A mere one in five of Britons would consider finding a partner who did not speak English as their first language while holidaying abroad, it also showed.
“Speaking another language shifts from being seen as a barrier to romance to something interesting”
Just 17% of UK adults have found love overseas with someone who did not speak English as their first language.
A total of 41% of men said they would consider or had had a holiday romance with someone whose first language was not English, while 29% of women said the same.
Men were also less likely to be put off by potential obstacles to starting or continuing such a relationship, such as distance, travel costs, time zones and cultural differences.
“The results show that speaking another language shifts from being seen as a barrier to romance to something interesting that people want to explore in a partner,” British Council spokesperson Vicky Gough said.
“Language differences might put off half of Brits from starting a holiday romance, but if you break that barrier, nearly two-thirds (63%) would want to learn their partner’s language.”
Romantics can find hope in this year’s UK A level results – after mathematics, languages were the three best performing subjects, with 40.4% of German candidates, 36.4% French and 34.9% Spanish achieving A or A*.
“For those of us heading off on holiday abroad, learning just a few phrases of the local language could see the beginning of a whole new relationship with a person and their culture,” Gough added.
Of the UK nationals who said they had previously found love abroad, 47% said the love died with the holiday.
However, one in five said that the summer fling with someone whose mother tongue was not English lasted more than six months after returning home.
The research found that Spain (17%), France (11%) and Italy (8%) as the top three foreign nationalities with whom Brits abroad find romance.
Spanish was also the language that saw an increase in uptake at A level, up to 7,930 in 2019 from 7,590 in 2018. We’re not suggesting that there is a correlation there, of course.