I've lived in Japan
, The Phillippines, Singapore
and the US.
I can order beer
in Japanese, Bahasa Malaysia
, Tagalog, and Thai, Mandarin and perhaps English
- that's about all you need really.
Seriously though. I have learned Tagalog and Japanese well but to be honest unless used daily it goes away for me. Some people have an affinity for languages, I have to study.
For cruising in SEA I would learn Bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa Indonesia
. No matter where you land you should learn a few phrases. A few words goes a long way towards breaking the ice.
On a circumnavigation
I'd agree with Gord and go with Spanish and French.
The reality is that English is the common language. We have a very international club and the Dutch communicate with the Japanese in English. The Latinos communicate with the Chinese in English. The Americans communicate with teh Brits in English. The French just sit around looking disgusted - LOL...