Mo laoch! Michael Collins and Irish Independence.

Every nation, tribe or culture has an inbuilt sense of superiority, it is a large part of what makes them.
I agree that watching UK tourist, especially the elderly, abroad can be embarrassing, so I mainly avoid touristy type places.
And the opposite is that if you make the effort you will be very popular.

Not so much as popular, as an easy transition from stress in trying to make yourself understood, to an easy relaxed atmosphere, and a helpful waiter-barman-sales assistant, who smiles, and is more readily disposed to your needs. It also shows a modicum of respect to the host country, as opposed to the ignorant louts who insist being "British" wherever they may be. Not only the British, I saw this time and time again, especially the Americans, not all, just it seems those in uniform, in large groups. I witnessed this in Bern, bawling and shouting, and generally making themselves seem obnoxious and loud. At the airport terminal in Bergen, a crowd of British civvies who were drunk, and generally playing up, made us all angry, and ashamed to be British. We said nothing. I picked up a few pertinent words and phrases in Norway, which helped smooth the path of inter country relations, especially in the shops and bars, and if nothing else, it expands your worldly knowledge.
 
Not so much as popular, as an easy transition from stress in trying to make yourself understood, to an easy relaxed atmosphere, and a helpful waiter-barman-sales assistant, who smiles, and is more readily disposed to your needs. It also shows a modicum of respect to the host country, as opposed to the ignorant louts who insist being "British" wherever they may be. Not only the British, I saw this time and time again, especially the Americans, not all, just it seems those in uniform, in large groups. I witnessed this in Bern, bawling and shouting, and generally making themselves seem obnoxious and loud. At the airport terminal in Bergen, a crowd of British civvies who were drunk, and generally playing up, made us all angry, and ashamed to be British. We said nothing. I picked up a few pertinent words and phrases in Norway, which helped smooth the path of inter country relations, especially in the shops and bars, and if nothing else, it expands your worldly knowledge.
Actually, as I have been there when this happens, popular is the correct word.
But if I ever want someone to rewrite my life totally incorrectly I will call on you.
 
Spent a pleasurable couple of weeks in Portugual a few years ago. By the end of the first week I could order food, drink the newspaper (they used to get the Telegraph a day late) and understand some simple local phrases. I found that it helped to show willing to try and learn the local language. Every morning I went to get the paper the young lady in the shop would teach me one or two new phrases.
 
Andrew Sachs, although nominally English, was born in Germany.
Strange but true.

Andreas Siegfried Sachs was born in Berlin, Germany, the son of Katharina (née Schrott-Fiecht), a librarian, and Hans Emil Sachs, an insurance broker.[1][2] His father was Jewish and his mother was Catholic, and of half-Austrian descent.[3] He left with his parents for Britain in 1938 to escape the Nazis.[4][5] They settled in north London,[1] and he lived in Kilburn for the rest of his life.[6]


I bet he spoke better German than Drugsy too.
 
Spent a pleasurable couple of weeks in Portugual a few years ago. By the end of the first week I could order food, drink the newspaper (they used to get the Telegraph a day late) and understand some simple local phrases. I found that it helped to show willing to try and learn the local language. Every morning I went to get the paper the young lady in the shop would teach me one or two new phrases.
I've always found it useful to be able to say "I don't speak your language" in the native tongue, currently French, German and Spanish and I'm working on Japanese.

I can say Konnichiwa and count from 1-5, along with basic judo. If I ever need to translate "outer-leg-reap" I'm quids in, not so much with "where is the hotel?"
 
Actually, as I have been there when this happens, popular is the correct word.
But if I ever want someone to rewrite my life totally incorrectly I will call on you.

I wasn't implying that the British aren't popular in some country's, only that speaking the local language helps it along. In the beer bars and clubs of Cagliari in southern Sardinia, the British were favoured above the yanks, by the simple expedient of trying to order, and converse in Italian, conversely the yanks got the basic service, no frills, smiles and sit downs with the management, all very civilised, up to a point. Inevitably it all kicked off, as you would expect, when several thousand squaddies from several different nations get pissed as rats....

.I digress, I found on my travels that a basic knowledge of customs and language will always stand you in good stead with the locals, as for popular, back in 2009, my wife and I went to north east Bavaria, by the Czech border, we went into a small village coffee shop, and as soon as the waitress heard us speak, sat down and was firing questions at us, all very civilised, she said she loved the English, as we were so polite, and "where did you learn to speak German?" She spoke flaunt English, and I had ordered in German, We went back several times while there, and each time were greeted like family.
 
I picked up a few pertinent words and phrases in Norway, which helped smooth the path of inter country relations, especially in the shops and bars, and if nothing else, it expands your worldly knowledge.
Something like, "Å, du, blondie, din dumme jævla. Kom hit og ta med meg en øl!", perhaps?
 
Spent a pleasurable couple of weeks in Portugual a few years ago. By the end of the first week I could order food, drink the newspaper (they used to get the Telegraph a day late) and understand some simple local phrases. I found that it helped to show willing to try and learn the local language. Every morning I went to get the paper the young lady in the shop would teach me one or two new phrases.
"Você de novo não? Eu não te disse para irritar a última vez?"
 
Spent a pleasurable couple of weeks in Portugual a few years ago. By the end of the first week I could order food, drink the newspaper (they used to get the Telegraph a day late) and understand some simple local phrases. I found that it helped to show willing to try and learn the local language. Every morning I went to get the paper the young lady in the shop would teach me one or two new phrases.
Lingo will only get you so far, the locals must have been quite confused when you ordered a drink of newspaper.
 
Something like, "Å, du, blondie, din dumme jævla. Kom hit og ta med meg en øl!", perhaps?

Not quite, and as it was about 45 years ago, and I am now happily married,, and have been for 41 years, and have not had to use it, and have forgotten about all of it, if that phrase means what I think it does,...............
 
Not quite, and as it was about 45 years ago, and I am now happily married,, and have been for 41 years, and have not had to use it, and have forgotten about all of it, if that phrase means what I think it does,...............
This is Arrse. What else would it mean? :?
 
Lingo will only get you so far, the locals must have been quite confused when you ordered a drink of newspaper.
It was worse than that, one of the locals conned me into saying "get your tits out" which went down really well on a few occasions....

From memory this is something like: tires seaus seios

My memory might be a bit off here.

I may have had one or two bottles of the local beer at the time. The b'stard.
 
I've always found it useful to be able to say "I don't speak your language" in the native tongue, currently French, German and Spanish and I'm working on Japanese.

I can say Konnichiwa and count from 1-5, along with basic judo. If I ever need to translate "outer-leg-reap" I'm quids in, not so much with "where is the hotel?"
HMG paid for me and a couple of other guys to go to Japan. Normally (not always) ate the evening meal in the hotel and, being British, stuck to what we recognized on the Kanji menu (that's not quite true, but was on the first few days).

On the first evening, a very attractive young Japanese waitress approached us and asked what we wanted. Priorities were correct, so it was "3 beers, please". The girl gave us a quizzical look so one of the other guys said, "Beer?" and mimicked pouring a drinking a beer. "Oh. Hai. Mitsu biru?", "Yes, ... 3 beers". We then pointed at the menu to order what we wanted, which was burgers or, in my case, rare steak, and chips. The YL took our order and then said "Excuse, please? You Engrish?", so I blinked and said, "Yes, how did you know?". "Ah, you drink beer and eat chips".

Well, that was a bit embarrassing, so I boned up on how to say "one of these please". Next evening, we went through the same 'mitsu biru' routine and the other guys just pointing at the menu. When it was my turn, I played it cool and said "Koreo shtutsu, onegaishimasu.". She looked at me in slight surprise and said "Verry good" with almost no accent (unlike her previous girly Japanese) and then I thought about it, put on a slightly devilish grin and said,

Me: "Where did you learn English?".

Her: "Oh. 3 years Tokyo University and 1 year postgrad at Sussex. What gave me away?"

Me: "It was the way you said 'very good' and your use of 'chips' instead of 'fries'. So why are you working here?"

Her: "My aunt's quite rich and has asked me to go on a cruise with her, so I'm just doing this to earn some pocket money and get to talk to people".

It turned out that there were a couple of staff who were basically doing the job to practice speaking English or another language.
 

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