Portuguese among worst for speaking foreign languages

THE PORTUGUESE are among the worst in the EU when it comes to speaking foreign languages. A study recently undertaken by Eurobarómetro reveals that only one third of the Portuguese people can hold a conversation in a language other than their own.

According to the survey of nearly 30,000 people, carried out in conjunction with the Portuguese national newspaper Público, 36 per cent in Portugal claimed to be able to speak another language, while in the UK just 30 per cent confirmed their ability to converse in a foreign tongue. The worst of the lot, however, were the Hungarians, with just 29 per cent speaking another language.

The survey showed that in smaller countries, there is a greater knowledge of other languages. For example, in Luxembourg, 99.5 per cent of those interviewed confirmed that they could speak another language apart from their mother tongue.