What are the absolutely most important survival words/phrases in your language?
If a person were to tell you, "I'm going to [enter place where a language is spoken that you know] and I don't know how to say anything!" what would you tell them are the absolute need-to-know terms and phrases? What sort of topics would you tell them to avoid talking about? What beginner's mistakes would you warn them of that often occur when speaking the language?
Generally, the words for politeness are important:
Hello, Good morning, Good afternoon, Good evening, Good night, Goodbye
Thank you, Please, excuse me, pardon me
Numbers are very important if you plan to buy anything, go anywhere, or call anyone.
Basic questions - where, who, what, where, and so on
Asking for directions - know left, right, east, west, north, south, and so on
If (for some odd reason) you find yourself in Kabardino-Balkaria or Adygea and cannot speak Russian (which is a TERRIBLE idea, by the way), a good phrase in Kabardian is "Инджылызыбзэк1э пщ1эрэ?" Do you speak English? If not, you could ask for a translator (Сэ тэрмэш сыхуейщ).
Здравствуйте! [zdrastvuyt'e] - the most universal and neutral greeting (first в is not pronounced, apostrophe marks palatalization (softness) of t),
Привет! [privet] is much easier to say, but informal
Извините! [izvinit'e] - Sorry
Спасибо! [spasibo] - Thank you
До свидания! [do svidaniya] - Good bye
emergencia - emergency
¡Llame la policia! - Call the police!
¡Auxilio! - Help!
ambulancia - ambulance
¿Habla ingles? - Do you speak English?
чрезвычайная ситуация (chrezvychainaya situatsiya) - emergency
Мне нужна помощь! (Mnye nuzhna pomosh') - I need help!
скорая помощь (skoraya pomosh') - ambulance
Звоните в полицию! (Zvonitye v politsiyu) - Call the police!
Вы говорите по-английски? (Vy gavaritye pa-angliyski) - Do you speak English?