Report: British make worst linguists

Britons are the worst in Europe when it comes to speaking a foreign language, according to a British daily newspaper.

    Foreign language lessons are compulsory in most countries

    The Independent newspaper said on Friday that research to be published early in 2005 will reveal fewer people from Britain can speak another language than any other country in Europe.

      

    Britain comes bottom of the pile of 28 countries surveyed in the report to be published by the UK's national resource centre for language teachers.

      

    The report will be included in the Centre for Information Language Teaching's 2005 handbook and is based on European Union data in which 1000 people from each country were interviewed and the percentages able to speak a particular foreign language added together.

      

    Britain scored a ranking of just 34, behind Hungary (35) and neighbouring Ireland (39).

      

    Luxembourg performed best with 244 ranking points, followed by the Netherlands (159) and Denmark (154).

      

    No English dominance

     

    The report also showed that while English is the most common second language across Europe, German, Russian and French are more widely spoken in some countries.

      

    "These figures show that English, while important, is far from having the all-pervasive status in Europe often attributed to it," the report says.

      

    "In Romania, as many people speak French as English. French is also strong in Italy and Portugal. German is widely spoken in central Europe and the Baltic countries, with more Czechs and Slovaks speaking German than English."

      

    The report also says that Russian will grow in relevance amongst the eastern European former Soviet satellite states that joined the European Union in May.

      

    "With the access of the new countries, Russian achieves significance as an important lingua franca."

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.