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Spain flunks EU second language test

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Spain flunks EU second language test
If you're an expat in Spain who hasn't managed to pick up the local lingo yet, don't despair, only half of all Spanish adults speak a foreign language. Photo: Desmotivaciones.es
16:23 CEST+02:00
Bulgaria and Hungary are the only two European Union members who have fewer adults who speak a foreign language than Spain.

If you’re an expat in Spain who hasn't managed to pick up the local lingo yet, don't despair, only half of all Spanish adults speak a foreign language.

That's according to a study by EU body Eurostat, who found Spain to be way behind the European average of 66 percent for foreign language speakers.

The most proficient linguists are Luxemburg (99 percent), Lithuania (97 percent) and Latvia (95 percent).

In the battle of the Med, Spain still lost out to Italy, with 60 percent, and France, with 59 percent.

English is by far the most widely spoken foreign language in Spain, as is the case in the vast majority of EU countries.

Forty percent of English-speaking Spaniards told Eurostat they have an intermediate level, 42 percent said they were upper-intermediate and 19 percent claimed they were advanced speakers.

Spanish is the fourth most widely taught language in the EU after English, French and German. 

The UK, Ireland, Finland and Croatia weren't covered by the Eurostat survey.

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