To really immerse yourself in a new culture, you should make it a priority to learn at least a few phrases in the local language. This will keep you from looking ignorant and could also save your life in an emergency situation.
Locals will notice your effort, and many may be friendlier if you approach them in their native tongue. Memorize at least a few rudimentary words and sayings, such as "please," "thank you," and "help." If you have no ear for learning a new language, carry a few translated phrases with you on note cards. And when presented with a phrase you're not familiar with, try Google Translate (available on Apple and Android for free), which will quickly translate anything you type or speak into your phone.