Here's the secret. First, learn a foreign language. Any foreign language will do, especially one which can be sort of used in other places (so Danish is good, because it sort of works also in Norway and Sweden). In my case, I learned Portuguese, and had several opportunities to sort of use it in Spain (I've been told that it also sort of works in Italy, but I haven't had as much luck with that one).
Once you've become pretty good in the first one, then learn another foreign language. Preferably one that is really different than the first foreign language. I chose Danish, which is still Indo-European, but different enough. Learn that one enough so that you start to forget the first one.
Finally, travel with people speaking the second foreign language, to a country where you could sort of use the first foreign language, if only you could remember it well enough. Then decide you are too stubborn to use your native language (even if, as in my case, your native language is the one language that people are sure to sort of know pretty much wherever you are).
And then try and speak, and see if I am not right in saying that all communication will, practically speaking, cease. Really, it works. In my case, I can no longer speak anything at all. I stop a conversation (in Danish) to order food, or to buy something, and I end up speaking Danish to servers and clerks. Which really isn't very effective.
Am I right in assuming that this is some sort of foreign language universal?