My fellow Brits are infamous for their lack of language skills abroad; so much so that Thomson the holiday company are claiming 18% never even attempt basic phrases such as hello and thank you.
While in popular British hotspots abroad, usually someone speaking English is on hand somewhere, the majority of holidaymakers get by on the locals knowledge of basic English phrases that have learned to cater to the trade, rather than linguistically lazier Brits who favour the hand gestures and pointing approach.
But in case of an emergency and one of your party needed medical care, or lost their passport, or even getting arrested, communication is key.
And Thomson have clocked on to this, with websites such a trip advisor scrutinising destinations over the lack of English speakers, holiday makers and tourists are often favouring the safer option to sticking to tourist hotspots ‘just in case’. The resolution? A 24/7 holiday telephone translation service to all their customers. When fully rolled out, it will be available in 157 languages just a phone call away.
Their research also showed a staggering 40% of holidaymakers claimed they would struggle to find a doctor and a third of travellers don’t bring basic phrase books, which means if the worst was to happen, it could very quickly develop into a holiday from hell.
How about your holiday communication? Are you part of the 25% that enjoys trying to speak another language, the 18% that feels too embarrassed? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.