A new study from Promova finds a third of American travelers feel anxiety surrounding language barriers when traveling internationally. When looking at those travelers broken down by generation, Gen Z travelers experience anxiety at a much higher rate than older generations, with more than 50 percent of all Gen Z travelers feeling anxiety over not knowing local languages.
Despite this anxiety, though, less than a third of American travelers learn basic phrases in their destination’s primary language ahead of travel (though Gen Z travelers do make the most attempts). Additionally, a third of American travelers believe English should be sufficient for all international travel. Top languages American travelers feel they might need to learn in order to enhance their international travel experience include Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese and German.
“I think that Gen Z tends to learn new languages before traveling abroad more because it is the most flexible generation in all aspects, including learning a foreign language. The survey shows that Gen Z can be also considered the most open for communication: one in five respondents of this age said that they will ask native speakers to help them learn the language. On top of that, I assume that accessibility to the information played a big role here as well. Today, Gen Z has many different ways to learn the language, most of which are online,” said Kate Protsenko, head of tutors, Promova.
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