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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

No speaka de English

You may remember that a British man was awarded £750 compensation after suing his travel company over a holiday at a Greek resort filled with Germans. The chap argued the holiday had been spoilt by the number of German tourists and that all the activities were organised in the German language.

Now I'm puzzled, he has gone on holiday to Greece. Ok I accept you won't expect all the activities to be in German but by what right does he expect them in English? I appreciate that many resorts in Greek cater for foreigners (the locals have more sense) but still can you imagine if a resort here did the activities in ooh Spanish?

It does show the little Englander mentality that we just assume we can go somewhere and speak English. Of course, regretably, I don't have a second language but if I ever travel over that 23 miles of water I won't assume everyone should speak English for my benefit.

The German tabloid newspaper Bild has responded to thus my printing a list of holiday resorts to avoid - those dominated by the British. The top six 'black spots' are listed as the Bay of Palma in Majorca, San Antonio in Ibiza, Playa de las Americas in Tenerife, Ayia Napa in Cyprus, Faliraki on the Greek island of Rhodes and Malia in Crete. Note toself if anyone mentions going to those places avoid like plague.

Bild prints a picture of how to recognise the British abroad and says that "athletically they are not up to much, they can't even take penalties" and points out that Austria and Switzerland (Euro 2008 Footy hosts) will be largely British-free zones this year as no British teams have qualified.


Tricia said...

Sometimes I feel ashamed to be associated with some of my British counterparts - this being an illustration in point!

It is well-known that we Britons, as a race, are lazy in not speaking (or bothering to learn) foreign languages (and I generalise here). But to pursue a claim against a travel agent because of a resort being "filled with" another nationality really takes the biscuit.

This sort of attitude makes me seethe!

Thank goodness that Bild has listed places for Britons to avoid in order to avoid - Britons.

(Climbs down off "high horse")

ziggi said...

perhaps he could speak Greek??

I can't believe the holiday company divied up! It's a shame that litigation is become the norm.

The British abroad can be an embarrassment but then so can the Germans, Italians, etc etc. And surprisingly (well to me cos I didn't expect it) the rudest I have ever come across are the Japanese. And this hasn't been an isolated experience but several times now in different countries. I always wanted to visit Tokyo but I've gone off the idea!

Attila The Mom said...

...and we aren't called "Ugly Americans" for nuttin'. Although it would probably be more appropriate to call us "Ugly USians". LOL

Carin Fuchs said...

A common phenomenon, whereever tourists from one country - like Germany - are confined to a holiday resort in a foreign country they are a nuisance to tourists from other countries. My simple advise: Avoid those resorts! LOL LOL
I travelled a lot through the world and very seldom meet Germans! LOL
You'll notice that my english is a poor affair but even I - when abroad in a country I don't speak the native language - try at first to make myself understood in english, because it IS the 'universal' language. We 'others' grow up and learn that we are at a great disadanvtage when we not at least try to learn one foreign language. I my case and as far as english is concerned not with very much success but I am trying to improve, promise!

.. and Pete, it is never too late to learn a new language!

Pete said...

Tricia - yep

ziggi - apparently if situations had been reversed a german couldn't have claimed. mad isn't it.

attila - well you are stereotyped!

Carin - your English is superb!!

st said...

I base all holiday destinations, on a scale of full english, if more than one place offers it, i avoid.
Even though i love, an english breakfast. There is the mentallity of the people who, eat these abroad.
While returning from ibiza (resort i was in was full of spainards and germans with a few english), I over heard a couple complaining that, you could not get 'proper tomatoes with the breakfast'.
What, the tastless ones the greenhouses of spain reserve for the british supermarkets.

Mary said...

That is sort of lame - to sue on that basis. But, here in America, English ranks second to Spanish. The job market is demanding Spanish and English-speaking Americans are scrambling to learn the language. I won't.

If you call a utility, for instance, to report a service outage, the recorded menu says, "Para Espanole, press 1, for English, press 2."

Thanks for your help with camera specs, Pete.

Mo said...

Alan and I must be looking fitter as we kept getting mistaken for Germans in Lanzarote!

The little Englander abroad is a pet hate of mine. We stayed clear of all the British pubs etc on holiday.

I learnt some basic Spanish before we went and tried as much as I could to ask for things in Spanish in restaurants, shops etc. And I've been going to a Spanish class since I got home - which is great fun. I'd encourage anyone to have a go. The more you listen and the more you attempt to speak, the easier it gets.

Anonymous said...

Your posts are showing up in Bloglines now. :-)

Pete said...

Mary - wow even in the UK we aren't that bad to have multi-language selections. coming no doubt.

Pete said...

thanks diddums :)