I've started learning Vietnamese in preparation for my trip. I've decided I will not pull a Jeannette, and so will arrive with at least enough knowledge of the language that I will be able to ask someone if they understand English (sorry Jeannette!).
Or announce to everyone that I am American! Even though I am not American.
There is no doubt that the series of CDs I bought, Pimsleurs Conversational Vietnamese, is American. This is how a typical lesson goes (note these are phonetic spellings, because there is no guidebook that shows me how these words are actually written):
Man's voice: Imagine you are an older American man, and you walk into a café and notice a young woman from your hotel. Say hello to her.
Me: Chao Chi-i
Vietnamese Woman: Chao Aum Man's voice: Ask her how she is doing.
Me: Chi co kray-ay krom?
Vietnamese Woman: Doi kway-ay làm, cam unh ang.
Man's Voice: Ask her if she understands English
Me: Chi co héa-ho din Ang krom?
Vietnamese Woman: Krom
Man's Voice: Tell her you are American
Me: What?! How is this normal?!
In about every lesson, the man makes me say this! It's quite funny (and typically American) that before i learn how to say 'Sorry', or ask someone what their name is, that i know how to say that i am American, and even know how someone would ask me if i'm American.
And why an older American man picking up some young girl in a café?
I'm still waiting for the man to teach me how to say that I am Canadian. Or Australian. Or British. Or how about how to order a bowl of pho?