My family is flying to Asia next month and not sure how long we will stay. So far I have hotels and Airbnbs booked. We will be going to Vietnam and Thailand and know that sits come up sometimes where the HOs are English speakers. My question is, is it weird to apply for these sits if I can’t speak the local language? What if there’s an emergency and I need to take the pet to the local vet?
Not sure why the thought of applying for international sits is scary. Maybe it’s because I haven’t done one before but I guess I should try new experiences.
Wow, China! That’s one for the bucketlist. Yes, sometimes I get annoyed with technology especially if it doesn’t work correctly but thank goodness for google translate. I’m going to start applying when I see sits that accept a family.
Hello @IHeartAnimals we are sitting in Asia at the moment and only have please and thank you and hello and a few numbers. Malaysia, Thailand and Sri Lanka so far. As @Lulubelle says, Google translate is a saviour and no one expects you to have the local language - you’ll be totally fine. Enjoy the adventure
Oh my goodness, you are doing the asia tour!! We’re headed there but don’t have any sits lined up and just booked a bunch of hotels and Airbnbs so far. Maybe I’ll be able to get 1 or 2 accepted soon
We took the leap, booked a flight ages ago and then set up the alerts and waited for sits to pop up. The local Asia FB groups are also very good for sits @IHeartAnimals , there aren’t loads on THS. You can try Mind My House too -although be careful as we have found a lot of the people on there are a bit flaky on committing to dates and details which will be tough with your lovely gang.
Thank you. I haven’t ventured outside of THS.
We live in Thailand, and don’t expect our sitters to speak Thai, actually I think it might be quite difficult to find someone who would!
In Thailand people generally speak very little English, but if you smile a lot, dress politely and learn some basics about how to greet people, you’ll have a great time!
About emergencies, there’s a tourist police line in TH, where they help you in English. Most doctors and vets also speak at least some English, so that should be ok. And as others have said, Google translator helps. It’s no where near perfect with Thai language, but you should be able to make yourself understood.
We’ve done sits in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Cyprus and Malta, and we don’t speak any of those languages. Most people can speak a little English, especially professional people like vets. Juse use Google translate and you will be ok.
We’ve done sits in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bali- all for English speaking expats. And we’ve travelled widely all over Asia, India &Sri Lanka. As an English speaker you will always find your way!
@Chrissie @Lokstar My goodness, where have I been? I need to expand where I look to apply for sits. I’ve been a real scaredy cat to look outside of the US. Ok, it’s not quite non english speaking but today I did apply for an international sit in Singapore. Now let’s see how many international HO’s are interested in a family of 5. Thanks for your encouragement
@IHeartAnimals Singapore would be a great place to start-in Asian parts- as everyone speaks English and its super easy to get around on public transport. We’ve done two Christmas sits there in different parts of the city and had a great experience. I think your main challenge is the size of your family but there are definitely ex-pat families with large homes in Singapore you may find.
And re the rest if the world- we’ve also done loads of sits in the UK and parts of Europe- France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain- and also Western Australia. Many of these have been large homes that could easily accomodate a family (if they are willing!)
We’re currently in Spain and one of our upcoming sits was a former B&B with 7 bedrooms! So I’m sure you’ll find what your looking for. I wish you many amazing family adventures!
Absolutely, go enjoy the whole world of THS! Somehow things always work out. We love Google Translate, but agree a friendly and respectful attitude also goes so far to help communicate. We had the adventure of several emergency visits to a Dutch veterinarian on Curaçao, with some brand new puppies and their sick mama. It was intimidating but the vet spoke English with the cutest accent, no problem at all! We even are using Google translate camera mode right now in Montenegro to figure out what food we are buying!
Yes of course it is not a problem. We are full time sitters in south east Asia through THS.
We are currently in Kuala Lumpur now on a sit. We have been in Bali, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand.
Most sits here are for expats. Almost everyone speaks English.
Oui, Tak, Nai !
I don’t think there are many owners on this site who don’t speak .English
I have never done a sit in a country where I don’t speak the language, with the exception of Denmark, but I knew that everyone there is fluent in English (which turned out to be true).
It might be a new challenge for the future.
What do people think of pet sitting ads in other languages? I have seen them in German, French and Dutch, for example. Would you apply for a sit if you don’t speak the language of the ad? Using Google Translate maybe?
Dutch is my native language, so that one is no problem att all for me. I could manage to write an application in German or in French, but I think that I would throw in a sentence in English to say that I am not fluent in those languages.
I like an environment where I can make myself understood in the local language, where I have a basis to improve. In Italian or Spanish I can guess what a sentence may mean but I am mute and I feel handicapped. I will probably apply to such sits again, though. Maybe take lessons locally if it is a longer sit.
I tend to avoid countries where I cannot read the alphabet. But yes, the google camera translator is amazing!
@CatsAndDog very good to know. With or without a petsit, we are headed to Thailand this Nov/Dec. We have hotels booked so far but maybe I will be able to replace them. My brother went there 15 months ago thinking he would be back in a couple months. Nope, he loved it so much he’s still there
@Smiley I wasn’t worried about the homeowners speaking english. More worried if there was an emergency with the pets and I needed to figure out how to get help. I’m feeling more confident now since reading the responses here.