gh2_44081One of the things that we (Americans) tend to forget when we are traveling abroad is language.  Now of course I can only speak for my own experiences on the road, but I think this is an important one.

As English speakers, it has been my experience that we can sometimes take it for granted that everyone will understand us.  (For the most part because it is true,) most everywhere we go on the planet you can find someone who can speak at least a little English, and I think we just expect that the person we are speaking to will at least partially understand.  Even when we can speak the language of the country that we are visiting, when we get frustrated, we often just default right back to English.  

“Donde esta el…..el….., la…., shit….   the bathroom….”

When out on the road in a foreign country, it is important to try to be respectful.  Even if you know the person to whom you are speaking will understand English, it is imperative that you do your best to first ask politely if they speak English.  Doing so in their language is even better. In this way, you can be respectful to their culture first, and communicate second.

By making an effort to do this, you will find that the individual that you are trying to communicate with will be more responsive to helping you out. And when on the road as a photographers, we are often traveling to shoot photos in places where they really don’t want us. The fact is… every little bit helps.

Thanks BTW to Isabelle from Montreal for reminding me of this…

Safe travels!