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Brits can't speak foreign languages

People from the UK are avoiding travelling to certain countries because they are embarrassed by their poor linguistic skills, a new study suggests.

A poll conducted for a BBC TV programme called School's Out found that nine out of ten Brits said they would be less likely to head off on a holiday in a country where they could not speak the language.

However, the study also found that the average adult in the UK only remembers seven words of the language they were taught at school.

While 40 per cent of Londoners could remember foreign words for "beer", just three per cent knew how to say "sorry".

In addition, Brits typically remembers how to ask "Do you speak English?" in some foreign languages.

"It's a real shame that Brits are avoiding visiting certain countries around the world due to language barriers and are therefore missing out on experiencing diverse cultures," said School's Out's French teacher, Virginie Hopstein.

"Unfortunately, C'est La Vie!"

The study also found that just two per cent of people went on to become fluent in a language they started to learn at school.