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Can I get around in Prague without speaking the language

Can I get around in Prague without speaking the language

Aug 12th, 2004, 10:15 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Can I get around in Prague without speaking the language

I speak english and spanish, little italian, what are my chances of getting around in Prague ?
d7 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2004, 10:18 AM
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Don't worry, they know most folks don't speak Czech.
ira is offline  
Aug 12th, 2004, 10:19 AM
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If this is a serious question, you won't have any problem.
atlcity is offline  
Aug 12th, 2004, 11:17 AM
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No, everyone doesn't speak English. Some don't speak German.
But you'll manage.
I'm 64, so the tack I took two years ago was, if just walking around and some help might be useful, I tried speaking English. But if I really earnestly needed help NOW, I looked for a yuppie-looking person carrying a laptop. Frankly, though, I more enjoyed trying to communicate with someone who spoke neither German nor English; they seemed to want to be very helpful, and appreciated that the ol' Yank was at least making an effort. A few phrases of Czech wouldn't hurt any, just as we'd be a little more helpful if an Afghan would at least try to say "please", "help" and "hotel" before lapsing back into Afghani-talk.
Example; we drove into Prague, got lost trying to find hotel; pulled over to curb, and a truck driver came over to help. Naturally we couldn't speak each others language. But when I showed him a map, my reservation card, he seemed to know where to send me. But finally, he shrugged his shoulders, waved his arm in a "follow me" fashion, and led me to the hotel.
tomboy is offline  
Aug 12th, 2004, 11:22 AM
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Further, you could go by the general rule: if they look under 30 (i.e., went to high school after the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1991), they might speak English, particularly if they look yuppie-ish (professional). If they look over 45, English was probably a forbidden topic. If they look over 65, they probably don't have the ability, or motivation, or reason, at that stage of life to learn even a few phrases of English, unless their livelihood depends on it.
tomboy is offline  
Aug 12th, 2004, 11:50 AM
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You can get along anywhere in the world without speaking the local language. I've done it in Japan, Korea, Cambodia, Thailand, Italy, France, New Jersey, Czechoslovakia, and Spain, among others.

The vast majority of tourists visiting other countries do not speak the language, and they've been getting around fine for centuries.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Aug 12th, 2004, 11:54 AM
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English is very widely (although not universally) spoken in Prague. In three trips - the first 9 years ago - we did not find a single shop, restaurant or museum/sight where you couldn;t get by in English.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 12th, 2004, 12:29 PM
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I took my American-born but Czech-speaking mother to Czechoslovakia, as it was called then, and when she started speaking Czech they could hardly understand her (and the peasant Czech of circa 1900 when her parents emigrated to the states, and would speak English to her. We found that many people in the tourist arena spoke English - of course the common bloke won't always, but this is simply no problem here or anywhere else. Young people especially speak more and more English - to wit all those English language schools in Prague.
PalQ is offline  
Aug 12th, 2004, 12:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,625
I just came back from there. English is VERY widely spoken, more so than in Italy or France for example. Of course not everyone speaks English but most in the tourist industry do. It is easier to get by in Prague without knowing the local language than it is in most other European cities I've visited. And Prague is absolutely beautiful. I hgihly recommend it.
isabel is offline  

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