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Luggage Transfer Correos

Do THEY speak English ? Clues ? ?

aname4me

aname4me
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2015, 2017, 2020
I am a Retired Monolingual North American.
When I'm walking the Camino.... I often wonder.... Do they speak English?

I am look for help in how to find (or elicit) clues.

Two things I already do....

I don't say “Buen Camino” I say “Hello, Buen Camino”
My hope is to let people know I am an English speaking Pilgrim.

I look for others with the John Brierley Guide Book.
I assume it is only in English and therefore they must speak English.


Any more ideas ?
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
I don't recommend limiting yourself by looking for clues like that - Someone who is carrying a French or German guidebook is quite likely to speak some English. Since most Europeans have studied some English during their school days, I think it's fine to give everyone a friendly greeting and ask directly if they speak any English. The worst that can happen is that they don't speak English and the only conversation that you can exchange is "Buen Camino."

I'd also recommend learning some Spanish. It's amazing how far you can get with a spoonful of Spanish and a pinch of chutzpah.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I don't recommend limiting yourself by looking for clues like that - Someone who is carrying a French or German guidebook is quite likely to speak some English.
I walked my first two caminos using a Spanish language guidebook. I have not used a printed guidebook since. And I would not be carrying Brierley's guide no matter what language it was translated into.
 
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John Finn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances - Sarria to Santiago (2013), Burgos to Leon (2014), St Jean Pied de Port to Logrono (2015), Logrono to Burgos (2016), Leon to Sarria (May 2017).
I always say "Good Morning!" or "Good Afternoon!" rather than "Buenos Días" when passing someone. In addition, I have a "Camino Society of Ireland" badge on my rucksack. I do have a smattering of Spanish but not enough to hold a conversation with anyone so I think it's best to indicate I'm an English speaker. It works for me.
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
What a wonderful opportunity to widen your horizon.
Why would you worry about being right away identified as US American? You may want to consider that not everybody likes Americans.
Survival word would be: Thank you good day good evening good by. When where how much. And I am so sorry I only speak a little bit castilliano. Madame would be nice and counting to ten. If you totaly lingual challenged remember you learnt English once. Write it on a card and practice. I taught for a very long time a two week warm up course to young guys - next to dos and don'ts. After two weeks they could count introduce themselves, ask for directions. What was left after ther exams was. I am Bob from the USA. One beer please and where is the train station.
By the way not all Spanish speakers in the US are imigrants and French is spoken as well...
Have fun.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
@aname4me , if you say 'buen camino,' people will likely be able to figure out that you're not spanish by your accent. If you really want to make sure of that, just add an 'eh' at the end...it's a dead give away.;)

Seriously...no worries. It's embarrassing, but most europeans are far better at speaking English than we are at speaking their languages. And as @Delphinoula says, add even a few words and you'll widen your world.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
What a wonderful opportunity to widen your horizon.
Why would you worry about being right away identified as US American? You may want to consider that not everybody likes Americans.
Survival word would be: Thank you good day good evening good by. When where how much. And I am so sorry I only speak a little bit castilliano. Madame would be nice and counting to ten. If you totaly lingual challenged remember you learnt English once. Write it on a card and practice. I taught for a very long time a two week warm up course to young guys - next to dos and don'ts. After two weeks they could count introduce themselves, ask for directions. What was left after ther exams was. I am Bob from the USA. One beer please and where is the train station.
By the way not all Spanish speakers in the US are imigrants and French is spoken as well...
Have fun.
Not all North Americans are citizens of the US - the OP is from Canada 🇨🇦;)

(Mexico in in North America too 🇲🇽)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I am a Retired Monolingual North American.
When I'm walking the Camino.... I often wonder.... Do they speak English?

I am look for help in how to find (or elicit) clues.

Two things I already do....

I don't say “Buen Camino” I say “Hello, Buen Camino”
My hope is to let people know I am an English speaking Pilgrim.

I look for others with the John Brierley Guide Book.
I assume it is only in English and therefore they must speak English.


Any more ideas ?
Come on, you're from Thunder Bay and you don't speak Ukrainian or Finnish? Shame on you!
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
My hope is to let people know I am an English speaking Pilgrim.
Do you need to let everyone know? Doesn't it become clear enough when you speak English to them? I am puzzled by the question, since you have walked in 2013, 2015 and 2017, and presumably managed fine.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I also walked three caminos previously, in 2015, 2016, and 2017. I did manage fine, except for occasionally sharing a bunk with a man on a couple of occasions who went to bed after I did and I never seemed to have a chance to introduce myself. I am somewhat shy and find that I am not always confident to try to introduce myself to persons with whom I share a space but possibly not a language. For example, I have sat down at tables in, or outside, a bar and not spoken to another person at the table, if he or she did not take the first step. And I am not monolingual. I speak fair French, some German, and am working on learning Spanish. I have spoken German with a monolingual elderly German gentleman and French with a very rude monolingual Frenchman, who amused himself criticizing my French. Each meeting is unique and the best thing to get me to talk to anyone is simply to either introduce yourself or express a need. But I know that I have to work harder at meeting whomever is open to an encounter. I don't have any answers, only not to give up and to reach out whenever an appropriate situation presents itself. This is my major project for my next camino.
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
Sometimes I feel embarrassed that my mother tongue is English! We are monopolizing all over the World. Very unfair, I think😢
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Sometimes I feel embarrassed that my mother tongue is English! We are monopolizing all over the World. Very unfair, I think😢
I used to feel this way - as if I were lazy by speaking my mother tongue. However, now I think that there needs to be an international language and that English is a good one to take that role. It is a very flexible language, it grew from the common people, has no academic academy in control, is very forgiving of mistakes, and it will continue to adapt.
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Not all North Americans are citizens of the US - the OP is from Canada 🇨🇦;)

(Mexico in in North America too 🇲🇽)
Sorry my bad
But to my apology have never heard monolingual worries from people from Mexico.
Since we are stereo typing Europeans. Let me quote out of French Kiss Do you speak English Of course Madame this is the Georg V not some back packer auberge... Thank you for the fascinating lecture on our cultual differences...
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
To be helpful
travelling in notern Cyprus. No English left hand traffic. My Turkish counting fast forgotten I managed with evet for yes. The only thing in classy Turkish I could say thank you, effendim for Mister, madame. Toilet, and merhaba because everybody said it to me. Pointing rubbing my fingers for how much, they showed me the number. And the klicking sound with tongue while you raise your eye brows for no. Works in Andalucia too. Ah getting a check writing in the air.

Let's collect minimalistic useful words?
Vale OK
 

Leibniz

Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
I really don’t understand why you want people to know you’re anglophone *before* you have any sort of interaction with them.

What do you think will happen if anyone thought you weren’t?

I’m not judging, I’m genuinely intrigued.
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
There can be a very satisfying human connection during an unsuccessful attempt at “precise” communication.

It can feel uncomfortable because it is inefficient and we feel so vulnerable without common language but in these times we are also at our most basic human condition.

The generosity in patience and effort by both parties to work at understanding with gestures, smiles, laughter, eye contact and sometimes, polite resignation is just one more of those special Camino experiences.
 

TMcA

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
After starting with “Buen camino”, I usually ask, in English, “Where are you from?” This is a very neutral question and may lead to an English language back and forth.

In retirement I have put a lot of effort into improvement of my French. As a slow walker, when I am overtaken by people speaking French, I address them in their language.

Tom
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I used to feel this way - as if I were lazy by speaking my mother tongue. However, now I think that there needs to be an international language and that English is a good one to take that role. It is a very flexible language, it grew from the common people, has no academic academy in control, is very forgiving of mistakes, and it will continue to adapt.
I agree that it would be nice if there was a universal language and in the given circumstances English would be the obvious choice, if one must chose an existing language. Still I find that I am feeling a little irritation when English speaking people come up with this argument. It has to do with power I feel and can lead to a lack of openness. You can see this for instance in the behaviour of many French people who still feel that French is still the universal language, and refuse to talk any other language. Another example which I still remember after 30 years is an American handbook of history, that only mentioned books in hat were translated in English. That would be unthinkable in Europe
 

Leibniz

Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
There is also something that sits a little uncomfortably with me, about addressing people in English first when in a non-English speaking country.

It seems a little rude to me.

At least make the effort to greet people in the host language, even if that’s all you can manage.
 

gschmidl

sator arepo tenet opera rotas
Camino(s) past & future
Kumano Kodo (11/2018), Camino Sanabres (4/2019)
I'm planning to go with Galician phrases instead of Spanish. If I'm going to learn some it might as well be the ones relevant to where I am.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
Why do you limit yourselves?

Do you think that People who are not able to communicate in English are not worth meeting?
Be open to everyone. If you think somebody is worth to talk to, give it a try. Even if you have no common language, there will be some kind of communication. 95% of human communication is non-verbal.

Besides that, I think greeting in the national language (even only saying "hola") is more polite than sticking to your language. You are a guest, accept what you find. Trying to communicate in the local language will open doors that otherwise remain closed. You do not have to be perfect. Even the attempt is highly appreciated. I can remember my dad doing the camino, no knowledge of any foreign language what ever, only German and our local dialect. But trying to be friendly, saying "hola" or "buenos" and other phrases he heard and thought to be appropriate. He was alwaysbeing treated in the most friendly way.

BC
Alexandra
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); Fall (2020) I hope
I too am from North America and look not one iota of Latin lineage. They’ll know at one glance that I’m not Spanish. I still attempt to greet and make basic statements in Spanish. With an app like Duolingo it’s not hard to at least learn some basics, such as asking where the toilet is or ordering a coffee. I encourage you to make the effort. It’s easier than you might think. There is absolutely zero risk that in making one statement in Spanish the listener is going to mistakenly assume you’re fluent.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Aren't you taking the OP's question way too seriously? For starters, even if he learns to say a few words in Spanish which he probably knows anyway by now he will still be a monolingual North American because knowing a few words in a foreign language doesn't make you a competent speaker let along a bilingual one no matter how that is defined.

Secondly, the OP looks for clues for identifying other pilgrims' language competencies without hearing them speaking first :). That's the task at hand. We are not talking locals here. If last year is any indication and as we are approaching the month of May, more than 70% of the pilgrims are not Spanish. Among those, the country with the highest number of pilgrims will be Germany, followed by Italy and then already the United States. Unfortunately, the statistics of the Santiago pilgrims office focusses on nationality and not on mother tongue.

Learning Galician is laudable of course. I don't know enough about language politics in Galicia, neither on the political nor on the individual level. In my personal experience from other areas with a setup of two official languages, local people on a personal level are quite forgiving towards the foreign tourist when he or she uses one of the two official languages of a region and not the one that may be perceived as "the other one". It seems that the percentage of people who say that they speak mainly or only Galician is roughly the same as the percentage of people who say that they speak mainly or only Spanish (Castellano)? How would one identify them 🙃?
 
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Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
It would be nice to speak Spanish when walking a camino, for certain when you going to return. A nice way to learn some Spanish is are the audiolessons Language transfer. It is in the form of a dialogue between teacher and pupil. It builds on the many similarities between English and Spanish. The course is not focused on memorizing but on understanding.I listened to them with headphones while walking/training and so combined two useful things.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I too am from North America and look not one iota of Latin lineage. They’ll know at one glance that I’m not Spanish. I still attempt to greet and make basic statements in Spanish. With an app like Duolingo it’s not hard to at least learn some basics, such as asking where the toilet is or ordering a coffee. I encourage you to make the effort. It’s easier than you might think. There is absolutely zero risk that in making one statement in Spanish the listener is going to mistakenly assume you’re fluent.
[/QUOTE
Do you think it's the bearpaw snowshoes that give it away? ;);)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I'm planning to go with Galician phrases instead of Spanish. If I'm going to learn some it might as well be the ones relevant to where I am.
Good idea, after all Galician is spoken everywhere in Spain except the 16 Autonomous Regions where they speak Castilian, Catalan/Valencian or Basque.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Sorry my bad
But to my apology have never heard monolingual worries from people from Mexico.
Since we are stereo typing Europeans. Let me quote out of French Kiss Do you speak English Of course Madame this is the Georg V not some back packer auberge... Thank you for the fascinating lecture on our cultual differences...
"back packer 'ovel"
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I also walked three caminos previously, in 2015, 2016, and 2017. I did manage fine, except for occasionally sharing a bunk with a man on a couple of occasions who went to bed after I did and I never seemed to have a chance to introduce myself. I am somewhat shy and find that I am not always confident to try to introduce myself to persons with whom I share a space but possibly not a language. For example, I have sat down at tables in, or outside, a bar and not spoken to another person at the table, if he or she did not take the first step. And I am not monolingual. I speak fair French, some German, and am working on learning Spanish. I have spoken German with a monolingual elderly German gentleman and French with a very rude monolingual Frenchman, who amused himself criticizing my French. Each meeting is unique and the best thing to get me to talk to anyone is simply to either introduce yourself or express a need. But I know that I have to work harder at meeting whomever is open to an encounter. I don't have any answers, only not to give up and to reach out whenever an appropriate situation presents itself. This is my major project for my next camino.
Don't forget nobody outside of Île-de-France speaks proper French ;) we can but try to emulate them!
In fact the clearest French I've ever come across was from francophone West Africans - I think the tendency to a deeper voice helps too.
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
If you come from a place where Bs are not clearly distinguished from Vs, and Ls are not clearly distinguished from Rs ... you might easily conclude that 'ovel and auberge share a common root. On some stretches of some Caminos , it sure feels that way.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
If you come from a place where Bs are not clearly distinguished from Vs, and Ls are not clearly distinguished from Rs ... you might easily conclude that 'ovel and auberge share a common root. On some stretches of some Caminos , it sure feels that way.
You missed the point. The guy in the movie is French. The French do not aspirate the letter h (it's pronounced ermay not Hermes), he actually says "back packer hovel".
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
While that's true, I'll be in Galicia exclusively (also, I feel like the humorous tone I intended didn't quite make it through :))
I'm just over excited about getting my laptop back after relying on a tablet over the long weekend! ;)
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Reality is frequently inaccurate
About using a foreign language when abroad: my grasp of French, German and English is way better than Mrs Purky's, but when I'm still silently considering grammar and conjugations (introvert), she is already out there getting the job done (extravert).
Miming, dancing around, almost haphazardly throwing words around, but very much engaging people in the game that is communicating. And it always works. Not only that, everybody goes out of their way to help her out, eyes shining with amusement and joy. So that's my knack for languages out the window...
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
Look for pilgrims with heavy walking boots - they are likely to speak English.

People with yellow guidebooks and "Deuter"-backpacks usually come from Germany, but most of them have learnt English at School.
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
I did some walking in Northern France with my family over Easter. I noticed that many people greeted us in English as they passed us. I assume that they could hear us chattering loudly among ourselves in English from far away. When I walk here alone, this does not happen. The fact that walking clothes are more function than fashion removes one of the clues that often distinguishes one nationality from another.

I guess the OP could look for people who:

Wear clothing with a team logo from an English-speaking country (but some people follow teams that aren't from their home countries)
Take too long to pay for a bocadillo because they aren't familiar with Euro coins (but then you'll miss the chance to speak to Irish people)
Don't genuflect or make the sign of the cross (but then you'll mistakenly approach non-English speaking Protestants and miss the chance to speak to English speaking Catholics)
Carry "proper" tea bags - not herbal - and put milk in their tea (but that excludes US pilgrims)
Use an English guidebook (but then you miss the speakers of English as a second language)

Perhaps you could award a point for any of the above - and approach only people who score 3 or more.

Alternatively, you could just say hello.
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
You missed the point. The guy in the movie is French. The French do not aspirate the letter h (it's pronounced ermay not Hermes), he actually says "back packer hovel".
No. I got that. I just made a joke that didn't amuse you.
 

Leibniz

Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
Aren't you taking the OP's question way too seriously? For starters, even if he learns to say a few words in Spanish which he probably knows anyway by now he will still be a monolingual North American because knowing a few words in a foreign language doesn't make you a competent speaker let along a bilingual one no matter how that is defined.

Secondly, the OP looks for clues for identifying other pilgrims' language competencies without hearing them speaking first :). That's the task at hand. We are not talking locals here. If last year is any indication and as we are approaching the month of May, more than 70% of the pilgrims are not Spanish. Among those, the country with the highest number of pilgrims will be Germany, followed by Italy and then already the United States. Unfortunately, the statistics of the Santiago pilgrims office focusses on nationality and not on mother tongue.

Learning Galician is laudable of course. I don't know enough about language politics in Galicia, neither on the political nor on the individual level. In my personal experience from other areas with a setup of two official languages, local people on a personal level are quite forgiving towards the foreign tourist when he or she uses one of the two official languages of a region and not the one that may be perceived as "the other one". It seems that the percentage of people who say that they speak mainly or only Galician is roughly the same as the percentage of people who say that they speak mainly or only Spanish (Castellano)? How would one identify them 🙃?
Well the OP said that they never simply say “Buen Camino” but always “Hello, Buen Camino” to make sure everyone knows they speak English. So it’s not just about identifying other English speakers.
 

Pilger99

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
addicted since 1999 (Aragones, CF), lots of caminos in Spain and Portugal since then
While that's true, I'll be in Galicia exclusively (also, I feel like the humorous tone I intended didn't quite make it through :))
Well, galician is not so uncommon in other places. Bierzo does use it officially, northern portugal speaks it, but writes differently and some south american communities still maintain it.
But for people in the Americas I guess learning some castellano is a of greater value. Even Brasilians don't pronounce very different.

I don't like if everybody tantalises tourists with english just without reason. It reminds me solely of my job, so it is not considered polite nor welcome. As I don't want it myself I try to start my communication in the local language and definitely not with e.g. "Hi, how do you". But even that I find acceptable for a native english speakers. It puzzles me hearing "Hello, buen Camino" which seems an awkward mix.
The spanish greeting "hola" is a real no-brainer, which works throughout the whole day and with anybody (not just pilgrims). So why not starting with it? The better "Hola, no hablo castellano. ?Sabe inglés?" should work after a few days.

To distinguish what language to expect from others by carefully watching is not fool-proof, but better than 50:50. Even saying nothing a lot of german speakers can be figured out by their boots, backpack and furthermore by a yellow guide book. The Brierley and CSJ guides do the same for english speaking people. Most Brazilians show their flag somethere. Decathlon gear is typical for I,F,IT but not exclusively.
 

Pilger99

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
addicted since 1999 (Aragones, CF), lots of caminos in Spain and Portugal since then
And Québécois are bilingual, whether their mother tongue is French or English.
Are they? Never stayed in Canada, sorry. Preconception is a little bit different (more like the the european french).
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I am 65, a retired North American, native English speaker too. During my career, I was fortunate to have traveled all over the world. During those adventures, I learned that, both as a measure of respect in the country where I was a guest, and for survival (like avoiding ordering horse or rabbit in a restaurant...) to learn basic phrases.

To do this I used the Berlitz Travel series of Language guides. They come with a CD ROM. The CD contains lessons, keyed to the chapters of the book.

If you know how to copy a music CD as .mp3 files to your computer, or happen to have a teen handy, do so. This allows you to copy the files like a music album to your smartphone so you can practice at will. Over the decades, I have accumulated quite a library of language books. Beware, there are versions for Latin American and European (Castellano) SPanish. Get the European or Spanish (Castellano) version of Spanish.

Landing at a foreign airport and being able to use even survival phrases increases your confidence and enjoyment. It also provides a signal to your temporary hosts that you are not some English-only 'rube' who thinks they will understand if they shout... Seriously, it happens. People in foreign lands treat you differently / better if they perceive that you are trying to speak their language instead of forcing them to deal with yours. To me, it is a matter of respect.

For the past 507 calendar days, uninterrupted, I have been using the Duolingo.com FREE language training course to teach myself conversational Castellano Spanish. When I am traveling, I use the free app on my iPhone. Even just 5 -10 minutes daily helps get me to my goal of being conversant.

I am not trying to be fluent. I just want to be able to communicate effectively with a Spanish speaker who has no English.

Hope this helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Even if it's written in English?
And Québécois are bilingual, whether their mother tongue is French or English.
I would agree that Montrealers are generally bilingual, but I have spent too long in Rimouski and Chicoutimi among francophone monoglots to say that of Québécois in general. As one drilled through years of Latin, I always regret that it has lost its status as the international language. Habeasne wifi?
 

dfox

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (4/2017)
CP (5/2019)
I am a Retired Monolingual North American.
When I'm walking the Camino.... I often wonder.... Do they speak English?
Is the "they" referring to local or pilgrims?

When I was on CF in 4/2017, fellow pilgrims were Brazilian, Mexican, South African, German, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, ... We were able to communicate and have fun.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Santiago (Sep/Oct 2018)
A few things I learned on my Camino:
1) Everyone on the Camino understands "Hola" and Buen Camino. For most non-native Spanish speaker, this is enough to let others know you're not a native speaker
2) Beyond the courtesy of saying hello, most pilgrims are not intersted in getting into long conversatons while they walk
3) If you're looking for native english speakers to talk to, you'll probably hear them coming.
 

Peregrina Emily

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo (2018)
As a fellow monolingual English speaker, I can also say how great it is to know just a little bit of Spanish!

If you or anyone who doesn't know Spanish would like a podcast that teaches European Spanish instead of Latin American, check out Coffee Break Español. It's free, and you should be able to pick up on a few basics. They're great at teaching pronunciation too.

On the Primitivo, my significant other and I walked several times with a couple who only knew Spanish...my boyfriend is fluent as well, but I was so glad to be able to communicate a few basic things in my own words and have him fill in the gaps.

We also encountered purely by chance at different times a Canadian, two Texans, a German, a few Brits, and a Polish person who all didn't have much Spanish themselves. I think we were easy to approach because we were speaking English together...I'd say if you find someone to speak English with or hear others speaking English, that's a great way to break some ice as well in meeting more people. We never, ever minded being interrupted and meeting new people - I think most wouldn't out there. :)
 

Canuck

Veteran wanderer
Camino(s) past & future
?
I would agree that Montrealers are generally bilingual, but I have spent too long in Rimouski and Chicoutimi among francophone monoglots to say that of Québécois in general. As one drilled through years of Latin, I always regret that it has lost its status as the international language. Habeasne wifi?
Quo Vadis, non wifi!
Being from Chicoutimi, I stand corrected.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
While that's true, I'll be in Galicia exclusively (also, I feel like the humorous tone I intended didn't quite make it through :))
I as a Galician am very happy about your intention of learning some phrases of my language. Many locals will also be pleased of hearing you.
Galician is also spoken in western Asturias (from Navia), western Bierzo (from Villafranca) and Zamora (from puerto de Padornelo).
Even in Extremadura there is a region (Val de Xalima) where the local language is Galaico/Portugues.
 

grumerz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago April - June, 2016
I am a Retired Monolingual North American.
When I'm walking the Camino.... I often wonder.... Do they speak English?

I am look for help in how to find (or elicit) clues.

Two things I already do....

I don't say “Buen Camino” I say “Hello, Buen Camino”
My hope is to let people know I am an English speaking Pilgrim.

I look for others with the John Brierley Guide Book.
I assume it is only in English and therefore they must speak English.


Any more ideas ?
After you take out the Aussies, Kiwis. British, Irish, Canadians, Americans and a few others from the Commonwealth, you are left with the French, Germans, Slavs, Chinese, Koreans, Portuguese, etcetera, whose pilgrim numbers far outweigh ours and whose first languages are not English. Oh yeah, I believe the Spanish have a different primary language, and live on an isolating peninsula with a barrier, (called the Pyrenees,) which keep the riffraff out. I'll bet most of THEM, as well as some of US, make an effort to communicate in more than one way, at least WE try.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I as a Galician am very happy about your intention of learning some phrases of my language. Many locals will also be pleased of hearing you.
Galician is also spoken in western Asturias (from Navia), western Bierzo (from Villafranca) and Zamora (from puerto de Padornelo).
Even in Extremadura there is a region (Val de Xalima) where the local language is Galaico/Portugues.
Although I have so far walked three caminos, all ending in Santiago, including the VdlP, I have only had one close encounter with Galego (is this the proper name of your language?). This was in Santiago, on a Sunday, when I left the Cathedral mass, where the Botafumeiro was encouraging the usual misbehaviour of the tourists, and went to a local church for a Sunday service. It was a church dedicated to San Benito. Suddenly, I was attending a service where the members of the congregation were worshiping together as a community. There were books with a printed service and hymns, which made it easier for me to figure out what was going on. And, if I remember properly, I found the language of the service much easier to follow than the Spanish of the Cathedral. I thought then that Galego is closer to Latin than Spanish, as I could dredge up my early Latin lessons to understand much of what was going on. After the service, almost everyone in the congregation went en masse to a local restaurant for lunch, very good food. I don't remember the name of the restaurant, but I could locate it again and I certainly will the next time that I am in Santiago. What was going through my mind throughout that experience was, "So this is where the church is here."
Edited to correct the name of the Church
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
To be helpful
travelling in notern Cyprus. No English left hand traffic. My Turkish counting fast forgotten I managed with evet for yes. The only thing in classy Turkish I could say thank you, effendim for Mister, madame. Toilet, and merhaba because everybody said it to me. Pointing rubbing my fingers for how much, they showed me the number. And the klicking sound with tongue while you raise your eye brows for no. Works in Andalucia too. Ah getting a check writing in the air.

Let's collect minimalistic useful words?
Vale OK
And in Greece nodding up-down when saying NO, and left-right when saying YES at the same time :D
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Still I find that I am feeling a little irritation when English speaking people come up with this argument. It has to do with power I feel and can lead to a lack of openness.
Yes, I understand this and it is why I used to feel guilty. That attitude remains with some people and I reject it as old fashioned and unpleasant. I am not trying to excuse historical wrongs. I also support the learning of other languages and have worked hard over the years to become competent in Spanish.

However, sometimes a good result can come even when the original motivation was not admirable. The world has changed, and English has emerged as the international language - perhaps originally due to wielding of colonial powers, but it has taken root and spread (unlike, say, French or Latin) perhaps in part because of its intrinsic characteristics of flexibility and ability to adapt. As languages go, it is democratic and inclusive - qualities we value today.

The change in my attitude solidified one day when I observed a group of diverse backpackers at a table in a fast food restaurant in Prague, all speaking with each other in English, even though not one of them was a native English speaker. No one was imposing narrow-minded attitudes. They were simply getting on with modern life.

From that point I decided to take joy in my language, English, instead of guilt.
 
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Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Hi Emely did you noticed you distinguished the Polish? So many different people so many oportunities to learn
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Are we getting silly.sure I am
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
Yes, I understand this and it is why I used to feel guilty. That attitude remains with some people and I reject it as old fashioned and unpleasant. I am not trying to excuse historical wrongs. I also support the learning of other languages and have worked hard over the years to become competent in Spanish.

However, sometimes a good result can come even when the original motivation was not admirable. The world has changed, and English has emerged as the international language - perhaps originally due to wielding of colonial powers, but it has taken root and spread (unlike, say, French or Latin) perhaps in part because of its intrinsic characteristics of flexibility and ability to adapt. As languages go, it is democratic and inclusive - qualities we value today.

The change in my attitude solidified one day when I observed a group of diverse backpackers at a table in a fast food restaurant in Prague, all speaking with each other in English, even though not one of them was a native English speaker. No one was imposing narrow-minded attitudes. They were simply getting on with modern life.

From that point I decided to take joy in my language, English, instead of guilt.
There is no reason why you should feel guilty about loving your language. It is the way that people act when you meet other language speaking people that makes the difference. If you expect other people to adapt to the language you speak that is not so nice.. That is even the case when for instance Dutch people on the camino sometimes talk negative about the fact that hospitales, shopkeepers a.s.o. speak only a little English. At the same time they did not make any effort to learn some basic Spanish, although they walked caminos more than once. I am myself also influenced by this situation. Last year I walked for a week with a woman from the UK and a woman from Germany, they both did not speak each others language. This left me in a little bit awkward position. Typical was that I felt a little bit irritated about the fact that the German could not/did not try to speak English. I felt nothing of the kind towards the English woman
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Here my 2 cents about adult foreign language speakers.

Some are realy worried to say the wrong thing and look stupid.

I used to ask who is more stupid the one who walks into a bakery and with much pointing and incorrect words gets the sweet. Or the one who goes into the same bakery makes no mistakes and leaves empty handed?
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
There is no reason why you should feel guilty about loving your language. It is the way that people act when you meet other language speaking people that makes the difference. If you expect other people to adapt to the language you speak that is not so nice.. That is even the case when for instance Dutch people on the camino sometimes talk negative about the fact that hospitales, shopkeepers a.s.o. speak only a little English. At the same time they did not make any effort to learn some basic Spanish, although they walked caminos more than once. I am myself also influenced by this situation. Last year I walked for a week with a woman from the UK and a woman from Germany, they both did not speak each others language. This left me in a little bit awkward position. Typical was that I felt a little bit irritated about the fact that the German could not/did not try to speak English. I felt nothing of the kind towards the English woman
So the English Lady spoke German or tried to speak German oh wait she did not.And the German not English. So far no other language skill with the Ladies. Did both speak Dutch? No so why were you irritated. Don't get it. Ah you spoke German and left the English Lady out or maybe not. My solution speak all Mandarin. No one feels bad that way.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
So the English Lady spoke German or tried to speak German oh wait she did not.And the German not English. So far no other language skill with the Ladies. Did both speak Dutch? No so why were you irritated. Don't get it. Ah you spoke German and left the English Lady out or maybe not. My solution speak all Mandarin. No one feels bad that way.
The only word which I know in Mandarin is the word for hello, which is unfortunate, as I suspect that Mandarin would be a good competitor to English for an international language.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
There is no reason why you should feel guilty about loving your language. It is the way that people act when you meet other language speaking people that makes the difference. If you expect other people to adapt to the language you speak that is not so nice.. That is even the case when for instance Dutch people on the camino sometimes talk negative about the fact that hospitales, shopkeepers a.s.o. speak only a little English. At the same time they did not make any effort to learn some basic Spanish, although they walked caminos more than once. I am myself also influenced by this situation. Last year I walked for a week with a woman from the UK and a woman from Germany, they both did not speak each others language. This left me in a little bit awkward position. Typical was that I felt a little bit irritated about the fact that the German could not/did not try to speak English. I felt nothing of the kind towards the English woman
Perhaps the Dutch haven't forgiven the Spanish for their occupation of the Low Countries yet? ;)
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
The only word which I know in Mandarin is the word for hello, which is unfortunate, as I suspect that Mandarin would be a good competitor to English for an international language.



I guess if we look at a language that most people speak as their native langiuage it maybe a Chinese language or maybe Spanish after all?
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Here my 2 cents about adult foreign language speakers.

Some are realy worried to say the wrong thing and look stupid.

I used to ask who is more stupid the one who walks into a bakery and with much pointing and incorrect words gets the sweet. Or the one who goes into the same bakery makes no mistakes and leaves empty handed?
Yes, we must be related - aged 4 my (blonde, blue eyed daughter) learned that a judicious <merci> or <s'il vous plaît> in certain shops would end up in the little baskets of sweets being profered. It was a moment of great pride when a waiter in a French restaurant said "You are English, no?" "Yes we are." "But your children eat proper food and say 'thank you'!" (ie not hamburgers or ham and chips). SO proud!
 

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
I walked my first two caminos using a Spanish language guidebook. I have not used a printed guidebook since. And I would not be carrying Brierley's guide no matter what language it was translated into.
Fighting talk, Bradypus! Woudl you like to tell us why?
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Reading this discussion, I am so happy I spent some time in a Spanish scool 3 years ago. SO easy to get along, and So friendly peoply!. It also helps to speak German + Scandinavian langues.

Some food for thought, regartding Spanish, especially for English-speaking natives...:

55780
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Fighting talk, Bradypus! Woudl you like to tell us why?
Probably not :cool: It often seems that expressing any criticism of the Brierley guides is the last great taboo in Camino circles. It always generates more heat than light. For a lot of reasons - some of which are fairly specific to my own background - I dislike Brierley's guides. If you would like to test the character limit of the forum's private conversations or chat on Facebook I will be happy to explain my opinions at ridiculous length privately.... 😉
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Probably not :cool: It often seems that expressing any criticism of the Brierley guides is the last great taboo in Camino circles. It always generates more heat than light. For a lot of reasons - some of which are fairly specific to my own background - I dislike Brierley's guides. If you would like to test the character limit of the forum's private conversations or chat on Facebook I will be happy to explain my opinions at ridiculous length privately.... 😉
Never read them but they sound like they've been ripped from the Imperial Indian Army Lists:
Bombay Light Horse
Calcutta Scottish
The Gilgit Scouts
The Brierley Guides . . . . .
 

SSojourn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Plan walk solo in April. SJP to St. James, Santiago
I am a Retired Monolingual North American.
When I'm walking the Camino.... I often wonder.... Do they speak English?

I am look for help in how to find (or elicit) clues.

Two things I already do....

I don't say “Buen Camino” I say “Hello, Buen Camino”
My hope is to let people know I am an English speaking Pilgrim.

I look for others with the John Brierley Guide Book.
I assume it is only in English and therefore they must speak English.


Any more ideas ?
Google translator works in Spanish and Basque.. Hello 😇 I prefer to communicate my best with local people, tradition, food my Camino, my way
 

SSojourn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Plan walk solo in April. SJP to St. James, Santiago
Probably not :cool: It often seems that expressing any criticism of the Brierley guides is the last great taboo in Camino circles. It always generates more heat than light. For a lot of reasons - some of which are fairly specific to my own background - I dislike Brierley's guides. If you would like to test the character limit of the forum's private conversations or chat on Facebook I will be happy to explain my opinions at ridiculous length privately.... 😉
How can you dislike a guide book? It's a map from A to B. I used to use Lonely Planet, Shoestring???
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Never read them but they sound like they've been ripped from the Imperial Indian Army Lists:
Bombay Light Horse
Calcutta Scottish
The Gilgit Scouts
The Brierley Guides . . . . .
When I lived in Fife in the 1990s one of the older members of the local church was a retired half-colonel who had served in the (British) Indian Army as a young officer in Skinner's Horse. A very friendly man but I could never bring myself to tell him that the phrase "in Skinner's Horse" always conjured up a mental image of a pantomime horse... :)
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Although I have so far walked three caminos, all ending in Santiago, including the VdlP, I have only had one close encounter with Galego (is this the proper name of your language?). This was in Santiago, on a Sunday, when I left the Cathedral mass, where the Botafumeiro was encouraging the usual misbehaviour of the tourists, and went to a local church for a Sunday service. I think it was a church dedicated to St Dominic, but my memory may fail me. Suddenly, I was attending a service where the members of the congregation were worshiping together as a community. There were books with a printed service and hymns, which made it easier for me to figure out what was going on. And, if I remember properly, I found the language of the service much easier to follow than the Spanish of the Cathedral. I thought then that Galego is closer to Latin than Spanish, as I could dredge up my early Latin lessons to understand much of what was going on. After the service, almost everyone in the congregation went en masse to a local restaurant for lunch, very good food. I don't remember the names of the church or restaurant, but I could locate them again and I certainly will the next time that I am in Santiago. What was going through my mind throughout that experience was, "So this is where the church is here."
Galego is in Galician and Gallego is in Spanish. So both are correct.
And yes Galego is closer to Latin than Castellano.
Porta/Puerta, Ponte/ Puente, Ferro/Hierro
 

ManyMiles2Go

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
I used to feel this way - as if I were lazy by speaking my mother tongue. However, now I think that there needs to be an international language and that English is a good one to take that role. It is a very flexible language, it grew from the common people, has no academic academy in control, is very forgiving of mistakes, and it will continue to adapt.
Plus the fact that a lot of English words are actually already words in another language. Would make it easier :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Plus the fact that a lot of English words are actually already words in another language. Would make it easier :)
Some 5.000 words in English originate from us Vikings. Really.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2016, CP 2017, Jakobsweg Ulm-Constance 2017-2018, Via Jacobi 2018, (Via Gebennensis 2019)
I like English and I like communicating in English and I will respond very quickly in English if I receive input on someone speaking English. So thank you for saying "Hello, Buen Camino". However, I don't carry this Brierley book. I carry a German Camino guide book. But I speak better English than German. I can also get along in Swedish. When the language is totally contextual I even understand Spanish but I won't be able to say much. The best language for me is Finnish. Does someone have any clues on how to find other pilgrims who speak Finnish. No? I didn't think so! :) What I am trying to say, dear aname4me, is that count yourself lucky that your one and only language is English. You will get far with it!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Some 5.000 words in English originate from us Vikings. Really.
It's true, like . . . . Kiosk

"Words like ‘kiosk’: that’s a Viking word and it came from when they would rape and pillage. Because they would rape and pillage and awful and blood everywhere and limbs hacked and money stolen, and then they’d say, ‘If you have enjoyed today’s experience, you can get some souvenirs in the kiosk down on the beach."
Eddie Izzard
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
So the English Lady spoke German or tried to speak German oh wait she did not.And the German not English. So far no other language skill with the Ladies. Did both speak Dutch? No so why were you irritated. Don't get it. Ah you spoke German and left the English Lady out or maybe not. My solution speak all Mandarin. No one feels bad that way.
It was not a big point, to say that I was irritated is put to strongly. My point was that I felt some irritation towards the German woman and not towards the English woman who did not try to talk German either. That proves that I myself, not consciously, consider English to be the universal language. My awkward position was that I was in the middle. When the German woman talked to me I had to decide whether to answer in German or in English and exclude one of them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Just shared that with my daughter who responded with:

"So that leaves 745,000 words we stole from Latin, Greek, French, German and Hindi . . " (SO much her father's daughter)
Indeed. The English "language" is an international mix. Do not forget all the words stolen from Spanish... :D:cool:
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
There is no reason why you should feel guilty about loving your language. It is the way that people act when you meet other language speaking people that makes the difference. If you expect other people to adapt to the language you speak that is not so nice.. That is even the case when for instance Dutch people on the camino sometimes talk negative about the fact that hospitales, shopkeepers a.s.o. speak only a little English. At the same time they did not make any effort to learn some basic Spanish, although they walked caminos more than once. I am myself also influenced by this situation. Last year I walked for a week with a woman from the UK and a woman from Germany, they both did not speak each others language. This left me in a little bit awkward position. Typical was that I felt a little bit irritated about the fact that the German could not/did not try to speak English. I felt nothing of the kind towards the English woman
I couldn't agree more. :)
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I highly recommend the audio book "The Story of Human Language" by John McWhorter. It is very good company for training walks.
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Antonious I am listening what you are saying are you?
The one monolingual was ok the other one not, that happened to be the non English speaker.
In areas where you don't learn English let's say Russian first in school or like our man from Canada here no other language English is not the common language not on the Camino and please I hope I don't break youalls heart in the rest of the world.
It's nice to find a common language -
a true communicator in my opinion does what needs be but doesn't impose. It's like a looking class if you carry expectations like here of some one else doing what you do you may see one point clear but the rest is blocked. My feelings to this everybody should speek Greek or at least Latin.
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Does anybody know the percentages of how many words in the now spoken version of English comes from Latin French Hebrew Arabic Norse?

So many word you don't have to learn new just pronounce it different.

If I hear Norwegian I have a feeling of a close relation to middle high German and maybe to some Shakespearean English so lets see the common points what unites us.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
3) If you're looking for native english speakers to talk to, you'll probably hear them coming.
🤣. Exactly. When they move in groups there's no escape from hearing them speak. I've often wished that I could not understand the language that pilgrims were speaking in ... that refers to others, too, not just the native English speakers.

Backpack brand name, clothes brand names, even shoes can be an indicator of the wearer's provenance and likely first language 😊, similar subtle signs are on which hand they wear their wedding ring if they wear one and what they do when presented with a piece of cake on a plate and a set of knife and fork. 😎

@aname4me: Apart from the splendid suggestion of putting a sign saying "Monolingual North American" on your person or backpack, there's no escape from the fact that you have to make them speak somehow to then explore further what their first language is and whether they know enough English to make a meaningful conversation possible. How did "hello buen camino" work for you? Did they just say one or both of the two greetings back to you or was there more response?
 
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