Thursday, September 21, 2017
   
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Limited Language Skills of the British Traveller

The average British holidaymaker will head off abroad on their summer holidays, able to speak just eight words of the local language, according to a new research.

The study, commissioned by Holiday Autos, found that French is the language UK holidaymakers are most familiar with, with the average UK adult being able to rattle off up to 15 words.

Despite millions of holidaymakers travelling to Spain this summer, the average holidaymaker knows just eight Spanish words.

The poll found 27 per cent of UK travellers make absolutely no effort to learn a language ahead of their holidays as ‘everyone speaks English.’

‘Hello’, ‘yes’ and ‘goodbye’ are the most common words British travellers know how to say in a foreign language, followed by ‘thanks’, ‘no’ and ‘good morning’.

Three in 10 of holidaymakers can ask where the bathroom is and over a third can competently ask for a beer. An unsavoury one in 10 are also capable of uttering ‘I have an upset stomach.’

Of the 1,500 respondents surveyed 23 percent said they holiday in popular resorts so there was no need to make an effort and speak the local language.

Yesterday a spokesperson for Holiday Autos, said: “This research highlights that holidaymakers don’t make huge amounts of effort when it comes to learning languages when planning a holiday in country abroad.

“Saying that, if, of those eight words that the average adult knows is ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘good morning’, you can’t go far wrong.”

The survey revealed nearly two thirds of British adults said they were embarrassed that as a nation we make such little effort to learn foreign languages.

But being so limited with the local language has landed one in 10 adults in hot water with problems occurring when ordering food and drinks, following directions and settling a bill.

One in ten have lost luggage on holiday and struggled to communicate with the necessary people.

35 per cent of travellers claim to start speaking much slower when trying to make themselves understood when on foreign soil and a quarter opt for gesticulating wildly with their hands.

More than one in twenty have even resorted to drawing pictures and one in ten have to rely on their smartphone to make themselves understood.

Over a quarter of UK holidaymakers have a funny story to tell about a friend or family member trying to make themselves understood on holiday – with 17 percent claiming they still laugh about it.

In fact, the average holidaymaker has experienced three ‘lost in translation’ moments when on holiday.

According to the poll...

  • A gentleman got a surprise in France when he asked for jam to go with his croissant and got a condom.
  • One man asked for directions and kept being told the price of a chicken.
  • A holidaymaker thought he was asking a waiter where the toilet was, but was actually repeatedly asking where the man’s wife was.
  • Another asked for egg on his pancake and got a raw egg.
  • One respondent asked for a lemonade and ended up buying a newspaper.
  • Another respondent regularly got the French words for rabbit and bread around the wrong way.
  • One respondent ended up with a slap around the face. To this day he doesn’t know what he said!
  • The spokesman for Holiday Autos added: “The survey has uncovered some really interesting insights into how British holidaymakers seem to have the confidence to communicate while traveling without necessarily learning any of the native language.

    “It shows that having confidence leads to happier holidays — something which Holiday Autos believes in wholeheartedly, as we provide book and go car hire and we are committed to find the best car at the best price for everyone’s holidays.”

     

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