According to a survey by, 2 in 3 Britons cannot say anything in another language.

(Now we’re not talking about being able to speak a foreign language here, we are talking about the ability to say and understand one word in another language. And it’s even more embarrassing to read that one fifth of those asked were even sure of what ‘bonjour’ means! (Sorry Xeb, Celine, Eflish and co.).

One third – 34 per cent – said they were willing to make an attempt at speaking a foreign language while on holiday.
One fifth (19 per cent) did not know the meaning of the French word for hello, one of the most recognisable foreign greetings in the world.
And 63 per cent had no idea what the Dutch word ‘goedemorgen’ meant, despite the obvious similarities to our own ‘good morning’.  (Sorry April, Will and co.)

Believe it or not, it is compulsory for all UK pupils to study a foreign language up to the age of 14 and French, German and Spanish are all on the national curriculum, so something is very, very wrong. Maybe this stat explains it, young Britons were found to be worst at making the effort, with nearly half – 47 per cent – of those aged 16 to 24 admitting they have never spoken the foreign language they learned at school.   (Open your books at page .. everyone, but be quiet.))