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Learning the local lingo 'adds to holiday enjoyment'

Posted by Freddy Morton.

Caravan taps owners will be interested to learn that when they learn the local language on a foreign caravanning holiday they will find their enjoyment and appreciation of the trip is considerably enhanced.

That is the view of the National Centre for Languages (CILT), responding to Britons' tentativeness at trying out the language of the country they are visiting.

According to a recent study, carried out by independent online travel agent www.sunshine.co.uk, only one in ten (89 per cent) British tourists try to converse in the local language when on foreign trips.

Of that 89 per cent, 52 per cent said they were embarrassed at potentially making a mistake, 21 per cent said they didn't possess sufficient knowledge, and 12 per cent felt it "unnecessary".

And eight per cent thought the country they were visiting should "accommodate the English language".

Tamzin Caffrey, head of marketing, press and publishing at CILT, said learning the local language "adds to the overall enjoyment and appreciation of the country and the culture. Of course if you speak in the local language you'll be treated like a local and make some new friends".

Ms Caffrey urged Brits not to be self-conscious when speaking a different language, just to get out there and give it a go.