The Spanish, like the Brits, are not good on foreign languages. Infact, both nationalities use the same excuse, when they are asked what language they studied at school, they both reply French! But the Brits and the Spanish have established a nice cosy agreement, they can both speak a few words of either Spanish or English and that is enough.
Obviously, I am generalising but you will find expat Brits who have lived on the island for 30 years and can´t speak a word of Spanish and Spaniards who have worked with British tourists for decades who can just managed a few sentences in English. This status quo has existed for many years and few problems. But now we have the Germans.
Over the last few weeks I have heard German tourists asking for the menu in German and being told that it was only available in English or Spanish. The Germans were not too impressed. I do find it rather unusual that restaurants and bars don´t have their menus in German especially as an estimated three million German tourists visit the island every year! It seems that some bars and restaurants are sticking to the two languages.
It must be difficult for some businesses because where do you stop? English is obviously vital but what next German? French? Swedish? To be honest it is vital that local schools teach English and German because afterall these should be the languages of the tourist industry. Times are changing and so is the language.