Language barrier scuppers walker
Tuesday, 4th March 2008
So it appears as if Mark Boyle has had to abandon his epic trip from Britain to Gandhi's birthplace because of a lack of language skills.
Mark set out on foot less than a month ago on a pilgrimage that was supposed to take well over two years. With no money, Mark was aiming to rely on strangers for food and lodging to prove the kindness of humanity.
Mark’s plans came unstuck when he reached Calais as he was unable to communicate the real aim of his project to the French. They simply didn’t understand what he was trying to achieve and weren’t supportive.
It really just proves that language skills are an essential element of any journey overseas - particuarly one that is so heavily reliant on the involvement of the local community. Mark’s vowed to spend the next few months learning French before setting out again, so you have to admire his determination.
Armed with a few key language phrases, Mark should definitely be able to interact with local people and achieve his goal. Arabic, Turkish and Hindi in particular will be of great use to him and should make the journey easier all round.