Eddie Izzard: We're just lazy at foreign languages

Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard has claimed people who speak English are "just lazy" at learning foreign languages.

Dates for the comedian's current Force Majeure tour will cover 27 countries during which he will perform in German, French, Spanish and Arabic.

"It's a very positive thing to do," said the 51-year-old who will also speak in Russian and Italian during the tour.

"It means something if you're going to learn the whole language."

He added: "It's much easier to persuade people to learn English because then you get more Hollywood films, you get rock and roll.

"There are a lot of useful reasons to get (learn) English. But the other way round you have to make it into an adventure and a mission."

Although he admitted you can get by in the world without learning another language, Izzard said it is important to translate his show because comedians from other countries already perform in English.

"You could not tour France and you couldn't really tour Germany in English. You could do certain big cities but you wouldn't really get through. I want to be there getting through," he said.

Eddie Izzard

In 2009, Eddie Izzard ran 43 marathons in 52 days for Sport Relief and recently promised to continue his attempt to run 27 marathons in 27 days in honour of Nelson Mandela's time in prison.

The comedian, who plans to run to be Mayor of London in the future, said laughter is the best way to tell if you're getting the translation right.

"If you're getting laughs in the wrong place or you're getting no laughs then that's the time you call a friend."

The Force Majeure tour will also visit all 50 states of America.

'Hub for comedy'

Despite not spending much time in the country, the comedian who also appears the films Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen, says there are a lot of talented British comedians.

"London is a great hub for comedy. There are about 60-80 clubs," he said.

Even though he likes to see other acts doing well, the comedian admits he has a competitive side.

"You don't want them to be too funny. That can just knock you back a bit.

"The highest praise is going to be, 'That's annoyingly good'. If they're equally as good, that's fine."

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