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Portuguese second language skills puts Brits to shame

Published on 15/12/2017

In just ten years, the number of Portuguese who speak a second language has increased from 52% to 72%, according to our old friends at the National Institute of Statistics.

This makes Portugal shine out among its European partners as its adults have shown the greatest increase in their language skills.

In 2016, 72% of people aged between 18 and 64 stated that they knew a language other than their mother tongue, according to the must-read publication, ‘Education and training of adults in Portugal: a statistical portrait of a decade – 2016.’

In 2016, “Portugal occupied an intermediate position in European countries in terms of knowledge of foreign languages ??but was the one that increased the proportion of the population with knowledge of foreign languages, up 20% between 2007 and 2016,” according to the researchers.

English is the top second language with 60% stating they know how to speak it. Lagging behind came French at 22% and Spanish at only 15%.

“As for English, 34% of those who said they knew this language could understand and communicate reasonably and produce simple text and 26% had mastered it perfectly in oral and written form,” reads the report.

There was no inverse statistic to show the percentage of foreign residents in Portugal who speak Portuguese but with the rise in the number of locals who understand and can communicate in English, this will make it less of an imperative for immigrants to Portugal to struggle with language lessons and the dreaded ‘book of verbs.’