Today something interesting happened as I was walking around the downtown core. A few tourists saw me and one lady began to greet me in Mandarin as it appeared that they needed help finding directions. They had this huge map out and all. Unfortunately they assumed that since I was Chinese I was able to speak Mandarin. I actually know Cantonese instead though. I still wanted to help them and they seemed eager for the help too.
Without thinking too much about it I whipped open the Google translate app on my smartphone and had them speak into it as the app told me exactly what they were trying to say. The interesting thing was it seemed like the lady knew exactly what I was doing with the app too when I brought my smartphone out. In the end I was able to help them and they graciously thanked me for the help.
It did make me think though with that lady’s reaction on how even nowadays so many people would still say things like “Sorry, I only speak English” even though virtually everyone with a smartphone can use this. Makes you think how many times we actually have the resources available to help us with tasks that we simply don’t take advantage of for whatever reason. You don’t even need to spend extra money either.