I thought I would share some images from our recent trip as a family to St Malo in France, plus share with you some research I recently saw from Holiday Autos about the Brits learning the lingo of the country they are visiting whilst on holiday.
Speaking the Lingo
A survey conducted by Holiday Autos car hire looked at the attitudes of British people when they go on holiday, 27 percent of which go away with the mind-set of not bothering to learn any of the language, as they feel everyone speaks English. I was really saddened by this, as surely you at least learn the basics like please, thank you with a few phrases too?
A spokesman for Holiday Autos added:
“The survey has uncovered some really interesting insights into how Brits 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.”
Now I don’t speak any French (German was my language at school) and I was a little concerned before our trip to France. However, as my eldest has been learning French since primary school, my husband knows a little too and I genned up on a few phrases, just incase, I thought we would be OK. When we arrived however, the host of our Airbnb didn’t speak any English and honestly didn’t pause for breath as she talked
to at us for around half an hour. I think the Tall Fella, thought I’d become instantly bilingual as I nodded away agreeing and rattling off oui and non when she paused for breath. I think I was just too embarrassed to admit I didn’t understand. Looking back it must have looked so funny!
The survey also revealed nearly two-thirds of British adults said they were embarrassed that we make such little effort to learn other languages, which I’ve got to say I totally agree with.
Having recently visited Spain with some other Brits, I wasn’t very surprised that the survey also revealed, the average holidaymakers knows just eight Spanish words. I think my time listening to repeats of Dora the Explorer had helped me with this one! Though I did attempt to ask for directions one day, and the person replied in English back…so maybe I wasn’t that convincing!
What kind of traveller are you? Like me who tries to learn just a little to get by? Do you immerse yourself in the language, or part of the 35% who just speak slowly and gesticulates madly?
Here are some more Lost in Translation stories from Holiday Autos :