The Eurobarometer is a periodic public opinion survey in the countries of the EU, ordered by the European Commission, aimed at monitoring the development of public opinion among the European population.
European citizens recognise the advantages that come with the proficiency of languages, such as the opportunities to work or study abroad, to meet people from other countries or to understand people from other cultures, and better chances to find a good job in your own country.
The greatest advantage of learning a new language, according to the EU citizens, is that they can work abroad: three fifths of the people interviewed share this view. A little more than half of the European citizens regard the ability to use the language for their work as an advantage (including during business travel abroad). A slightly smaller percentage see the major advantage in the ability to use the language during their holidays abroad. Just over two fifths of the people interviewed were of the opinion that learning a new language would help them to find a better job in their own country and to be able to study in another country. Almost two fifths are convinced that learning a foreign language would help them understand people from other cultures.
Another advantage is to preserve the knowledge of a language spoken in your own family. This aspect is particularly important for regional and minority languages, because normally these languages are passed on from parents to their children.
Last week: Eurobarometer Part 1: How the Europeans think about their languages
Do you want to know more? Eurobarometer 2012 “Europeans and their languages”