THE average Briton will jet off on their holiday this year, knowing only EIGHT words of the country’s language, according to a new study.
The survey by Holiday Autos revealed nearly two thirds of Britons claim to be embarrassed that we make such little effort to learn foreign languages.
However a further 27 perc ent admit to making no effort to learn a language ahead of their holiday – with the fact ‘everyone speaks English’ emerging as the main excuse.
The study found French to be the language Brits are most familiar with, with the average UK adult being able to rattle off up to 15 words – but despite millions of Brits travelling to Spain this summer, the average holidaymaker knows just eight words in Spanish.
‘Hello’, ‘yes’ and ‘goodbye’ are the most common words Brits known how to say in a foreign language, followed by ‘thanks’, ‘no’ and ‘good morning’ – while three in ten of Brits on holiday know how to ask where the bathroom is and over a third can competently ask for a beer.
Of the 1,500 respondents surveyed, 23 per cent said they holiday in English speaking resorts so there was no need to make an effort and speak the local language.
Being so limited with the local language has landed one in ten 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 Brits claim to start speaking slower in English when trying to make themselves understood 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 Brits have a funny story to tell about a friend or family member trying to make themselves understood on holiday – with 17 per cent 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
● 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
Of those that completed the poll, 35 percent would like to know enough words to just get by when they head off on holiday.