Should Brits Learn Countries Languages When Travelling Abroad?

According to YouGov, close to half of Britons learn the countries language when travelling abroad. 48% of Brits travelling abroad, whereas a reported 41% do make the effort or try to get to grips with at least the basics. But what does this say about British tourism?


Spain has become a firm favourite holiday destination for Brits, with over 18 million visits made in 2019. Over half of YouGov’s participants said they usually go back to the same holiday destination, this suggests many Brits know the local area and with the rise in English bars & restaurants, don’t feel the need to study the language.

British Language

According to studies, over 1.5 billion people across the world can speak the English language. With around 7.5 billion people in the world, that’s around 20% in which can speak the language. With Spain being the most popular holiday destination, it’s interesting to find that around 10,400,000 out of 47,190,000 Spanish citizens can speak English.

Why Should you Learn the local Language?


Many brits enjoy visiting different restaurants whilst on holiday with many travelling to different locations to try out the local cuisines. Knowing at least the basics for your favourite meals will go a long way with the waiters. Similarly, knowing your basic greetings such as hello, how are you, can we sit here, goodbye, thank you and often important…can we get the bill, please.


If you are booking transportation from the airport or just want to jump into a taxi, simple phrases will go a long way. It is important to always print out your chosen destination or at least have it up on your mobile, just in case any words are misinterpreted. Basic phrases again include, hello, please and thank you. Upon arriving at your holiday destination, you can get really good tips from your taxi driver or a tourist guide, for example, where is good to eat, drink or visiting attractions, so don’t hesitate to get chatting.


If you are thinking of hiring a car or want to walk further afield, knowing and understanding signs is extremely important. One thing to remember is that you may be driving on the opposite side of the road.

Avoiding miscommunication

Miscommunication can happen anywhere; restaurants, shopping centres or the bank. Knowing exactly what you need to say is important, especially when visiting a bank to either deposit money or withdraw. The last thing you want is to withdraw ten times the amount required.

Show an interest in the culture

Whether you are travelling abroad to sunbathe or to learn about new cultures, it is very important to do your research beforehand. For example, in many areas you may need to wear suitable clothing, many cultures have certain rules and regulations so don’t embarrass yourself and learn the culture beforehand.