Learning a second language is difficult for us English speakers. There's an unfortunate idea that English people are too lazy to learn other languages. I personally disagree with this and it annoys me as I feel there's more to it than laziness. English is the widest spoken language and is currently used as the premier language, air traffic control use it and a most business is conducted in English. Therefore there is more necessity for other language speakers to learn English.
It's also easier for non-English speakers to learn the language as their exposure to it is far greater than we have to any other language. American films, British TV, Music in English, books, magazines etc. We do not have this exposure to any other language. The majority of English speaking people only have exposure to another language when they go abroad for holidays, two weeks in Spain hardly makes learning Spanish a necessity as these tourist destinations speak English.
It's so much easier to learn another language when you are submerged in its exposure. That still doesn't rule out the fact that when you are in a foreign country and try to speak the local lingo, some locals want to practice their English and will refuse to respond to you in their language.
One of my goals for this trip is to pick up another language, hopefully Spanish in South America. I began learning from an audio course but unfortunately stopped for some reason.
I have now received an audio course for Russian which I purchased from eBay for the value price of £1.99, I was concerned that it would be rubbish but have been pleasantly surprised. Not only does the disk contain a Russian course, it has a French and German course on it too!
It starts off with... "Pretend there is an American man and a Russian lady on a bus in St Petersburg and the man wants to start a conversation..." Sounds like it's on the right track...
So it's time to put this bad boy on my MP3 player and begin learning....