Language barriers: thrill or hazard?

Todays travellers are oblivious to potential language barriers. Image: realwire.com

Travelling overseas can be stressful for many reasons: packing, flights, the organisation of it all, but according to a new study not understanding the native language of the country being visited, is the last worry on many traveller’s minds.

i-interpret4u recently polled over 1,000 Brits, of which 53 percent did not worry about language barriers because they assumed that most people overseas spoke English, when in reality 82 percent of the world’s population do not speak any English at all.

When asked how the travellers do communicate in non-English speaking countries, one third admitted to speaking louder and slower, waving their arms or simply pretending to understand what is being said to them when they really don’t, with 61 percent hoping to get by with understanding only the odd word.

As 17 percent have never travelled to a country where they didn’t speak the native language, and 4 percent actually avoided travelling to such places, this reporter thinks that it’s time to either get out the phrasebook or book a tour with an English speaking tour guide so as to not miss out on the ‘outside world’.

Click here for tips on learning the basics of a foreign language.

Would you avoid travelling to a country where you didn’t speak the language?

Click here to read this on e-Travel Blackboard.

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