12th January 2016

Eurostat: Knowledge of two, three foreign languages has decreasing trend in Czech Republic (updated)

According to recently published Eurostat data, knowledge of foreign languages in the working-age group (25-64-years olds) in the Czech Republic has been stagnating or slightly on the decline. On the one hand, the share of population without knowledge of foreign languages has decreased from 31.9% to 30.9% and the share of 25-64-years-olds with knowledge of one foreign language has risen from 34.6% to 39.6% between 2007 and 2011. 

Although the Czech Republic has been part of the European Union since 2004, the share of population with knowledge of two or three foreign languages is dropping, with only 7.1% of 25-64-years olds speaking three foreign languages.

According to the Eurostat data, the extent of multilingualism differed considerably between the 25 EU Member States for which data are available in 2011. The share of the adult working-age population who reported that they knew three or more foreign languages peaked at 72.0 % in Luxembourg, while the next highest shares were recorded in Finland (49.2 %) and Slovenia (44.9 %). In contrast, less than 2.0 % of the adult working-age populations of Ireland and Hungary reported that they knew three or more foreign languages.

In 2011, more than half of the adult working-age populations of Bulgaria (61.1 %), Hungary (63.2 %) and Ireland (72.7 %) reported that they did not know any foreign language. More Eurostat data on learning languages at schools are available here.

EY Managing Partner Magdalena Souček says in an interview aired by Radio Zet that, based on experience with incumbents, knowledge of foreign languages in the population of young Czechs is lower compared with the years after the Velvet Revolution. 

Also, the Council of Europe published earlz in December 2015 new recommendations to Poland and the Czech Republic on protection and promotion of minority languages, based on reports evaluating how the two countries comply with the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In Czech Republic, experts paid special attention to the need to promote the German and Romani languages. At the moment, German is largely perceived and taught as a foreign language and Romani´s presence in mainstream education is limited. Read details.



Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic