Rome is one of the few places in Europe where English has not been able to perpetuate into daily life. Every day, thousands of foreign travelers are seen yelling at the top of their voice to communicate simple phrases like “Do you speak English?” Locals are not fond of travelers who cannot even pronounce basic Italian words. If you do not have any idea about Italian then you might keep a distance of arm’s length from the locals.
You will be missing a lot of fun the city has to offer without the knowledge of the Italian language. The jokes will not be hilarious, the casual flirting won’t be romantic and the waiters won’t greet you with an authentic smile. It has been noticed that restaurants tend to charge more from people who are unfamiliar with the local language. You will also face problems in routine tasks like recharging a phone, taking a tram, buying a coffee and asking for the toilet.
But, it doesn’t mean that non-Italian speaking travelers cannot survive in Rome. The majority of people exploring the city only know a handful of courtesy words, ex-Yes- Si. Accept your fate as a non-Italian speaker and things will become a bit smooth. It is perfectly normal to feel embarrassed and uncomfortable when a local makes a disgusting face at your Italian speaking skills.
You can use these ways to experience the most out of Rome as a non-Italian speaker.
You should always tell the locals that you are a stranger who doesn’t know much about the area by saying parli inglese? The locals will communicate with you in English or guide you to a person who knows your language. The question also communicates that the conversation is not going to be easy. Thus, the local person will not get irritated and will reply with the best possible answer.
You should also take help from the Google translate app on your smartphone. It allows you to scan any word and translate it into your language. The function will help you understand directions and signboards outside shops. The microphone function has also come a long way with advanced voice recognition.
The chances of a person understanding the third language apart from Italian and English are pretty high. You can communicate in Spanish, German, French, Portuguese and Romanian. Also, you should always behave in a friendly way with a smile on your face. Locals will help you unless they see you as an ill-behaved and brash traveler.
Always make contact with younger people. Roman public schools teach English and most of the students have a working vocabulary. They are more open to talking in English and can even apologize for not being a fluent speaker.
You can also take online classes or group lectures in Rome to get a hand on basic Italian. We can’t blame Roman people for backing their language against English. It’s better to go with the flow without attracting unnecessary trouble. For more information visit https://visitvatican.info/