There are only 2 words you need to learn in almost any language to endear people:
If you can’t learn those words for the country you’re travelling to as a tourist, or you don’t at least try to them, then to be honest you should stay home.
And don’t complain about the hospitality of the host nation.
English may be the de facto universal language of the travelling world now, but 99% of the people in the world are good, kind people and appreciate a “hello” and “thank you” in their own language.
If nothing else, at least smile and try to show a friendly attitude.
Commanding attitude, arrogance, ignorance and self-importance just get you spit in your soup.
And a little small talk – even if you can only do it in English (or your native tongue) – goes a long way to create a bond that shows others you’re worth serving.
Try also learning:
Yes [thank you]
No [thank you]
Again, simple and common words.
That’s 5 words in total to learn that show you have put some effort into understanding and respecting the people you have chosen to visit.
And in case you don’t realise, all of the above applies when communicating with people in your everyday life.
My advice to everyone in general:
The only way you can discover new things and learn is by asking questions.
I don’t believe there is such a thing as a dumb question.
Yes, there as “simple” or “basic” questions, but I’ve learnt through the years that these can also be the most important questions. Why? Because people often “assume” the answer should be known so the question is not asked and the topic is not covered. But not knowing answers to the simple questions means we don’t understand the foundations of what we are doing.
Some people are not going to react well to being asked questions, whether the the question is simple or complex.
People like that are ignorant.
Don’t let other people’s ignorance stop you. Keep asking questions until you have answers and understanding.
Asking questions is the simplest and easiest key to success.
There’s an old saying:
Those who can, do;
Those who can’t, teach.
Maybe for some people that is true.
But there is a second truth:
Those who do well, love to teach.
Those are my words (I think), but I recently heard a similar sentiment from someone else (I can’t remember who, unfortunately) and a conversation I had today made me think of this again.
People who are good at what they do, and love what they do, love to teach others as well.
It makes sense. It’s biology. Ancient. The passing of information from generation to generation. The desire to give those who follow the knowledge of lessons learnt.
Teaching is not something to laugh at. It’s difficult. It’s important. And it’s worthy.
Without teaching, where would our knowledge come from?
When was a the last time you opened the menu in Windows Calculator and switched from the “Standard” view?
I needed to do an exponential calculation today, so opened the menu to switch to “Scientific” and… discovered a many great converters:
Cool! And typical of Microsoft to hide away all the goodness.