJ--that sounds about right. Martha --> I know "old" in 3 out of 4 languages. Comes in handy often. Taylor --> Yes, just realized I know "with milk/cream" in 4 of 4. I also know "beer" in more than 4 languages, but I guess that's to be expected, huh? Better go make sure I know that in Italian before the VT meet next month. :/
Beer and cheers
Una birra media (or grande), Ed. :-) ' Una birra alla spina' if you want draught (which I always do, when available). Works for me... :-) 'A double espresso with added hot water, please.' 'Cafe Americano' works in lots of places, but not everywhere. I know the Slovenian, courtesy of Ursa9 (phonetic: langrishus kava, prosim).
Works so well for me that I doubled the emoticon...and I haven't even imbibed any yet...
It was not me who farted, it was the fat guy over there.
Thanks, J! That's gonna come in handy. It'll be hard for me to drop the "i"s out of some of these Italian words, I think. Instinctively, I'll want to make it sound Mexican--"spinia".
Learn it phonetically then...might help: oona beera alla speena medeea (granday) pear favoray. I spoke loads of entirely unintentional Italian in Madrid. Much laughter ensued...:-))
Are you married? Best when not asked the morning after.
i wonder if kaput is almost lingua franca for broken we would understand it in australia
when i was staying in sarajevo the laundry gave me back the most enormous pair of black men's underpants instead of my wispy black knickers i tried holding them out to the laundry lady and saying - not mine - and shaking my head she wasn't getting it so i held them comically up against my body and gave her a perky look and she got it and laughed and laughed and whisked them away - but i never got my own knickers back - that was just too hard
most necessary phrase in rome was con panne - with cream - so the ice cream scoopers in gialottis knew to throw lashings of cream on top of my three flavours i had noticed if you didn't ask they didn't give it to you
I know how to say "without meat" in various languages... Oh, and how to say "I'm German / from Germany" in various languages as well... people always ask or assume I'm Swedish! And yes: I do think "kaputt" has become an internationally understood word, haha! I've even heard it being used in India and also Thailand.
at restaurants we always ask for ketchup and ice ::)
"Kaput"?!!!! Ersh... You guys! And here I was all proud for knowing how to say a whole foreign language phrase. Damn. >:(
Ed, Even without words you can make yourself clear; just make a "killing" move with your hand in front of your neck and make sure to show the inside of both your hands thereafter and smile. PJ