To be someone who does not speak the language of the land, is to be stripped clean of the tools of one's wordsmithy. You could well be taking my right hand away for twelve months, or my vocal cords. For one year, my playing field is level with the unlettered, and the mute. I will have temporarily receded from being articulate to inarticulate - susceptible to the abortions thrown up by Altavista's online translating software. Ideal conditions for hibernation :)
Speak in a tongue that is universal, or forever hold thy peace.