How do I explain to them that I am a vegetarian?

For advanced as Europe is in so many ways, sometimes it’s way behind the times with current eating trends. The perfect example is the vegetarian. Most European service staff will still think a vege-plate is acceptable to have a bit of tuna on it, or will go the other direction and just bring you a lousy dinner salad comprised of mixed greens. Fortunately, the century old recipes incorporating age old traditions are slowly beginning to merge with contempory dining practices. For more info on the subject, check out the International Vegetarian Union’s website where language and food tips are available:

Country “I am a vegetarian” “Do you serve any special dishes for vegetarians?”
French Je suis vegetarian/-ne Avez vous des menus speciaux pour les vegetarians?
Italian Sono vegetariano/-e Avete menu speciali per vegetariani?
German Ich bin Vegetarier/-in Haben Sie spezielle Menus fur Vegetarier?
Spanish Soy un vegetariano/-a Hay platos para vegetarianos?
Portuguese Sou um vegetariano
Dutch Ik ben vegetarisch
Czech Jsem vegetarian Mate nejaka vegetarianska (vegetarian)/ bezmasa (meatless) jidla?