Back in the day, pre-“age of exploration” how did those few people who did make voyages communicate with the people they met?
How would Marco Polo speak to afghans and mongols? How did William Adams plead for his life in Japan?
These examples may not be that good, but you get the point right? In history, we often learn that so-and-so was the first european in such-and-such, and his said this-and-that, but they don’t ever really explain how he was able to say it in a manner that they understood.
NOTE: I do realize with the silk-road and things like that there is a long history of communication among cultures, but my impression is that, for instance, Zhen He didn’t speak the languages of all the people he met. You know?
Okay…have a good one.