All You Need

If you enjoy traveling and speak the English language, the world is yours. We have traveled to many countries including Spain, Italy and most recently – Greece. Everywhere we traveled, English is the universal language. Our son Andrew went on his honeymoon to South Korea and Japan and again, English speakers were everywhere.

Another traveling concern is obtaining cash. The travel books suggest going to the country and get local currency at an ATM machine. But somehow, this always makes me nervous – what if my card is rejected, stolen or damaged. After making sure the card company knows where I will be using the card and by taking a different card as a precaution, we had no trouble getting Euros at an ATM on our last trip. Contrast this to 15 years ago before ATM machines when each European country had a different currency which made understanding the value of the currency very difficult.

This started me thinking how lucky we are to speak the universal language. But why is English the universal language? Could it be because so many Hollywood movies are in English? Maybe it’s because of computers; most computer programs are written first for English language users. When we English speakers have trouble understanding how to use a computer, just imagine how hard it is if you don’t speak the language. Then there is Google, Wikipedia and all the other information sources for which we use English as the base language. Not just what you can see, the code (HTML) behind it uses English words as a base.

While we were on a small cruise ship in Greece, it was interesting that some of the crew were from Greece and spoke Greek and English and other crew were from Ukraine and spoke Ukrainian and English but not Greek. Because of this communication among the crew was English to English, again English being the common language.
Now of course, English is not the perfect language and can be confusing and there are certain words that are clearer in other languages. For example, in English “hot” can mean it will burn you and also that it is hot on the tongue “spicy”. Whereas, Spanish has two words for hot: “caliente” for when it will burn you, but “picante” if it’s hot and spicy in the mouth.

So although English may be the universal language, it’s very helpful to know other languages both because they can clarify your meaning and add spice to your world.

Call us if you would like to add spice to your real estate investments.

By Tom Dixon