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The best European countries for language learning

Language skills are not only a valuable resource for employees. They can also be an important locational advantage for countries if, for example, a foreign group looks at the local supply of multilingual specialists when looking for a new company headquarters. On paper, Germany seems to be doing quite well there.

In 2016, the European statistical agency Eurostat examined how the Member States are doing on this issue. In Germany, around 79 percent of the population spoke at least one foreign language. The EU mean was only 65 percent. However, if you look at the quality of the knowledge, the picture is somewhat different.

So many Germans speak a foreign language

According to Eurostat, only just under 28 percent of Germans with knowledge of foreign languages ​​could claim to be fluent in a foreign language. That was even two percentage points less than in 2013. In a European comparison, the result for Germany was below average. The language champions of the EU came up with values ​​beyond the 50 percent mark. But how can such serious differences within Europe be explained? The digital learning platform Preply has examined which EU countries basically offer the best conditions for their citizens to learn foreign languages ​​as early and easily as possible.

Preply examined the 27 member states based on seven criteria. The countries received zero to 100 points each. These categories contributed equally to the result:

  1. Number of official languages
  2. Multilingualism: Proportion of the population who have no command of a foreign language or at least one foreign language
  3. Foreign language teaching: The proportion of children who already learn a foreign language in elementary school
  4. Language level of the best mastered foreign language
  5. Language learning with the help of technology: uncomplicated access to fast internet, for example, which makes it easier to use digital offers
  6. Subtitling, dubbing and voiceover in film and television
  7. Linguistic diversity: A look at the general population diversity, the total number of languages ​​spoken and the foreign language offerings on the online presences of the governments

According to Preply, the data for the analysis come from Eurostat, Statista or analysis services such as Speedtest.

According to the study, these EU countries offer the best conditions for learning foreign languages.

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