I will be visiting Spain very soon. I can read Spanish, but not enough Spanish to carry a conversation. How should I let Spaniards know that I am more comfortable conversing in English without appearing arrogrant? I know not to ask straight out whether someone speaks English.
I lived in Barcelona for a year, and often when I asked questions in Spanish, got answers in English (especially at the beginning). They'll know right away, and switch to English if they are comfortable with it. Otherwise, make they effort to communicate with them, and thank them for their patience when they are done. As long as you are friendly and polite, you won't have many problems.
It's very probable that if you do encounter Spaniards who understand English, they will feel equally uncomfortable conversing in a foreign language.
You are visiting their country....make the effort. They will appreciate it.
Lighthouse....I am living in Spain...I know what I'm talking about! Also I have travelled extensively in many countries where English was neither understood nor spoken. The onus was on me to make myself understood. I was the visitor.
Why can't you ask straight out whether someone speaks English?
You should just make the effort to TRY to speak Spanish...they'll know, straight off that you're an English speaker, and you'll manage. People all manage to get on while traveling to places where they don't really speak the language...it's called sign language. You know...If you point to the left and ask if something is that way, they'll get it.
Making the effort to TRY shows that...well, you're willing to try...
i am from spain and when you try to speak in spanish, for me it is funny...