HowTo:Talk to foreigners

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This is a useful skill for all English speakers travelling abroad. The important thing to remember is that all people who live in non-English speaking countries are idiots, which is why they don't speak English.

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Three Key Concepts[edit]

Speak Loudly and Slowly[edit]

Clearly, if they don't understand you when you speak at a normal volume and pace, raising your voice and slowing down your speech will elucidate your meaning. Remember, you need to shout. Not doing so might confuse the foreign conversant. The addition of inarticulate gestures is also helpful. In short, just pretend that you're William Shatner.

Disregard all Rules of Grammar[edit]

Omit infinitives, prepositions, conjunctions, adjectives, and adverbs from your speech and stick to simple constructions that use only nouns and verbs. Too many words will confuse the tiny foreign brain. If talking about yourself, remember to say "me" instead of "I."


Make sure to pronounce the words that remain as if you were speaking to an infant. This is particularly effective when speaking to Chinese people,also pronounce words at least twice if they are quite hard.


Even English itself can sound like a foreign language.

For Americans in England[edit]

Remember that a posh British accent is nine tenths affectation. To affect it properly, pretend you have a ten pound weight attached to your lower lip and a turd under your nose. Alternately, pretend to be flamingly homosexual. It's good to affix "eah" to the end of every appropriate word, as in: "Weah met Ladyeah Welles, and sheah greeted us most cordialleah, and then weah all had teah." Talk about how much you enjoy your tea, how great the metric system is, and how much you love the Queen. Note: it is not wise to do this in Scotland.

For the English in Ameriker[edit]

That's right: Ameriker. The key to sounding like a real American is mimicking the protagonist in all your favorite Western films. Make frequent use of words like "ain't" and "durnit." Remember that Americans call "trousers", "pants", and "pants", "underwear" providing you with many an opportunity to make juvenile jokes (i.e., "I can see your pants!"). Important topics of discussion include baseball, animal husbandry, how much you love/hate the President, and Baywatch.