Author: Article 4656 of sci.lang: Subject: Taught foreign languages in various countries (list update) Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 12:45:44 +0200 Lines: 236 Organization: Regional Computing Center, University of Cologne NNTP-Posting-Host: NNTP-Posting-Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 10:41:51 +0000 (UTC) Here I display a list on foreign languages officially taught to pupils in various countries. I hope that it will grow and will be always up to date. You are invited to learn from this list, to check it, and to add data about further countries (not necessarily the one you are born in or you live in now). Please, send your replies to: Note, that in line A the name of the country is mentioned. Line B contains the first/most popular foreign laguage and line C the most important of the further taught languages. In line D a few details (mainly exceptions) might be filled in. Maybe some of the persons who informed me didnít think about Latin as belonging to the foreign languages. I want to have it in. So far, Latin is only mentioned in Austria and Germany. Is this o. k.? For some additional information of this internet project see the paragraphs below the list. Hendrik Biebeler Table: Taught Foreign Languages by Country A Country B First Foreign Language C Other Taught Languages D Comments A Austria B English C French, Latin A Australia B French C Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, German, etc. D Asian languages are gaining in popularity. A Belarus B Russian, English C French, German; Spanish; Polish (mainly in the West country) D In Russian-speaking schools Belarussian is compulsory. There are also some Lithuanian and Yiddish-speaking schools. A Belgium B French, Dutch C English, German D In Flanders French is taught first, in Wallonia Dutch. A Brazil B English C Spanish; Italian, German; French A Bulgaria B English C Spanish D Russian was compulsory until 1989 A Canada B French C Spanish, German D applies to English-speaking part A Czech Republic B English C German; Russian, French D Russian until the breakdown of communism A Denmark B English C German, French A Greece B English, French C Italian, German A Ethiopia B Amharic, English D For a minority Amharish is the native language. A Federal Republic of Germany B English C French, Latin D East Germany: Russian before the unification A Federal Republic of Yugoslavia B English C French, German D Montenegro: Italian A Finland B English C Swedish (mandatory), German D bilingual: Swedish native speakers start with Finnish A France B English C German, Spanish, Italian (less common) A Hungary B English, German C German, English A Iceland B Danish C English D German or French in secondary education A India B Hindi, English C Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Urdu; German A Italy B English C French A Japan B English C German; French, Spanish; Chinese A Malta B English C Italian; French D bilingual: Maltese/English A The Netherlands B English C German, French D The province of Frisia is bilingual; Dutch and Frisian are both D taught at schools A Norway B English C German, French A Poland B English C Russian, German, Spanish, French D Russian until the breakdown of communism A Portugal B French, English C ? A Romania B English C French; Spanish, Italian D English, not Russian before 1989 A Russia B English C Great variety of second foreign languages A Slovakia B English C German, French D Russian until the breakdown of communism A Spain B English C French D Before about 1978 French was the first foreign language and English the D second. There are four main languages in Spain: Spanish is taught all D over Spain, Catalan is taught in Catalonia, Valencia, and the Balearic D islands, Basque is taught in the Basque Country and Navarra, and D Galician in Galicia. A South Korea B English C German, French; Japanese, Chinese D Japanese had been the official language until 1945 A Sweden B English C German, French, Spanish A Switzerland B German, French or Italian C English, German, French, Italian, Spanish D First foreign language must be one of the three main national languages, D other than the primary language of schooling. Romansch, while a national D language for some purposes, does not enjoy equal status in schools. D In practice, most pupils learn French or German as first foreign D language. The second foreign language is usually but not always English. A United Kingdom B French C German, Spanish D Wales: Welsh is the first taught language in English-speaking schools. Scotland: partly Gaelic as first or second language. A United States of America B Spanish, French C German, many other D (Just a first trial to grasp the whole variety.) At least in the Southwest Spanish is becoming an inofficial second language. This page appear in the usegroup sci.lang and on Brian Kelk's web site: and especially: [Now:] Beside the interest in the educational system (concerning foreign languages) of each individual country the aim of the this project is to find out about the "success" of languages in other than their home countries. Another view would be to focus on the probability to make you understood with your personal set of languages in various countries. Some contributors mentioned problems concerning the term "foreign language" or have pointed out that nearly in every country there are vocal minorities; some countries are even devided in two or more parts with different native languages, e. g. in Europe Belgium or Switzerland. This means our list is quite simple and hinds some important pieces of information. I think for an overview we might neglect these problems (and these people). Alternatively we should have a quantitative analysis of language competence. By doing this the whole project might be finished before it has started, as those data are not available everywhere, at least not on a comparable level.