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Trying to make yourself understood on holiday can be difficult and Britons, it seems, are especially bad at it.
Whether it is the expectation that other nationalities will know some English or just pure laziness, a recent survey of European travellers revealed that only 11 per cent of those from the UK could speak another language fluently. More shocking was that 22 per cent of Britons could not utter a single foreign word.
Travellers from other European countries were better at conversing on holiday, according to the research by travel website TripAdvisor.
German travellers were the most talented of the 6,258 European travellers questioned, with as many as 70 per cent able to speak another language fluently and only 1 per cent unable to speak a foreign word.
Just over half of the Italians who took part were fluent in a second language (51 per cent), as were 50 per cent of French travellers and 43 per cent of Spanish.
Most Britons, while not fluent, did however make an effort to be understood, with 67 per cent of them able to speak basic words in a foreign tongue.
A reason why British travellers lag behind could be that, of the 2,508 Britons in the survey, 74 per cent expected those they meet overseas to speak English.
The results also revealed that 19 per cent of British travellers expected public signs abroad to be in English as well as in the local language.