Last Updated: June 19, 2022
Foreign Language Issues While in Europe
Candidates who wish to study or work in Europe will realize that while English is one of the most prominent and popularly used languages in the continent, some countries might require them to understand or speak other languages to an extent. This is mainly because there are over 24 different official languages in the continent out of which languages like France, Spanish, and German come from places where English is not popular. Candidates who are living in such countries will either have to enroll in programs that are taught explicitly in English or they will have to learn the local language to fit into the system.
The most popular languages in Europe include Russian, French, Italian, German, and English. Before choosing a country in Europe, one will have to research to understand the language requirements of the country. In certain cases, English will not be enough for survival and candidates might need additional proficiency test scores to enter the country or to get admission to different universities.
Moving to the UK
Candidates who wish to move to the UK will find that English is the most commonly spoken language here. After this, immigrant languages and indigenous languages are spoken more commonly. Since these are not a single language, it won’t be necessary for candidates to study a language apart from English. While staying in the UK, one will have to know the local language both to communicate in their daily lives and also to study and work in the country.
The UK requires candidates to prove their language proficiency in English if they wish to apply for a visa here or even gain admission to any educational institution in the country. Since English is a universal language, it is considered necessary for one to know the language. There are around 58.1 million English language speakers in the country.
Languages Spoken in UK
There are over 300 languages in the UK out of which most of them are indigenous languages and the others are immigrant languages. Out of all these languages, English is the most popular with around 92% of people using this language. Candidates who travel to this country will be required to take an English proficiency test like IELTS or TOEFL to get a student or work visa.
Importance of Learning Local Language in the UK
Non-native speakers of the language will require knowledge of English to get around the city and also to get admission to educational institutions.
- Proof of English language proficiency ought to be provided if one needs to gain admission to an educational institution. This can either be provided by taking a proficiency test or by proving that the candidate has above 70% grades in English at a high school level.
- The level of knowledge required in the language will vary based on the purpose of staying in the country. Students who have enrolled in programs will require a proficiency in the language that is acceptable to follow the program they have chosen.
- Employees will require skills in the language that allows them to communicate better with their clientele and their co-workers.
- Learning the local language will help candidates immerse themselves in the culture around them.
Benefits of Learning English
The benefits of learning English include-
- By learning English to visit the UK, candidates will be opening themselves to the international job market where English-speaking and understanding skills are considered to be of high esteem.
- There are 63,00,000 native English speakers and 212 million English speakers in Europe which implies that knowing this language can help one travel around Europe easily without having to learn different languages wherever they go.
- Most countries in Europe, including the UK, require candidates to show they are proficient in English as part of the visa application.
Moving to France
While moving to France, one will have to consider what kind of program they are doing, the medium of instruction in the institution, and the locality in which they are living. Locals in this country prefer speaking French and people who are interested in learning about their culture. So, if one is to put in the extra effort to understand and appreciate French, they will feel far more welcome in the country no matter where they go.
Many programs of international acclaim are taught in French, which is another reason why candidates should learn French before moving to the country. French is more commonly used in Europe as a second language by most people which makes it the third-most-popular language on the continent. This will allow candidates to travel around the continent better if they have basic knowledge of French.
Languages Spoken in France
French is the official language of France with over 96% of the population being fluent in the language. There is an estimated number of 75 regional languages in France with almost every minority community being proficient in French. There are different dialects of French like the Germanic, Occitan, etc. which will be dependent on the area one is planning to live in. The most popular languages in France are the following-
Importance of Learning Local Language in France
The importance of learning the local language in France will be highly dependent on the area one is moving to within the country. People who plan to stay in touristy areas will find that knowledge of English will suffice for basic communication. But at the same time, if one is to travel across the country or if they wish to engage in deep conversations with the locals, they will have to have a basic knowledge of French.
- Even though French is the official language of the country while staying within the country one will have to familiarize themselves with the local dialect. This will provide them with an edge while living in the country and even job hunting.
- It is a well-known fact that locals in the country prefer speaking French over English irrespective of their level of knowledge of English. It is highly recommended that one learns French unless they are a tourist.
- Since over 39% of the population here understand English, tourists will find that they have no problem moving around the country though it can be challenging to have proper conversations in English.
- Learning and understanding French is the only way in which one can immerse themselves in the rich culture of the
Benefits of Learning French
The benefits of studying French while moving to France include the fact that one will be able to immerse themselves in the local culture easily. Since it is not a country that uses English widely, having a certain degree of knowledge in French will be highly important to candidates especially if they wish to work part-time in the country while studying.
- French is the second-most popular language in the continent which implies that traveling around while being proficient in the language can be an asset.
- There are over 76.8 million native speakers of French in the world making it possible for candidates to move from one developed country to another and still use the language freely.
- People in the EU/EEA countries opt for French as their second language providing everyone with basic knowledge of the language. Candidates who have a basic level of knowledge in the language will be able to fit in with this crowd while traveling or staying in any EU/EEA country.
- French is also spoken in Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Monaco.
Moving to Germany
Germany is considered to be a multilingual country but at the same time, candidates who move here for higher education will require basic proficiency in German if they wish to get admission and live comfortably in the country. This is mainly because STEM programs here are taught in German though there are international programs as well. German is considered to be the second-most popular language in the continent with around 100 million speakers.
Learning the language will provide candidates with an edge in the STEM research field and
Languages Spoken in Germany
The official language of Germany is German with around 95% of the population being proficient in the language. Apart from this, people here speak English and French with around 56% and 15% of the population being well versed in these languages respectively. Candidates who are moving to Germany will have to understand that there are 2 main dialects of German called the High German and the Low German. Standard German is what is most commonly used for all official purposes and locals will also be fluent in Standard German, so candidates will be able to survive in the country by knowing the Standard language even if they don’t learn the nuances of the dialects.
The main languages spoken in Germany include-
Importance of Learning Local Language in Germany
The importance of learning the local language in Germany lies in the kind of institution a candidate is going to and the place in which they are living. It is also dependent on the lifestyle of the candidate in the country. Knowing and understanding German will not be necessary for candidates if they have opted for an educational program that has English as its medium of instruction.
- Candidates who have opted for STEM programs that have German as their medium of instruction or if the college provides a blended medium of instruction will have to learn the language and prove their proficiency in the same.
- If one wishes to take up part-time jobs while studying in the country or if they wish to take up internships as part of their program, they will need basic knowledge of the language. This is mainly because part-time jobs are offered within the service industry where communication in the local language is key.
- Students who wish to have a social life and learn the culture of Germany better will find how important understanding German is and how far this can take them.
- Candidates who wish to apply for jobs in Germany after completing their education here will have to improve their proficiency in the language since interviews are a compulsory part of the job recruitment system and here, candidates will be expected to speak in German.
Benefits of Learning German
The benefits of learning German far exceed the basic requirements of communicating with locals in the country. Understanding and being fluent in German will allow candidates to travel across different countries where German is easily understood and used. Since Germany is known for producing the best research content in the STEM field, understanding the language will help one communicate better with researchers in the field irrespective of which country they move to.
- There are around 130 million German speakers in the world which include the 100 million people in Europe who are proficient in the language. This implies that candidates will be able to use their German skills anywhere in Europe or that knowing German can come in handy while traveling across the continent.
- This language is the official language of Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, and even France making it easier for candidates to move to these countries if they have previously studied in Germany and improved their German-speaking skills.
- STEM research often involves working with German scientists which makes it far more efficient for scholars to understand and speak German if they wish to immerse themselves in this field.
Moving to Spain
Out of most countries in Europe where English is commonly understood and spoken, Spain stands apart. There are 5 official languages in Spain and Spanish itself is rooted in the different accents and dialects of the language as is used in the different parts of the country. English is the second-most popular language in the country but this language is spoken by only 27% of the population and most of them have only a basic proficiency in the language.
English is being taught as the second language in recent times in the country making the younger population understand the language to an extent. But at the same time, it will be hard to find localities where people understand or speak English fairly well. Candidates who opt for cities that are popular tourist destinations will be able to survive with English to a certain degree.
Languages Spoken in Spain
Spain has at least 16 different languages that are spoken in the different regions of the country. There are 5 official languages in Spain out of which Spanish or Castilian is used by over 94% of their population. Out of these people, at least 72% have Spanish as their first language. This is one of the main reasons for candidates to learn and understand the language before moving to the country. The other official languages include-
Importance of Learning Local Language in Spain
Spain is a country where English is commonly spoken only in ex-pat communities. Candidates who wish to study here will be able to live a comfortable life only if they know the basics of Spanish. Learning the local language will be of help to them if they wish to work part-time along with their studies since most jobs are offered in the service sector.
- Learning Spanish will allow candidates to better fit into the society they have come to. This will make them enjoy the country better as a local than a foreigner especially if they plan to stay for a duration that exceeds 12 months.
- They will be able to get better job opportunities which can either be part-time, full-time, or internships depending on their need. This is mainly because a basic understanding of Spanish will allow candidates to look for jobs that can be done by locals as well as international candidates.
- Since the official language of the country is Spanish and other languages rooted in Spain, most of the official documents here will be handled in these languages. English will not be enough for candidates to process these documents and hence having an understanding of the language will allow them to not use a translator for similar purposes.
- Except for candidates living in places like Valencia and Andalusia, learning Spanish will make a considerable difference in the way they blend in with the society.
Benefits of Learning Spanish
The benefits of learning Spanish lie in the fact that it is a global language with over 500 million native speakers around the world. Most of the native speakers reside either in the Americas or in Spain making it a useful language to learn if one plans to move to a developed country. A few of the other benefits of learning Spanish include-
- Spanish is spoken by over 47,000,000 people in Europe most of whom live in Spain. Candidates mostly learn the language especially if they plan to stay in Spain for extended durations.
- Being a global language, it is ideal for candidates to know a little Spanish for better employment, for travel purposes, and even for interacting in international circles.
- Spanish is an official language in countries like Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, Cuba, etc. Learning the language can be highly beneficial if one wishes to travel the world.
- Spanish is also commonly used in countries like France and Portugal both of which are not known for their English-speaking skills. Having a basic level of knowledge in Spanish will help candidates get around these countries better, as well.
Moving to Italy
Italy is one other destination in Europe where English is not commonly used. Only around 34% of the population speak English and most of these people only have basic proficiency in the language. Candidates who move to Italy will, therefore, have to learn Italian to be a better part of the society here. Those who wish to study in the country for a minimum of 1 year will need a basic understanding of Italian to survive.
Unless one is planning to stay in Lombardy where the ex-pat population is highest, one will require Italian for the most basic of conversations they will have to engage in with the locals. Major cities like Rome and Florence also have an international population that allows candidates to survive on English but apart from these places, one will require basic Italian for day-to-day activities.
Languages Spoken in Italy
The official language of Italy is Italian with over 97% of its population being well-versed in the language. For most of these people, Italian is either their native language or it is their second language, but in both ways, people here are fluent in the language. Other languages that are understood in the country include English, French and Spanish though it is spoken only by a negligible percent of people.
English is understood by around 13% of the population though most of these people only have a basic understanding of the language. Those who wish to visit the touristy places in Italy will be able to get by with English but those who wish to stay for longer in the country will have to learn Italian. French is spoken by around 8% of the population and Spanish by another 6% of the population only. The popular languages in Italy therefore include-
Importance of Learning Local Language in Italy
While learning Italian is not mandatory for traveling to Italy, learning the language is one of the most practical ways of blending in with the society here. Candidates who wish to stay in Italy for a year or more will find that having a basic understanding of Italian will open doors for them that might remain closed to tourists. Italians are known for being friendly and more accommodating of people who take the extra effort to understand their culture and language.
A few of the reasons why one should learn the local language include-
- Candidates who have a basic understanding of Italian will be able to better immerse themselves in the culture and heritage that Italy has to offer.
- Candidates will be able to safely travel and communicate with the locals in the area of their residence and at their educational institution irrespective of which medium their program is taught.
- Candidates who wish to work in the country will have to be proficient in the local language to reach the set standards at interviews. Being bilingual or multilingual can be one of those deciding factors in high-paying jobs.
Benefits of Learning Italian
The benefits of learning Italian lie in the ease it provides candidates while living in the country. Candidates who have a basic understanding of the language will be able to get around the country and immerse themselves in the culture easily. At the same time, those who have an above-average understanding of the language will be able to opt for better part-time jobs and internships while they are studying in the country.
- Italian is spoken by over 64,000,000 people in Europe making it one of the important languages to know while traveling on the continent.
- This language is the official language of San Marino, Switzerland, and Vatican City which implies that learning the language will help one travel to countries outside Italy, as well.
- Italian is also spoken by native speakers in countries like the United States, Albania, Canada, Malta, and Australia. Candidates who travel to these destinations for work purposes will be able to fend for themselves better if they have a basic understanding of Italian.
Moving to Finland
Finland is known for being one of the safest countries in the world to live in for both natives and ex-pats. Candidates who wish to move here will be able to aspire for a high standard of living and a community experience. The only factor one will have to seriously consider before moving to Finland lies in the language barrier one will face. Though English is understood to an extent in this country, this is limited to the tourist destinations of the country. Candidates who wish to stay here for prolonged time durations will require a basic to high understanding of Finnish.
Since blending into the society is an important factor while living in a country like Finland, one will have to study the language either before entering the country or as soon as they enter the country. This will ensure that they live comfortably in Finland rather than just survive with English.
Languages Spoken in Finland
Finland has 2 official languages that are widely used across the country along with 150 other first languages that are spoken by different minority communities. A few of these minority languages have also been recognized as official languages in the country. English is not commonly used in the country and people mostly speak Finnish though Swedish is also spoken by 5% of the native population here.
The languages spoken in Finland include-
Importance of Learning Local Language in Finland
The importance of learning Finnish while in Finland lies in the inability of ex-pats to communicate well with the locals in English or other languages. Despite Swedish being an official language in the country, even this language is spoken only by 5% of the native population. Finnish is spoken by 93% of the population and since the ex-pat population in the country is less, one will have to become decently proficient in the local language if they wish to move here.
- Candidates will be able to communicate and interact with the locals to learn about the culture and heritage of the place. It will also come in handy when candidates want to discuss daily necessities and expenses with the locals so that they are not scammed off their money.
- Candidates will be able to understand official documents and paperwork without always investing in a translator. This will also make the process easier and faster comparison.
Benefits of Learning Finnish
The benefits of studying Finnish lie in the opportunities this will provide candidates for immersing themselves in the culture of the place. Students will be able to learn more about the history and art of the place along with its literature thereby gaining deeper insight into the country as a whole.
Since Finnish is the official language of only Finland, candidates who study this language must be dedicated to their dream of staying in Finland. Opportunities for using the language outside the country can be rare but learning the language will be worth it at the end of the day.
Moving to Austria
Austria is one of those places in Europe where one can have the highest standard of living. The place has great educational and career opportunities for people from around the world. At the same time, candidates will be able to enjoy the scenic beauty and artistic streak the country has to offer. The main language spoken here is Austrian German. Hence, students will be required to learn the language before moving to the country or as soon as they have reached the country.
A few many educational programs offered here are international and hence may be offered in English. But this does not imply that English-speaking skills can make one live comfortably in the country for years. Tourists will be able to fend for themselves by using English but those who wish to stay for more than a year will do better if they know the local language.
Languages Spoken in Austria
The official language and the most commonly spoken language in Austria is Austrian German. This is German with a dialect that is strongly Bavarian. The language is also referred to as Austro-Bavarian in general. But students will have to learn this particular dialect of German even if they are already well-versed in standard German. Other languages that are spoken in Austria include-
Importance of Learning Local Language in Austria
Since German is the official language of Austria, learning this can be highly beneficial for people from around the world. The only difference about learning the local language in Austria is in the dialect of German used here. The dialect is specific to the country and hence candidates will not be able to use it in other places around the world. Having an understanding of Austrian German will help candidates secure a job in the country and even attend their educational program better. They will be able to immerse themselves in the culture this place has to offer by learning the language.
Moving to the Netherlands
The Netherlands is one of the best places for ex-pats to live in. The place offers a high standard of living and exceptional educational opportunities. The country also has enough employment opportunities that candidates will be able to apply for. Since English is a popular language in the country, candidates will not be required to study Dutch if they wish to stay here for extended periods of time. But at the same time, having a basic understanding of the language will be able to take them far with respect to their academics and their career.
Languages Spoken in the Netherlands
The Netherlands only has one official language which is Dutch. It is spoken by the 16 million people living in the country. But at the same time, the inhabitants here are well-versed in English. Over 90 to 93% of the population here will be able to understand and communicate well in English. Hence, candidates who wish to study or stay in the Netherlands will easily be able to survive in English even if they do not make any attempts to learn the local language.
Importance of Learning Local Language in the Netherlands
The importance of learning the local language here lies in the interest the candidate has in immersing themselves in the culture the place has to offer. Those who do not wish to stay like a local in the country and would like to remain a tourist or an ex-pat will be able to choose English over Dutch at any point. But at the same time, knowing the local language will help candidates communicate better with the people around them and live comfortably in the country.
Benefits of Learning Dutch
Dutch is considered to be one of the 5 most popular languages in the world and having an understanding of the language is enough to get one easily employed in countries like the UK. This language is the official language of not just the Netherlands but also Belgium, Suriname, Aruba, Curacao, and St. Maarten. At the same time, candidates who wish to travel the world will be able to come across native speakers of the language in plenty and communicate freely with them if they know the language.
But at the same time, it is recommended that candidates take up languages like German or French instead of Dutch since most Dutch speakers will have above-average knowledge of English. They also have the reputation for keeping English as their business language.