I've often thought that missionaries need to be able to sit in a room full of people speaking a language they don't understand--and still feel comfortable. Erika Oosterkamp and I often found ourselves in this situation on our recent trip to Moldova. Our friend, Alina Ivan, came, too. From Romania. So she spoke Romanian with the Moldovans, while we smiled and nodded.
We did discover, though, that string games do not require verbal communication. And we had a lot of communication with the Romany children and the Romany women in the village of Vulcanesti--with and without string; with and without translation.