Browsing by Subject "useful languages"

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  • Pietiläinen, Jukka (2011)
    This article analyses the results of five Eurobarometer surveys (of 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2005) designed to measure which languages Europeans consider most useful to know. Most Europeans are of the opinion that English is the most useful, followed by French and German. During the last decade the popularity of French and German as useful languages has been decreasing significantly, while English has remained universally favoured as the most useful language. French and German have lost their popularity especially among those who do not speak them as a foreign language. On the other hand, Spanish, Russian and other languages (often these include languages of neighbouring countries, minority languages or a second official language of the country in question) have kept and even increased their former level of popularity. Opinions about useful languages vary according to a respondent’s knowledge of languages, education and profession. This article analyses these differences and discusses their impact on the study of foreign languages and the future of the practice of foreign languages in Europe.