How many languages can Europeans speak?

What is the average number of languages spoken by the EU population?

Czech linguist Jakub Marian set about answering this question by visualising linguistic ability on a map of Europe.

Based on the European Commission’s 2012 Eurobarometer 386 survey, Marian combined the percentages of people who speak a certain number of second languages to calculate the average number of languages spoken per country. He then created a map showing average number of languages spoken in EU nations.

According to Marian’s research, people in the Netherlands have a talent for languages! However, judging by the heated debate on Marian’s website, not everyone agrees with his findings!

number of languages EU

Beatrice Clarke


Beatrice Clarke

Beatrice is a native Melbournian who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. With a background in independent publishing and fashion, Beatrice honed her understanding of Dutch language and culture working...

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