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Profile of tropicalpenguin
I spent my spring break in beautiful Monterrey Mexico on a mission trip. (Check out the city sometime, It's awesome.) At the mission, I had my cards and was trying to do some better tricks, but I was at a total loss for words (seeing as I know about 50 words of spanish, if that many.) So, my question is, How do you get by while saying very little or being totally silent?
-The penguin has spoken Smile

-How could 52 pieces of cardboard ever bring so much joy?
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Profile of landmark
Maybe they understand Penguin? Smile

Jack Shalom
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Profile of elgranmago
Maybe you should have a look at Jay Sankey´s "45". He speaks not a word!

I believe that well performed magic transcends the barriers of language. I can say that because I have seen it.

By the way, 50 words in Spanish is already a lot. Mucha suerte con tu magia!

"It´s kind of fun to do the impossible". Walt Disney
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Profile of MagicSteve84
I remember when my high school had a bunch of exchange students from Spain come into our spanish class. My classmates and I were all first year spanich speaker and could barely understnad the language. We were paired into partners with the exchanged students and were told by our teacher to complete some spanish exercise. Instead of doing my work, I pull out some magic and the next thing I knew, everyone was watching.

Try doing tricks that do not need a lot or patter. I performed some visual coin tricks, my ambitious card routine (which fried them), and CMH. Keep the magic visual and they will understand. Another trick I am working on right now that would be great for this type of situation is Gypsy thread. I don't know if you saw David Blaine perform it for some Chinese people, who by the looks of it spoke little english. The effect killed.

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Profile of MagicalArtist
I agree with Steve. It seems to me that one of the greatest benefits of magic is that it can be done with no words whatsoever ("the universal language" as it has been called).

Rather than trying to figure out how you can communicate with someone when you can't speak their language, why don't you let your magic communicate for you? Pick some effects where the magical happening is so obvious that it really needs no explanation.

Card tricks are probably not the best ones for this, as they usually require face values to be pointed out, and various points of operation to be emphasized. Effects that use something other than cards, preferably highly visual objects, are probably better.

An example that springs immediately to mind is the old trick with a wooden match that you burn, then, appearing to pluck a hair from your head, you wrap it around the head of the match, then snap the match head off by yanking on the "hair"! That may not be a great mystery, but it certainly is visual!

Doing magic for blind people, now THERE'S a tough one!
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