If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. ~ Nelson Mandela
I can remember the first couple of times I traveled to Italy, and would attempt to speak the language. Especially in the marketplace, Italians for the most part, were appreciative of my attempt. I must say I’m a little out of practice now, but I remember well how much of a difference it made – to the hotel desk clerk, the grocery clerk, the train ticket office, etc. It always produced a smile and a soft, helpful tone. (Except once when I was in Venice – but then, the poor vendor probably was sick of dealing with foreigners.) Even when in “English-speaking” countries, the natives appreciate when you understand their idioms.
Have you tried to learn some phrases when you have visited other countries? Do you notice a difference in treatment when you try to speak someone else’s language? Share your stories with us!