Have you ever had a bad traveling experience because you didn’t put in the effort to learn a few words from the country that you’re traveling to? Or perhaps, thinking that wherever you go, other people will understand your language and there’s no need to learn speaking local languages.
Surprisingly, in a recent survey of European travellers indicated that only 11 percent of those from the UK could speak another language fluently. What’s more shocking is that 22 percent of Britons could not say a single foreign word. On the other hand, travelers from other European countries were better at conversing on holiday according to travel website TripAdvisor.
Applause for German travelers. They were the most talented of the 6,258 European travelers questioned with as many as 70 percent able to speak another language fluently. The next that topped the list of European travelers who were most talented were Italians; half of the Italians who participated in the survey were fluent in a second language followed by French with 50% and Spanish with 43%.
We have to give some credit to the Britons. While not fluent, the Britons, did however, make an effort to be understood and more than 50 percent of them were able to speak basic words in a foreign tongue.
The survey also revealed that 19 percent of the British travelers expected public signs abroad to be in English and in the local language. This could be a reason why British travelers lag behind in the ability to speak another language fluently. Of the 2,508 Britons in the survey, 74 percent expected people whom they meet overseas to speak English.
This survey is a good reminder to all of us the importance of learning another language, especially for those who like to travel. We have the power to do so much more with the help of knowing another language.