Find me on Instagram:
Fresh Acoustic Pop Music
The question I want to talk about today, that I have been asked a lot, is:
“Can you survive in Taiwan (for a trip or for longer term) if you can only speak English?”
From my experiences, in big cities in Taiwan, it is so easy to get around with only English.
Many people speak English, many signs and directions, everything is also indicated in English.
I think the only place where I had some trouble not understanding was in more traditional places
For example: restaurants. If you go to a restaurant and it is owned by an elderly couple who make the food themselves,
In that case you find a little menu where you need to indicate what you want and that will be in Chinese.
In that case, you just have to go with your Taiwanese friends.
In other cases, I think life is very easy in Taipei with only English.
Even if the person in front of you that you are talking to does not speak English well,
If they are not confident about their English, they will just grab another person next to them who will speak English well.
I cannot remember any big issue I had with the language.
Maybe only in specific cases like for example: when I had to buy a mattress at IKEA.
I had very specific questions about the measurements, the delivery time, the way they would deliver it, things like that.
That was hard to figure out by myself, so luckily, I had my awesome roommate helping me.
She came with me to IKEA and helped me place the order.
In some cases, you might need some help, but believe me: Taiwanese people are so friendly and welcoming to foreigners.
That’s how I experienced it and I have heard from many friends that they experienced the same.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Big cities should be no problem at all. But once you get out of the big cities,
It is the same in every single country in the world I think:
In the big cities people are more international, everything is ready to welcome tourists there.
It will be very easy. Once you get out of the big cities, that’s where you might have some trouble.
Even when you go to smaller places outside of big cities in Taiwan, I feel like many young people will have learned English at school.
Even though the conversations might not always be perfect, many people can understand the basics and can communicate
Maybe with arms and feet? X)
Actually I had a lot of conversations where we could not totally understand each other,
But one way or the other, using facial expressions, using your hands and pointing at things
You can communicate so much already! You would be surprised.
I would not worry about travelling to the countryside.
Even if the first person you meet won’t speak English, there will always be someone, somewhere around who can help you in English.
I feel like if you have the time on your hands, it is always a good idea when you travel to a country to learn a few words that you might use a lot.
For example: “hello”, “thank you”, “where is …?”
It doesn’t have to be many pages long, but it can be a nice little gesture to the people and the country you are visiting,
that you took the time and trouble to learn these simple words.
Of course I understand perfectly (because I was in the same situation), that not everybody has the time to learn the whole language before going there.
That is perfectly okay. I think Taiwanese people are very understanding
and they are happy that you are coming to their country to learn about their culture and especially their food!
Taiwanese people are so proud about their food and there is a good reason.
I don’t have to say anything more. Just go there and try the food!