Saturday, August 27, 2022

English in Czechland

English is the most common spoken language across the EU.  About 44% of people in the EU can speak English.  And that's post-Brexit, as now only 1% of the EU are native English speakers.  However, Czechs rank among the worst in Europe at foreign languages.

Czechs are among the least likely Europeans to know a foreign language.  While about 45% can communicate at some level of English, only one in 10 Czechs have minimal English-language skills.  Just 7% speak English proficiently.

The only countries worse at English than Czechia are France, Italy, and Spain.  The top five countries with the best English foreign language skills are the Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium.

One of the primary staffing agencies here has confirmed that English is required for four of to 10 job offers here.  English is demanded five times more than all other foreign languages combined.  After English, the top requested languages by employers are German, French, Italian, and Dutch.

The Czech Statistical Office, ČSÚ,  states that only a minimum of Czechs speak English at a professional level.  30% can't speak a foreign language.  

English is most frequently taught foreign language in EU secondary schools, followed by Spanish, French, German, and Italian.  

In Czechland, by law, students are taught two foreign languages.  English is the most popular, followed by German.  

There has been some controversy in the press about the new government's ability to speak English.  Five of 18 cabinet ministers have admitted to only being able to speak "tourist level" English only.  This is a big deal now that Czechland currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU.  

The new prime minister, Petr Fiala, speaks both English and German fluently.

Jana Černochová, the defence minister, and Zbyněk Stanjura, the finance minister have admitted to having weak English skills but both have at least passive Russian and Polish.

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