Baltics are on top for learning foreign languages

  • 2013-09-30
  • TBT Staff

RIGA - Latvia and Lithuania are two of the top countries in Europe for learning foreign languages, the latest research shows. New figures from the Central Statistical Bureau show 85 percent of the total number of pupils in general schools in Latvia learn foreign languages.

Latvia trails just behind neighbor Lithuania, where 97.3 percent of the population speaks at least one foreign language.

A majority of Latvian pupils (97.9 percent)  learn English, followed by Russian (39.7 percent) while German is studied by 13.4 percent of students. Other languages learned include Arabian, Danish, Estonian, Italian and Japanese.

According to the data 95 percent of Latvian adults aged 25 to 64 know at least one foreign language, way above the European average (65.7 percent), while 45 percent know two foreign languages.

The European Day of Languages was celebrated on Sept. 26 to promote lifelong learning of languages, which allows populations to participate in Europe’s democratic processes and professional development to full value.