Of course, ordering a beer or a coffee is not a problem . You can even ask for driving directions and get lucky.
Simple everyday things are not an issue.
But beyond the everyday lingo is where problems arise. The most obvious is the lack of known vocabulary. The dutch will replace any word they don't know in papiamento with a dutch or english word, and the latinos will mix spanish words into their papiamento or english. Sometimes people just guess what a specific word might be in another language, to make it sound okay. Or they simply speak their own language and hope for the best. If the listener is not fluent in any of the languages used this can present serious communication problems. Imagine having to order a specific car part, an adjusted meal, or, even worse, visiting a doctor and explaining something in detail.
Then there is the use of expressions ... Expressions and sayings are very much based on the country they are from. Think only of proverbs like the one about the early bird and the worm or the grass being greener on the other side. They will not mean anything in this dry place. Stone cold doesn't mean anything either.
In the professional world of business it gets really tough. It is impossible to express oneself very precisely in a language that one does not master. This is the cause of loads of misunderstandings and communication problems between all kinds of people and businesses. People are sometimes substituting or misusing words to create sentences that sound nice but mean absolutely nothing. Listeners may be used to not completely understanding everything and they will nod and say "yeah, sure", but will keep question marks in their heads. And they will not ask because of the next problem.
The cultural differences present the icing on the cake. When Dutch speak straightforward, others might think them too direct and offensive. Arubans don't like to say "no" , but that does not mean they agree with you. One thing is clear though: you are not supposed to say: "I don't understand what you are saying" or "you are not being clear". If you do, the speaker might become impatient or defensive and even less comprehensible in an effort to clarify .... .
Now what to do about it?
To begin with, be open minded that spoken sentences may not mean what they appear to do, or what they sound like. The next thing is to learn as many of the other languages and cultures as you can. This will help you understand if an expression is misused due to language difficulties. Having a sense of humor will help smooth over any uncomfortable misunderstandings. And last but not least, learn to use and read the univeral language that everyone uses unconsciously, body language.
Let me help you there. My horses are masters in reading body language. My horses and I together can help you become aware of your own body language. This will increase your own communication skills. As a bonus it will make you more aware of other people's body language. So, at the very least you will learn to realise when others don't understand you !!
You can contact me by email email@example.com, call or whatsapp +297 5940345