Upon arrival at the aforementioned Terminal 2E I realized that although a sign with an arrow pointing a certain direction should be foolproof, it doesn't always mean what you'd think. In France, for instance, down means forward.
Yes, walking the marathon-esque distance between Air France's international and domestic terminals in Paris meant figuring out pretty quickly that if an arrow pointed down, I was not supposed to take any stairs or even the elevator placed right next to the sign. Instead I was meant to walk forward.
In this case of cross culture mix up not even a visual dictionary could have helped. Simply put, it was a (sign) language barrier overcome only by trial and error.