Some things are universal. I was married to a German once. When she was mad, I had no problem understanding her
Seriously though, the lack of a universal language here in California
(You would think it would be english), leads to serious communication problems. Finding a doctor whose advise you can actually understand is a real issue. The ability to communicate with the local majority seems to be less of a priority than it used to be. And even then, when the local majority does not speak the established common language, there is a real disconnect. I find in my job that people of differnt origins in my area seem to learn spanish before they learn english, and often speak Mandarin, or Pujabi, and Spanish fluently, while only speaking broken English. Communication, while becoming more convenient through electronic devises, cell phones, blackberrys etc. is becoming far less of an art. Of course, as an English speaker, maybe my view is skewed.