To Biere or not to Beer? A guide for Brits abroad
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You may think you’re all set for your 2016 gap year adventure, with your flip-flops, board shorts and factor 50 at the ready. But, if you’re not a foreign languages student, you might want to brush up on the basics; a survey from fashion retailer Jacamo UK has found that almost a third of British men cannot order a beer in the local language when abroad. Holidaymakers heading for sunspots around the world admit they hope the barman will understand English, or resort to miming what they want, or simply point. Jacamo’s survey found that words such as ‘cervezas’ and ‘biere’ (used in Spain and France) are incomprehensible to 31% of men. Nearly one in ten (8%) confessed that, rather than trying to speak a foreign language, they wave their arms around trying to mime instead. A further 5% choose to just speak ‘louder in English’, while 8% only get as far as ‘hello’ in a foreign language. The research found less than one in five (18%) were able to hold a conversation in another language. Spanish was named as the most useful language to know (52%), followed by French (51%) and German (40%). Some people do think it important to know a little of the language of the country they are visiting, with one in four (25%) saying they try to master a few sentences. Three in ten (29%) claim to know a few words and 26% said they know at least one word in two languages, while 21% are able to say something in three languages.
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