- Poll of 2000 adults in the UK finds 56 per cent can say ‘I love you’ in a foreign language;
- Men say French is the most romantic language, whereas women prefer Italian;
- 47 per cent believe an additional language skill is attractive in a potential romantic partner.
Nearly half of all Brits find the ability to speak a foreign language attractive in a partner, according to a survey of more than 2000 adults published today by the British Council.
Respondents demonstrated the range of their romantic speech, with 56 per cent able to say ‘I love you’ in a foreign language, although, only 11 per cent could say the phrase which arguably has an instrumental role in prompting those three little words, ‘Will you go out with me?’ in a language other than English.
The poll also revealed the linguistic lengths Brits are prepared to go through for love. Just over a third (34 per cent) of respondents would contemplate picking up another language if it might result in romance.
The survey found that men ranked French as the most romantic language, while women preferred Italian.
British Council Schools Advisor, Vicky Gough said: “Love, romance, and relationships are really good reasons to learn a foreign language. After all, learning a second language opens doors to new cultures and peoples.
“It’s fine saying ‘I love you’ to someone in a foreign language, but it’s better if you can tell them why. That’s why language learning is so important – you’re not going to make that connection just using a phone translator.”
While only 12 per cent of people admitted pretending to be better at a language than they really are to impress someone, the figure rose to 21 per cent in the 18-24 year old age bracket.
The British Council’s 2018 Language Trends Survey found that in 2017 only 47 per cent of pupils in the UK sat a modern language GCSE compared to 76 per cent in 2002.
The survey, carried out by pollsters Populus and commissioned by the British Council found 69 per cent of Britons believe where one half of a couple speaks an additional language, the relationship can be strengthened if a partner learns that particular language, even where English is spoken in the relationship.
Italian topped the poll as the most romantic language when listed along nine others. It was selected by a quarter of respondents (25 per cent), with French following closely behind (23 per cent). There was a discernible difference between the sexes, with women choosing Italian (29 per cent) compared to men (21 per cent). While over a quarter of men (26 per cent) opted for French, one in five women (20 per cent) preferred the language. Spanish took third place.