How do you feel when you speak English in a foreign country?
Honestly, I feel a little bad.
I’m in their country… I haven’t learned their language… and now I’m asking them to speak MY language!
It’s like I’m some 19th century British colonist telling the locals how to drink tea.
That’s why I at least learn the basics, “Hello,” “Thank you,” “Good bye,” “Please” and “One more beer.”
But a few weeks ago, I asked my Czech friend Lenka how she felt.
We were on the Greek island of Ithaka and had just left a shop where we both had spoken English.
“I feel fine,” she said.
She explained that she doesn’t feel like a lazy foreigner because “I’m speaking a foreign language.”
So what do I do now?
What lessons did I learn on Ithaca?
Well, I still learn the basics.
But now I pretend I’m Danish.
And I speak English all over the world without guilt.