Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Brits "lazy" when it comes to learning foreign languages

Brits "lazy" when it comes to learning foreign languages
By David Howells | 21 Nov 2012                       
Brits have been dubbed "lazy linguists" after many admitted not learning the language of the country to which they're headed, reports.
A new poll published by foreign exchange provider VIDAFX found that just one in ten British travellers make any effort to learn snippets of the language before heading to another country.

In total, just five per cent said they would learn the translations for simple words such as hello, please, thank you, water and beer. A further five per cent said they would learn more complex words and phrases.

Whilst the results show a disinterest in interacting from British travellers, it also highlights potential risks for those using hire cars when on holiday as their poor grasp of the native language could cause trouble when out and about on the roads.

When quizzed on exactly why they don't take the time to learn the language, many claimed it was simply because English is so widely spoken outside of the UK. This, they said, meant there was "no point" in learning another language. Others, meanwhile, blamed shyness for not learning, with many fearing they'd be embarrassed by incorrect use of words or mispronunciation. "English tourists are renowned the world over for being particularly poor at languages," a spokesperson for VIDAFX told

"While for many holidaymakers there really is no need as such to learn the local language, it was good to report that one in 20 tourists tried their best to communicate with locals - regardless of whether they could've got by without doing so."

Comment: One in 20, huh? Good news indeed.

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