Greeks are more likely than Brits to embrace a second language, as a little over one-third (33.5 percent) said they exclusively used their mother tongue, according to Eurostat data.
In a linguistic landscape dominated by multilingualism, Brits stand out as the least likely among Europeans to accept a second language, with nearly two-thirds of respondents in the UK stating their inability to speak beyond their mother tongue in 2016, the data showed. This places the United Kingdom at the bottom of the language proficiency scale in Europe.
Joining the UK in the ranks of nations with over 50 percent of respondents confined to a single language are Romania (64.2 percent) and Hungary (57.6 percent).
Surprisingly, Spain and France, often associated with a strong language culture, also surpass the European average of 35.4 percent of respondents unable to speak a second language.
On the flip side, Northern European countries, including Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, showcase linguistic abilities boasting less than 10 percent of respondents limited to their mother tongue.
The contrast in language proficiency across Europe, as revealed by Eurostat, is intricately tied to the educational landscape and the opportunities provided to children and teens in various national school systems.
This diversity is further explored in the recently released OECD Skills Outlook 2023: Skills for a Resilient Green and Digital Transition, shedding light on the factors influencing linguistic capabilities on the continent.