British travellers found to be worst at speaking foreign languages whilst abroad; new poll reveals home truths

by Alister POOLE on October 19, 2012

Although people of most nationalities sometimes struggle to make themselves understood whilst on holiday, Britons appear to be the worst at attempting other languages.

Whether through the expectation that the locals will know enough English to get by or just pure laziness, the recent survey of travellers revealed how only 11 per cent’s worth of Britons are able to speak at least one language fluently. Even more shocking was how 22 per cent’s worth of Britons can’t utter a single word of a foreign language.

Holidaymakers from other European countries are better at communicating on holiday, according to fresh research conducted by travel website giant TripAdvisor. Of just over 6,250 European travellers that were questioned, German tourists were found to be the most talented as 70 per cent’s worth of them were able to fluently speak another language and just 1 per cent’s worth were unable to utter a single foreign word.

Italians came in second place as just over half of them that were surveyed were fluent in a language other than their own. French travellers (50 per cent) and Spanish travellers (43 per cent) came in third and fourth place respectively. While not fluent, 67 per cent of Britons attempted to make some kind of effort to be understood by speaking a few basic words in foreign languages.

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