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Tips to help- when we only speak English

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Tips to help- when we only speak English

We're going to Italy soon - for 4 weeks ! mostly planning to fend for ourselves - traveling - sight seeing - finding accommodation and food - including the need to describe being vegetarian!

I'm just wondering how hard that will be and if there are any tips to help being understood.

- will we need to have some basic phrases in a notebook so we can be understood ?

Does anyone have any tips on being understood when English is your only language?.

pittsburgh
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1. Re: Tips to help- when we only speak English

You'll not really have a language problem in most big cities. I've never found not speaking Italian to be an issue.

Donna

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2. Re: Tips to help- when we only speak English

I think it's easier to buy a small travel language book, like the Berlitz series, that has all the phrases a traveler will likely need, as well as a small dictionary and other tools all in one small paperback.

It depends on how strict of a vegetarian you are, but I learned not only how to say I am a vegetarian (sono vegeteriana, or sono vegeteriano for a male) but to be very clear I'll also say non mangio carne, ne pesche, ne polo (I don't eat meat, fish, or poultry). I don't eat soups in any restaurant other than vegetarian ones, because even when I can explain in English and ask about the stock used, I don't always trust the answer so I simply avoid the issue.

Edited: 16 February 2013, 12:37
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3. Re: Tips to help- when we only speak English

Sorry, I'm a lousy speller. In Italian it's vegetariana (or vegetariano for a male).

Le Marche, Italy
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4. Re: Tips to help- when we only speak English

Also, "pesche" is peaches, not fish. It should be "Non mangio ne carne ne pesce ne pollo." I imagine "pollo (two l's),meaning chicken, is a subcategory of meat, isn't it? If not, it might be better to say "pollame", which covers all poultry, including ducks, turkeys, and geese, which often appear on Italian menus.

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5. Re: Tips to help- when we only speak English

Like I said, lousy speller. Thanks for the corrections. I can say it but not spell it.

Savannah, Georgia
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6. Re: Tips to help- when we only speak English

If you have an iPhone (or probably other smart phone) there are several apps that would be helpful. I like the Italian-English dictionary ("Ita-Eng free"), for which there is a free version but you can buy in-app purchases for things like verb conjugations. Also, iTranslate lets you pick the two languages you want to translate between, say what you want in English and it will say it back in Italian. I think I paid 99 cents for it. Its easy to use, but you would need a data connection for it. There are many others as well.

Le Marche, Italy
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7. Re: Tips to help- when we only speak English

There is a Google Translate app for Android phones, and perhaps for iPhones as well. I found it useful at times when we were in Paris; it also needs a data connection. Almost any app that translates whole phrases would need a data connection. One nice thing about Google Translate is that you can take a photo of a sign or a label and it will be translated.

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8. Re: Tips to help- when we only speak English

Thank you all VERY much - These replies suggest that we will need to take a 'phrases ' book or we might be living on great coffee alone!

Funnily enough I noticed there was a Govindas in Milan!

I appreciate your help .

Thanks. SLR

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9. Re: Tips to help- when we only speak English

Thanks That's really helpful - because like you we are complete vegos!

I'll add those words to my notes! xS

Seattle, Washington
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10. Re: Tips to help- when we only speak English

Hi SLR!

First trip! and for 4 weeks! You will have an AMAZING time!

Most hotel desk staff will know some English. You can tell them of your dietary restrictions, and ask for suggestions of great vegetarian restaurants and how to get there.

Milano is probably the most cosmopolitan city in Italy (so things like vegetarian food, sushi (not veg), etc. are easy to find).

You could also do some advance browsing here on tripadvisor under Milan Restaurants, check the "vegetarian" box at the left and you'll see about 35 restaurants come up:

tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g187849-Milan_Lo…

Where are you going besides Milano?

-Karl

Edited: 17 February 2013, 02:20