Half of Spaniards speak mother tongue only

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Half the country’s population admits to being monolingual although nine out of 10 Spaniards believe it is important to speak foreign languages.

29 July 2008

MADRID - Nine out of 10 Spaniards believe that knowing foreign languages is important in the modern globalised world but only half of the country's population admit to speaking anything but their mother tongue, a new study shows.

The survey by the FUNCAS foundation found that residents of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands are more likely to speak a foreign language, with less than a quarter describing themselves as monolingual.

Conversely, around two thirds of people in Andalusia and Castilla-La Mancha admit to speaking only Spanish.

Forty-two percent of people aged between 18 and 34 said they can speak some English. Only five percent of respondents aged over 25 said they could speak it to an advanced level.

[El Pais / Expatica]

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