Which languages Germans most want to speak fluently

Friday, April 06, 2012

According to this, a digital publishing firm called AG has carried out a small survey on which languages Germans most want to speak fluently and how they learn them. The survey was done online on 715 people, 51% women and 49% men. Note how they ask the question about which language they want to learn: Welche der folgenden Sprachen würden Sie am liebsten verhandlungssicher sprechen? (Which of the following languages would you most like to speak fluently?) which means that Germans who already know English will often still pick English if they would like to speak it better. Also note the word for fluent: verhandlungssicher, literally negotiation-sure. Business fluent, as opposed to fließend which is just the regular word for fluent.

The selection of languages they gave was also unfortunately small. Russian, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish etc. are others that I could see respondents choosing, and any that are interested in those languages but not others will certainly just choose English (improving one's English) as a default.

1. What would be the main reason for you to learn a new language?

Work-related reasons: 40%
Holidays: 22%
Stay abroad: 20%
Other: 12%
Partner speaks another language:6%

2. Which of the following languages would you most like to speak fluently?

English: 52%
Spanish: 17%
Italian: 14%
French: 13%
Arabic: 2%
Chinese: 1%
Japanese: 1%

3. How do you most enjoy learning languages?

Combination of online learning and personal tutoring: 38%
By oneself on the computer, internet: 35%
Travel for language study: 14%
Language school: 13%


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