I know Americans are notorious for expecting people to speak English around the world. They have a bad reputation. How egocentric are we? If Americans live abroad, I think they should learn the language of the country they are in. The people of the world seem to give us a pretty wide latitude. I'm guessing there are plenty of them that resent it though.
I find that we are not the only ones unwilling to speak another language. It really bothers me that there are people who move to the US (taking advantage of the things this country has to offer) and don't learn English. The language we speak in this country is English. I know that seems silly, and I feel people will think I'm heartless. I am not. Really. I'm considerate. I promise.
I understand the difficulty. I've been in the same situation. When I first arrived in France, I had only had a crash course in French. Getting around and communicating were real challenges. There were days I was so frustrated and confused that I just wanted to cry. (I did some days.) I made tons of mistakes (some of them very funny and a couple inadvertently quite profane), but eventually I learned the language. When I did, my experiences there became much richer. I was so much happier. It didn't take me long either. After a couple months I could carry on conversations about lots of subjects and get around pretty easily. After a year I could talk with anyone about anything. I didn't always understand every word, but I knew enough that I could ask for explanations and definitions. It's amazing how much people will help you when they see you are trying and how much you can learn if you try.
To me it just stands to reason that if you move to a country where you don't speak the language, you learn the language of the country you are in. That country shouldn't have to learn your language just so you feel at home. I think how much I would have missed out on if I'd had that attitude in France and Switzerland. It's important to adapt, and life is better for you when you do. I grew to appreciate the beauty of the French language, the pride the people have in it and saw how much they respect those who work to learn it.
It's not that hard to learn a foreign language, especially when you are completely immersed in it--when you are living in the country and surrounded by it every day. When I spent 3 weeks in Mexico I spoke to people in Spanish as much as I could, and by the time I came home my Spanish had improved tremendously.
I know everyone is not linguistically inclined, and English can be a real challenge as languages go, but anyone can learn another language if they try. I don't expect perfection. I just want communication and respect for the language of my forefathers. English.
Is it too much to ask?