Author: European Commission
Publisher: European Commission
Date of Publication: 2012
Notes: Special Eurobarometer
- In accordance with the EU population, the most widely spoken mother tongue is German (16%), followed by Italian and English (13% each), French (12%), then Spanish and Polish (8% each).
- Just over half of Europeans are able to hold a conversation in at least one additional language, a quarter are able to speak at least two additional languages and one in ten are conversant in at least three.
- Countries where respondents are least likely to be able to speak any foreign language are Hungary, Italy, the UK and Portugal (61% in each), and Ireland.
- The five most widely spoken foreign languages remain English (38%), French (12%), German (11%), Spanish (7%) and Russian (5%).
- 88% of Europeans think that knowing languages other than their mother tongue is very useful.
- Two thirds of Europeans consider English as one of the two most useful languages for themselves followed by German, French, Spanish and Chinese.
- 98% of Europeans consider mastering other foreign languages as useful for the future of their children.
- 72% of Europeans agree that people in the EU should be able to speak more than one language in addition to their mother tongue.