DEAR HARRIETTE: My wife is the perfect traveling companion. She is flexible with schedules, always thinks of fun activities and travels lightly. The one thing I wish I could change about her is her refusal to even try to learn the language of the country we visit, typically Latin American countries. She insists on speaking English, and I find it a bit embarrassing. She claims everyone knows at least some English, but we've been proven wrong more than a few times. I want to get her to expand her horizons, but she seems to think English is the most universal language on the planet. Could I gift her Rosetta Stone for her birthday? -- No Language Barriers, Detroit
DEAR NO LANGUAGE BARRIERS: Try a different approach. Consider inviting your wife to take a language class with you. Suggest it as a fun activity for the two of you -- kind of like a date. Entice her with the romanticism of learning a language together. If you can make it seem like a fun bonding activity, she may consider it.
Beyond that, make sure that you have learned as much as possible so that you can manage communication for the two of you when you are abroad.