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Which country is best in speaking languages?

Luxembourg is the country where most languages are taught during secondary education

In most European countries, the holiday season is about to start. For many people this is also the time of the year they will travel abroad and discover new places. When travelling abroad it might require you to speak another language than your mother tongue. Which country in Europe would be able to speak most foreign languages?


The European Union publishes Open Data for each country on how many different languages are learned per pupil in secondary education, both at lower and upper level (ISCED level 2 and ISCED level 3, read more about the levels here). The number is obtained by dividing the total number of pupils learning a foreign language by the number of pupils at that level. A foreign language is defined as follows by the European Union: "A foreign language is recognised as such in the curriculum or other official document relating to education in the country. Irish, Luxembourgish and regional languages are excluded, although provision may be made for them in certain Member States. Allowing for exceptions, when one of the national languages is taught in schools where it is not the teaching language, it is not considered as a foreign language." The number of languages taught in upper secondary schools can be found in the table below.

 

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Table

 

Note that some of the larger countries, such as Spain and the UK, are missing. Unfortunately their data was missing from the data set used to calculate this table. Looking at the results, one can conclude that Luxembourg is the country where most languages are learned during secondary upper education. An explanation for this can found in the fact that Luxembourg has three official languages, French, German and Luxembourgish. Although, as explained earlier, Luxembourgish does not count as an official language in the data set.

Look for the data yourself here