I think it's common courtesy to at least know a few basic phrases like "Hello", Goodbye", and especially "Thank you". When we went to Vienna for our honeymoon, my husband insisted I learn what he considered basic: how to order a piece of chocolate cake in German. To this day, I can still say "Guten Tag! Ein stuck chocoladentorte, bitte!" Also, don't assume other people know your "universal" English. It's much better and way more courteous to be able to say in THEIR language: "Sprechen sie English?"/"Parlez-vous Anglais?"/"Ni wei shou Yingwen ma?" etc.