Being able to speak languages is a skill I wish I had. I remember being on holiday in my early teen years and often making friends with Dutch children as they could speak English with such ease. I was always so impressed that I could chat easily to them.
Those friends became penpals and they were able to read, speak and even write to me in English. Yet I struggled to understand any other languages. The most I can do is order a drink in French or Spanish and say hello and goodbye!
According to a recent study by Holiday Autos, Brits are most familiar with French, with the average adult able to rattle off up to 15 words. Hardly groundbreaking is it! Whenever we travel abroad we encourage the children to learn a few words and to be able to say hello and thank you especially.Erin and Dylan enjoy learning about the countries we are visiting and I tend to buy them Kids’ Travel Guide which gives them a brief history and geography of the place. I give them to them in their hand luggage for looking at on the plane.
The poll found 27 percent of Brits make absolutely no effort to learn a language ahead of their holidays as ‘everyone speaks English. This is a such a wasted opportunity as one of the joys of travelling is learning about culture and how others live. To me this includes being able to speak to local residents.
But 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. I remember my husband ordering a steak and it being delivered pretty much raw because the translation got lost between rare and medium. He couldn’t muster the appetite to eat it as it was delivered.
One of the things I do, is to start speaking much slower when I’m trying to make myself understood. It is like I confuse understanding with vocabulary! It makes me giggle when I see others gesticulating wildly with their hands like some comedy act!
One way to pick up the language is by getting out and about and not staying on resort. When we are on holiday we like to explore and often do this with a mix of hiring a car for a few days from someone like Holiday Autos Car Hire .But we also use local transport as it is so easy. One thing though is getting on and off quickly as the train doors seem to shut fast! Getting out and about though lets you see the country from a different perspective and find those little picturesque streets that are instagram pretty!
Wherever you are travelling too this summer try to learn just a couple of words as we have always noticed that the local people really appreciate you even trying.