UK Residents Revealed as the Worst for Learning a New Language


Many parts of the UK are very multicultural, with the old-standing Commonwealth often leading to people from across the globe coming to Great Britain to make lives for themselves. In 2011, it was found that 2.5 percent of the population were of the Indian ethnic group, accounting for over 1.4 million people. For the most part, people of Indian descent and people from India in the UK are multilingual, but that can’t be said for much of the rest of the population.

Spain is listed as one of the most-visited countries in the world, with Brits being frequent visitors each year. Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca, the Canary Islands, Cataluña, and Andalusia are the hot spots. However, so few Brits have taken the time to learn more than a handful of words of Spanish, let alone any other language. Given the learning resources and interest in travelling in Britain, the statistics are certainly puzzling.

Easy to learn and with several benefits

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Learning a new language has become easier with revolutionary new one-on-one lessons in Spanish and other languages. Being able to do intimate lessons with tutors from around the world via video and messaging has greatly enhanced the staying power of learners. It’s because of this that more people in Britain – and around the world, for that matter – should be able to pick up at least baseline conversation skills before going abroad.

Not only is doing so polite and courteous to the country that you find yourself a guest in, but it also opens up the trip to a much greater degree. By knowing more of the language, you can explore areas beyond the resort, hotel, or the more tourist-centric locations – so you’ll be able to openly explore the best places. Furthermore, eating out and trying new things becomes far easier, making for a more enjoyable trip overall. Not only this, but many people learn English before coming to the UK on travel flights.

The numbers show how bad Brits are with second languages

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Around the world, English is taught as a second language, even becoming one of the primary languages in some places. Even the education minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, included English as one of the 13 languages that NEET(UG) would be conducted in this year. It’s perhaps because of this prevalence of English learning around the world that the original native speakers don’t feel the need to add to their lingual repertoire.

Still, the statistics are quite staggering. It was found that the British are officially the worst at learning languages, with 62 per cent of the population only speaking English. There is a fair 38 per cent of Brits who speak at least one foreign language to English, but across the European Union, nations average 56 per cent of their population as knowing one more language.

Overall, if people remain within their own country for almost their whole lives without travelling abroad much, this statistic is fine. However, the Brits are notorious for their holidaymaking, which makes the following finding all the stranger. It’s been found that nearly half of Brits don’t try to understand a base level of the language of a nation that they’re visiting. Worse still, with Spain being the top destination, most travellers learn to get by on some eight words.

With more innovative and immersive ways to learn languages than ever, the number of Brits who don’t get to grips with a foreign tongue before visiting should, in theory, decline in the years to come.