Luxembourg, top EU country for foreign languages

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(ADW) It it will probably come as no surprise to you that more languages are spoken by citizens in Luxembourg than any other country in the EU. But what is really interesting is how the country compares to others.

A recent European Commission Eurobarometer put the bloc's language skills under the microscope interviewing thousands of citizens regarding their language abilities other than their mother tongue.

Luxembourg leads the way in the EU with, on average, citizens having the ability to speak 3.6 languages including their native tongue. The results also showed that 98 percent of the population can speak at least one foreign language and 84 percent, two!

At the other end of the scale at the bottom is Hungary at 1.5 and the UK at 1.6 where two thirds of citizens can't speak any foreign language.


The background for the survey is the EU's aim that all citizens should have knowledge of at least two foreign languages. English is seen by the bloc's residents as the most important language and has been learned and spoken by more and more people in recent times.

In contrast the use of German and French has fallen, although they are both still very important languages.

Particularly striking is decline of German in Luxembourg where only 69 percent of the population said they spoke it well. In 2005 this figure was 88 percent. French has also decreased in the Grand Duchy by 10 down to 80 percent.

The website put the EU figures together in a clear map making it easy to compare the figures across the bloc at a glance.

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