How far back (or, more speculatively, forth) from now could someone travel through time without language training?
The place on Earth would be the same then and now. The time traveller was born and raised there so speaks the currently dominant local language and dialect at least. I’m asking a general question here, but for the sake of an example, consider a person 35 years old in 2015 speaking English in central London, UK.
I assume there are about five levels of competence that could be distinguished.
- The time traveler can converse freely and is rarely recognized as a foreigner.
- The time traveler is easily identified as “not from here”, but automatically blends in after a while. Compare US visitors.
- The time traveler can make themself understood with almost everyone, but has a lot of trouble adapting. Maybe compare ESL learners with non-Germanic background.
- The time traveler recognizes some words and grammatical structures, but basically is learning a new language. Compare German or Dutch without prior knowledge.
- The time traveler doesn’t understand anything at all.
PS: Let’s assume the time traveller knows most historic facts and cultural references of the time travelled to.