Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Parlevouz Inglez?

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Who talks and understands English in the EU?? Wikipedia knows:

English is the most widely known language apart from the mother tongue, this being particularly the case in Sweden (89%), Malta (an ex-British colony that ia also part of the Commonwealth of Nations as well) (88%), the Netherlands (87%), and Denmark (86%), while German and French is so in three countries. Moreover, the citizens of the EU think they speak English at a better level than any other second or foreign language. 77% of EU citizens believe that children should learn English and that it's considered the number one language to learn in all countries where the research conducted but the United Kingdom, Ireland and Luxembourg.

All in all, English either as a mother tongue or as a second/foreign language is spoken by 51% of EU citizens, followed by German with 32% and French with 28% of those asked.
With the enlargement of the European Union, the balance between French and German is slowly changing. Clearly more citizens in the new Member States master German (23% compared with 12% in the EU15) while their skills in French and Spanish are scarce (3% and 1% respectively compared with 16% and 7% among the EU15 group). A notable exception is Romania, where 24% of the population speaks French as a foreign language compared to 6% who speaks German as a foreign language (also 4% of the population speaks Italian as a foreign language, while 3% of the population speaks Spanish as a foreign language).

People who speak English as a language other than their mother tongue:

Austria 58%
Belgium 59%
Bulgaria 23%
Cyprus 76%
Czech Republic 24%
Denmark 86%
Estonia 46%
Finland 63%
France 36%
Germany 56%
Greece 48%
Hungary 23%
Ireland 5%
Italy 29%
Latvia 32%
Lithuania 39%
Luxembourg 60%
Malta 88%
Netherlands 87%
Poland 29%
Portugal 32%
Romania 29%
Slovakia 32%
Slovenia 57%
Spain 27%
Sweden 89%
United Kingdom 7%

Candidate countries:
Croatia 49%
Turkey 17%