Originally published on Lonely Planet.
It’s concerning seeing travellers trying to communicate with people who don’t speak any English, by using more English.
I first realised how much of a problem this is while staying at a quaint guesthouse in Yunnan, southwest China. I watched the petite, old guesthouse owner, affectionately referred to as Mama Naxi, become embarrassingly flustered as a guest talked to her in English – which she knew a minimal amount. For some reason, the guest thought turning up the volume would help Mama Naxi all of suddenly understand her.