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no Slavic language nor Hungarian, any problem?

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no Slavic language nor Hungarian, any problem?

Old Oct 28th, 2000, 08:28 AM
  #1  
mike
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no Slavic language nor Hungarian, any problem?

We are a group of four who will visit in Spring East Europe in a month or 5 weeks, from Poland to Slovenia, visiting many countries. We speak English, some German, French and Spanish, which is not very different from Italian, if this would be useful in Slovenia. But do people usually speak at least German in those countries. We've heard something about the rudeness of the police, specially in Hungary and Poland, who do not try to understand what visitors say, if they don't speak Hungarian/Polish. Is it true?
 
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 08:37 AM
  #2  
Art
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I don't know about Poland since I've not been there yet but I found that in the Chezh Republick and Hungary, a lot of older people speak German and the young people are all learning English. I did not find the police in Hungary rude at all but friendly and helpful as in most other countries that I've visited.
 
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 10:13 AM
  #3  
Dave
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Just returned from Warsaw, Krakow, Prague, and Budapest. Most people, especially younger ones, in the cities speak English. You should not have any problem in hotels, stores, taxis, restaurants. Don't know about the countryside. Did not have any contact with police.
 
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 12:00 PM
  #4  
Jane
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The part of Slovenia near the Italian border (ie. the coast, Pirano, Porteroz, etc) is almost bilingual - roadsigns, menus, etc are in both Slovenian and Italian. But I don't think you'll have much of a problem elsewhere in the country - in Ljubljana and Maribor I found that most younger people I met (and a lot of the older people too!) speak English and lots of shops and restaurants have notices saying that they speak English, German and Italian - although I wouldn't expect them to be fluent, it's usually enough to be able to understand each other. Even if you meet people who don't speak a common language, Slovenians are very friendly so you can probably work out some way of communicating with them
 
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 12:38 PM
  #5  
Ben Haines
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Fodors

In those parts of Central Europe I address older people in German and younger in Engolish. I seldom need to talk with a policeman: when I do they are perfecty polite. Indeed, when I explained to them in sign lnguage in a small town of northern Bohemia that I'd left my straw boater on a bus, and asked them to phone the bus terminal to have it sent back to me, they smiled and went ahead. I have the boater.

Please write if I can help further.

Ben Haines, London
 
Old Oct 29th, 2000, 01:50 AM
  #6  
mike
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thank you to everybody for your answers. What I said about Polish and Hungarian Polices was because of a friend of mine, who, entering both countries, had to deal with strong check-points, policemen entering the bus, and asking for the passports one by one.
 
Old Oct 29th, 2000, 07:19 AM
  #7  
Art
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Remember Mike, that both the Poland and Hungary are not part of Eu yet so still have border checks for valid passports and visas.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2000, 02:13 PM
  #8  
alan
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Hi We have driven through both Hungary and Poland and have never had a problem at the border. we have driven through Eastern Europe and have not had real problem. alan
 
Old Nov 1st, 2000, 01:40 PM
  #9  
Stan
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Just as everyone has said, the older folks tend to know German and the younger English. You'll be fine, especially in largers cities. On a recent trip to Krakow, I heard just as much English/German/French being spoken on the streets as Polish. You may want to get yourself a Polish/English dictionary though. Don't worry, you will have fun!!!!
 
Old Nov 22nd, 2000, 12:48 PM
  #10  
Eric Hood
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Hi, I was in Both Cracow and Budapest in the summer. There was an article in the local Cracow paper about knowledge of foreign languages by Poles. The writer took a dim view of the Pole's knowledge. I speak Polish and have no problem. From my observations, I would say in that alot of the shops on the Main Market Square, people know enough English to conduct business. Of this square, not much English is spoken. I was in a pharmacy, and in walked a nice young couple from England. They were trying to buy materials for a camp fire and were looking for a camping store. The salesperson was unable to understand this, and I helped them.
Hungary is a different matter entirely. German and English are widely spoken all through Hungary. Hungary has a long tradition of tourism and was part of the empire, hence German is still widely known. It is also closer to Europe. Poland is somewhat off the beaten track, but well worth a visit. Regarding police and such. In most cases, if you are polite, they will not hassle you. Try to be polite. I have never had a problem with the police in Poland our Hungary.
Have a nice trip.
Eric Hood
 

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