How well did your guide on the Eastern Europe Tour do with the multiple languages encountered on the tour. How much were they able to help you with vocabulary, pronunciation, etc.? Just curious on this (for 2022), as we've mostly done single country tours.
Can't speak to the guide, but generally speaking everyone you come in contact with speaks English.
But if its learning you want, it's my perception that a guide from a Slavic country will have no trouble pronouncing names and words in other Slavic languages.
That will cover you in most countries in eastern Europe, the two most notable exceptions would be Romania (Latin, not Slavic) and Hungary (G-d only knows what, not Slavic .... actually related to Finnish I believe).
Or that been my experience with a lot of time in the region.
James E You are correct. Hungarian and Finnish are both members of the Finno-Ugric language family, as is Estonian. And yes, Romanian is a Romance language, related to French, Italian, and Spanish.
I knew that linguistics degree would come in handy sometime!
Language was not a barrier on my Eastern Europe tour. As usual, learn a few words in each language to break the ice and show some common courtesy. Then hope the person on the other end speaks English. My experience is that most people on tours don't even attempt to use the local language for even the basic niceties. Sad reflection on our culture, IMO.
For my tour, Peter P. was our most awesome guide. He is a native of Hungary. He used our bus time/group time to teach or reinforce the polite words we would want to use for each country before we arrived and he made the learning a fun activity. This is quite an amazing, educational and wonderful tour, one I would happily repeat.
One of the many nice opportunities any RS tour provides is free time - usually in the afternoons - to explore a little on your own. Although the Best of Eastern Europe tour does cover considerable distance from start to finish, the "free time" component remains. However, with Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Croatian interactions - local languages will fill your ears with wonder and maybe a little confusion. A frequent suggestion in the Forum (and I have found it to be a valuable one).....if you need assistance while on your own - ask a young person - it is much more likely they speak English in addition to their native language.
Thanks for your interest in these replies!
Bill in SoCal