28.Sep .2021 00:00

What Languages are Studied the Most in the EU?

What Languages are Studied the Most in the EU?
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Knowledge of foreign languages is an essential tool for cultural exchange. It is widely known that such skills are required and encouraged in many workplaces and that they can facilitate communication in several other contexts.
 
In 2019, 59% of pupils in upper secondary general education (ISCED level 34) studied two or more foreign languages in the EU, EuroStat reports. Across the EU countries, all students in upper secondary general education studied two or more foreign languages in Luxembourg and France. Estonia, Romania, Czechia and Finland also had a large proportion of students studying two or more languages (all 99%), followed closely by Slovakia (98%), Croatia (95%) and Slovenia (92%).
 
In contrast, in Greece, only 1% of students in upper secondary general education studied two or more foreign languages in 2019. Low shares of language learners were also registered in: Portugal (6%), Ireland (12%), Italy (25%) and Spain (27%).

In 2019, English was the most commonly studied foreign language at upper secondary general education level in the EU, with 96% of students learning it. Spanish ranked second (26%), followed by French (22%), German (20%) and Italian (3%). In addition, Russian was the non-EU language most commonly learned in the EU (3%), especially in Estonia (68%) and Latvia (57%), followed by Lithuania (30%) and Bulgaria (24%).