你好 (knee-how) I hope that I just said Hello in Mandarin.
謝謝 (sounds something like shear shear)That is meant to say Thank You in Mandarin according to Google Translate.
I knew Hello (nĭ hăo) (how to say it not how to write it) and that was about all I knew but I said it a lot in China and smiled and it had seemed to be ok.
Nobody had spoken any English whatsoever between Moscow and Lake Baikal on the Trans-Siberian. I had managed to communicate with the Russian lady on the train using my reasonable German. (German had seemed to be the second language of many Russians we had encountered). I had eventually mastered Dasvidanya (Translation Hello). Still the word vodka seems to be universally understood.
In Japan if you have even a rudimentary knowledge of Origami you might not need to say anything. Origami had certainly broken the ice with the lovely Japanese student who had stayed with us. Once I had spotted her Origami papers which she had brought with her (my Japanese travel journal is full of paper cranes from my own travels), we were away.
If you are coming to Australia and English is not your first language, I recommend mastering the phrase, “No Worries”.
I had been chatting happily to a local Chinese shopkeeper for several months before I had realised, he had only ever responded with “No Worries” and to be honest, it covers you for just about everything,
“Thanks for the present.”
“Could you tell me what the time is?”
We might actually stand there for ten minutes waiting for you to tell us the time, but we will probably just assume you forgot or were too busy to give us an answer.
Whatever anybody says to you, if you can manage to smile and say,
You will go far.
(I fervently hope I have not just had my Sheldon Cooper Moment.)
If I have just inadvertantly sworn at you either now or in the past or written something otherwise offensive. I apologise in advance.
Also if you are wondering about my sudden burst of creativity, it is 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) at the moment, so I am confined to the house with the cooling blasting away and a fan trained on me. Until it drops at least another twenty degrees, typing is about all I can manage.