Double Dutch are 2nd in language stakes

21st February 2006, Comments 0 comments

21 February 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch come second only to the Luxembourgers in the EU when it comes to knowledge of foreign languages.

21 February 2006

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch come second only to the Luxembourgers in the EU when it comes to knowledge of foreign languages.

Research by the European Commission found 75 percent of Dutch people say they can speak at least two foreign languages. Some 93 percent of the citizens of the grand duchy of Luxembourg say they speak two foreign languages or more.

The European Commission interviewed almost 30,000 citizens of the 25 member states and candidate states Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and Turkey in November.

The EU's aim is that all citizens of the union should be able to communicate in at least two foreign languages. Currently, 28 percent of the EU citizens can do this.

Although the Dutch are almost at the top of the class, only 33 percent of those questioned said the EU's aim was worthwhile. There was even less support for the idea in France, Slovakia, Sweden and Bulgaria.

Some 55 percent of European citizens feel children should start learning a foreign language in primary school

Dutch people favour English (90 percent), followed some way behind by German (40 percent), French (22 percent) and Spanish (21 percent).

When it comes to foreign languages on television, 56 percent of Europeans prefer dubbing to subtitles.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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