• 86% of travellers attempt to speak a foreign language while on holiday
  • Only 10% would learn from an app, majority prefer traditional methods of learning
  • Over half of 18-24 year olds let language knowledge affect their holiday choice
  • Most travellers over 65 years of age are braver and aren’t affected

A recent independent research study by the holiday company Thomson Lakes & Mountains has shown that 86% of those surveyed always attempt to speak a local language while on holiday in some form or another. Only 10% of travellers would choose to learn a language via an app, whereas 84% would lean towards more traditional methods of learning via class-based lessons, a guide book or a detailed language training programme. They also cast technology aside when on holiday, with only 19% of people referring to an app like Google Translate. The majority (33%) prefer a reliable phrase book, while 21% would rather learn from the locals and 19% rely purely on their memory.

The research showed a split in generations as to how important native language skills are. 84% of over 65s won’t let a lack of language skills put them off a holiday destination, making them braver than the 37% of 25-34 year olds who might be put off if they’re not fluent in a destinations language.

In contrast, different generations seem to sit in two distinct camps. Older generations get the most enjoyment from attempting to speak the language:  60% of over 55-64 year olds say that they get a high level of satisfaction. This sits in discrepancy with 23% of 18-34 year olds that didn’t.

Classroom based lessons are more appealing to ages 55-65 with 41% preferring this method of learning. This, however, is much higher than the percentage of people that prefer learning through apps where the highest percentage was a small 14%.

Vicky Hales, Customer Engagement Director Thomson Lakes & Mountains said: “Our Thomson holiday advisors in resort can help customers with basic language tips and advise them how to get the most out of their holiday. Simple tips like how to order their favourite type of coffee while on holiday at beautiful Lake Garda in Italy.”

In conjunction with the survey, Thomson Lakes & Mountains have also created an interactive quiz, which is designed to test the general public’s foreign language knowledge in a fun way.

She added: “Our survey aligns with the British Council’s recent findings that the younger generations need more confidence in their ability to speak another language, but expands on why this might be. It seems that across the board travellers get more from traditional methods of language learning, such as classes and comprehensive programmes. Older generations are perhaps more confident due to age, or maybe because they have a stronger foundation in conventional learning methods. However, it is great to see that 86% of those surveyed always attempt to speak a local language while on holiday in some form or another. Our interactive quiz aims to help them test their abilities and give it a go.”

Vicky Gough, Schools Adviser at the British Council, said: “While it’s good to see that many of us are generally willing to have a go at speaking the local language when on holiday, this latest research confirms that too many of us still rely too heavily on English while abroad.

“The reality is that speaking a foreign language doesn’t just help you to get the most out of your holiday – it is a rewarding way to connect with another culture and, with employers now crying out for more language skills, it can boost your job prospects too. We could all stand to benefit from broadening our horizons that little bit further through language learning and trying out just a few words or phrases while on holiday is the perfect place to start.”

You can find the interactive quiz here http://www.thomsonlakes.co.uk/langwhich/

More about Thomson Lakes and Mountains  http://www.thomsonlakes.co.uk



If you would like to host the quiz iframe within your post the embed code is as follows:

<a href=”http://www.thomsonlakes.co.uk/langwhich/” style=”font-size: 18px;”>Langwhich Quiz</a>


Editors notes:

  • Thomson Lakes & Mountains is a member of TUI Group, the world’s number one integrated leisure tourism group with many years’ experience of delivering outstanding holidays
  • Independent Survey commissioned by TUI Group from survey company TLF of over 1000 UK residents. For the full set of statistics contact Jess Melia at Jessica.melia@blueclawpr.co.uk
  • Information about the British Council’s survey can be found on the BBC here and here
  • Percentages are rounded to the nearest decimal place

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