Fascinating figures from the new Eurobarometer report on attitudes to languages across Europe. 72% agree with the mother tongue plus 2 principle, while there’s a huge support for language learning (98%) its countered by only 54% saying they were able to hold a conversation in another language.
Unsurprisingly small states are the most bilingual (Luxembourg 98%, Latvia 95%, Slovenia 9”%). English continues to increase its usage as Europeans preferred second language, with the preference for French appearing to go into terminal decline dropping by 13% since 2005.
One problem we have with the study is that it has a member state mindset with its focus on state languages and not recognising lesser used languages equally so as to give a more accurate linguistic picture.
This despite that ‘Most Europeans think that all languages spoken within the EU should be treated equally’, according to the report and that some ‘lesser-used’ languages have more speakers than certain state languages.
Report in PDF