Many British travellers feel embarrassed by their lack of language skills and avoid speaking the local language while on holiday, according to new research.

More than half (59 per cent) of British holidaymakers refuse to speak another language while on holiday in a foreign country, a new survey has found.

Research carried out by travelsupermarket.com has revealed that one in ten tourists did not feel there was any point in making the effort to learn another language as the majority of people speak English.

However, almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of respondents were embarrassed by their inability to speak a foreign language.

The company stressed that Britons are not a lost cause, estimating that approximately 26 million holidaymakers will attempt to make a spoken gesture in a non-English speaking country.

Bob Atkinson, travel expert at the company, commented: “For those who do make the effort, the result can prove invaluable when confirming travel plans or asking for directions.”

The Department for Children, Schools and Families recently launched a campaign called Try life in another language in an attempt to encourage young people to take a foreign language at GCSE level.

Written by Nicholas Scott

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