Article: English Proficiency: Countries That Speak The Best English [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Article: English Proficiency: Countries That Speak The Best English

Action Jackson
04-24-2011, 12:52 PM
Not a surprise Norden and the Netherlands have the highest level of proficiency. Too bad Iceland wasn't included in this survey.

See it helps that TV and movies aren't dubbed into the native languages, using subtitles while hearing the original language.

No, this is not totally accurate apart from the top nations. Japan they have 20 years and not many can speak it. India the upper and middle classes which is around 250 million speak English, definitely have a higher level than China.



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ming-chen/english-proficiency_b_851662.html#s267204&title=English_Bloopers

English Proficiency: Countries That Speak The Best English

Anybody who has ever traveled or lived outside the US has stories of amusing English bloopers. One of my favorites was meeting a Chinese teenager who proudly gave himself the English name "Ad Lib," in tribute to "Freedom." While Ad Lib was certainly a grander name than other self given names, it isn't uncommon to come across given names like "Fluffy," "Meat," and "Bacon" (These are real people, I assure you. Just not native English speakers). But English is no laughing matter. We've found that English language skills have some serious impact on national economic and social development.

In the same vein as the Happiness Index or the Big Mac Index, the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) takes into account English skills around the world, ranking 44 countries. The following slideshow highlights the index's most interesting findings. For more information, check out www.ef.com/epi.

http://www.ef-australia.com.au/epi/ef-epi-ranking/

Yves.
04-24-2011, 01:13 PM
The Netherlands :D

Topspindoctor
04-24-2011, 01:24 PM
How the fuck is Japan at "moderate proficiency"? Last time I was there NO ONE could speak proper English and most people only knew a few English words (without any idea how to apply them) for trying to impress the gaijin or to simply sound cool. I had to speak Japanese at Narita airport customs, to a taxi driver and at the hotel, which is shocking considering it's Chiba prefecture. I won't even mention that going shopping for food without basic knowledge of Japanese in Narita was basically impossible. I sent my friend to buy some food and he bought a stick of bread with chocolate inside.

tealeaves
04-24-2011, 01:44 PM
I am surprised English is that accessible in the Netherlands when I was there last Christmas - no one shrugged off when I asked them for directions for example(never been to Norway though). And indeed, I struggled to find people speaking English in Russia - a friggin' nightmare

But Where is Singapore :unsure:?
and Poland over Hong Kong :o?

Action Jackson
04-24-2011, 01:59 PM
In Japan, they learn all the grammar terms to pass an exam, but can't speak.

Helevorn
04-24-2011, 02:01 PM
It's pretty accurate (except Japan). No one in Italy is able to put together three or four English words with some kind of sense. The main problem is that Northern Italy is invaded by Southern Italian pseudo-teachers who aren't able not only to speak English but even Italian 'cos they speak only Neapolitan or some Southern dialect who sounds like Arab.

The huge problem of English learning in Italy is the complete absence of good teachers. The second problem is that in general Italians do not want to study and train themselves, so I think I have totally forgot what I learned in my First Certificate in English of the Cambridge University that I took seven years ago with an Australian teacher..

This is really bad because it's another reason why all of Italy is ridiculous even compared to third-world countries. Having traveled around all Europe I generally agree with that map, Scandinavian countries (with the fundamental exception of Finland, whose people speak an incomprehensive English because of their non-indoeuropean native languate I think), Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria are all countries in which I have always used my shitty English and they always tried to interact with me with a perfect English.. in Spain I am used to talk in Italian, we speak different languages but if we start to talk in English we only end up with an enormous confusion :D

Talking about France I don't know, 'cos generally if a Frenchman understands that you're Italian starts to intentionally forget all of his English and starts to speak only French.. for some reason they hate Italy, so usually the first thing I say to them it's that I hate Italy more than them.. even the last week in Monte Carlo I used this technique and it worked really well :D

Helevorn
04-24-2011, 02:10 PM
In Japan, they learn all the grammar terms to pass an exam, but can't speak.

Yeah. Actually in my first two years at the university I studied the Japanese language and the 30% of it is made up by English words.. English incomprehensible words, like "shattsu" (shirt) and "ueru dan" (well done, speaking about food). And of course they invent a lot of pseudo-english words: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasei-eigo. The bad consequence of this is that if they have to tell you "William Shakespeare" they won't try to pronounce it like an Englishman would do, but they will pronounce it adapted to the Japanese system, romanized in "Uiriamu Sheikusupia".. :lol:

Seriously speaking, my former Japanese teacher from Tokyo has been living in Italy since 1970 and he had serious problems even with Italian.. you can't imagine how bad was his English :D

Blackbriar
04-24-2011, 02:12 PM
If they want to travel in other countries, americans or australians may learn the native language, and not expect everybody to speak english like them. They can't spell 2 words in other language and they criticize anybody who doesn't speak perfect english. :retard:

Action Jackson
04-24-2011, 02:16 PM
Yeah. Actually in my first two years at the university I studied the Japanese language and the 30% of it is made up by English words.. English incomprehensible words, like "shattsu" (shirt) and "ueru dan" (well done, speaking about food). And of course they invent a lot of pseudo-english words: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasei-eigo. The bad consequence of this is that if they have to tell you "William Shakespeare" they won't try to pronounce it like an Englishman would do, but they will pronounce it adapted to the Japanese system, romanized in "Uiriamu Sheikusupia".. :lol:

Seriously speaking, my former Japanese teacher from Tokyo has been living in Italy since 1970 and he had serious problems even with Italian.. you can't imagine how bad was his English :D

Topspindoctor made some references to it. I mean I have a Japanese friend from Sapporo who speaks English quite well. He hated that they fed all this grammar stuff, how can you learn to speak if you have to think about all the terms before speaking.

Your mate Seppi speaks English well, then again he is from South Tyrol and I do know some South Tyroleans who prefer to use English than Italian as a 2nd language.

If they want to travel in other countries, americans or australians may learn the native language, and not expect everybody to speak english like them. They can't spell 2 words in other language and they criticize anybody who doesn't speak perfect english. :retard:

Wah, wah, wah it's has nothing to do with that at all.

Getta
04-24-2011, 02:18 PM
for some reason they hate Italy, so usually the first thing I say to them it's that I hate Italy more than them..

which part of Italy do you hate the most? the northern or the southern?

Getta
04-24-2011, 02:23 PM
at least prima donna was smart, and where's Greece?

Voo de Mar
04-24-2011, 02:33 PM
and Poland over Hong Kong :o?

Plenty of schools with British-English in Poland...

Certinfy
04-24-2011, 02:35 PM
Interesting read but quite long :o

Action Jackson
04-24-2011, 02:37 PM
at least prima donna was smart, and where's Greece?

I didn't do the study, there should be an address to contact them.

Topspindoctor
04-24-2011, 02:43 PM
Yeah. Actually in my first two years at the university I studied the Japanese language and the 30% of it is made up by English words.. English incomprehensible words, like "shattsu" (shirt) and "ueru dan" (well done, speaking about food). And of course they invent a lot of pseudo-english words: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasei-eigo. The bad consequence of this is that if they have to tell you "William Shakespeare" they won't try to pronounce it like an Englishman would do, but they will pronounce it adapted to the Japanese system, romanized in "Uiriamu Sheikusupia".. :lol:

Seriously speaking, my former Japanese teacher from Tokyo has been living in Italy since 1970 and he had serious problems even with Italian.. you can't imagine how bad was his English :D

Yes, it's quite disgraceful actually. "Engrish" has taken over and bastardized English words written in katakana are everywhere. Even words for which a perfect Japanese word exists tends to be replaced by pseudo English atrocities.

Hilarious thing is, a typical Japanese person won't understand English words no matter how alike they sound to a Japanese version. For instance when I said the word "bus", I got blank looks, but when you say "basu" it all becomes clear. :lol:

Another huge frustration for a gaijin in Japan is that some people are so bewildered when you address them in Japanese that they totally lose the plot. For instance at the train station I asked: "Tsugi no densha wa nanji ni tsukimasu ka?" or "what time does the next train arrive?" - the guy looked confused for about a minute, finally he pulled out a notepad and wrote down the time and showed it to me. It's both funny and annoying :lol:

Getta
04-24-2011, 02:52 PM
Another huge frustration for a gaijin in Japan is that some people are so bewildered when you address them in Japanese that they totally lose the plot. For instance at the train station I asked: "Tsugi no densha wa nanji ni tsukimasu ka?" or "what time does the next train arrive?" - the guy looked confused for about a minute, finally he pulled out a notepad and wrote down the time and showed it to me. It's both funny and annoying :lol:

put the blame on the Sea of Japan.

the North Sea and the English Channel are also guilty of dismembering...

Johnny Groove
04-24-2011, 02:59 PM
Very interesting that the Scandinavians and northern Europeans are rather proficient in English while the Spaniards and Italians tend to prefer their own languages.

I'll bear that in mind as I learn Spanish and Italian in the coming years.

Chiseller
04-24-2011, 03:56 PM
VSdxqIBfEAw

KfXLVRhjrqY

'nuff said

Mjau!
04-24-2011, 08:44 PM
:woohoo:

abraxas21
04-24-2011, 09:03 PM
Very interesting that the Scandinavians and northern Europeans are rather proficient in English while the Spaniards and Italians tend to prefer their own languages.

I'll bear that in mind as I learn Spanish and Italian in the coming years.

germanic languages are closer to english, a language with germanic roots itself, than latin tongues.

that said, learning english is a bit overrated, imo. these gringos and euros coming to south america expect people to speak english for them. well, i'm sorry, most people don't here so ya better deal with it.

Orysbestos
04-24-2011, 09:07 PM
I'm sure African countries would have dominated this list if they were include.d

Har-Tru
04-24-2011, 09:17 PM
which part of Italy do you hate the most? the northern or the southern?

You must spread some reputation around blah blah.

Nadull_tard
04-24-2011, 09:44 PM
As for Poland, I can say that many people understand English, they can read quite fluently. Yet when it comes to speaking most of people struggle with something like a mental blocade and can't say a single sentence in proper word order.
In general, Poles have a bad accent, they are having problems with the "r" pronunciation, and they often say "did" instead of "dyd", which is quite amusing.

My friend has run sort of a test once, pretending to be a foreigner and tried to order some food in couple of restaurants, unfortunately it turned out that there were only several persons he could communicate with.

Li Ching Yuen
04-24-2011, 10:54 PM
Sweden and Norway are the best. (probably Denmark as well)

The Netherlands and a lot of the Germanic/Saxon influenced countries in Central Europe deal with it pretty well. Should be mentioned that a lot of the countries with a high educational level have a pretty decent record as far as learning some proper English.

Spain, Portugal, Italy are pretty awful. (all Latin countries, surprise).

Hungary and Finland are dreadful but that's to be understood given their "peculiar" alphabet and roots of their languages. Slavic countries are not necessarily that bad but unfortunately because of their native tongues it's very hard for people to fake a decent English accent although they're at a very good learning level and reportedly retain some of the highest average IQ's for the population. Russia and in general the ex-USSR countries are a bit special since they're known to be very attached to their mother tongue and only in recent years they're grown a bit more conscient of the western worlds.

Japanase, Chinese etc have their difficulties with it but it's mostly due to the striking difference between the languages, writing, alphabet etc...

I personally know a Swedish person that does not speak English for a whole year at once but when he is put to the task of breaking a few words he shows off an amazing accent/prononciation. Admitedly he knows some conversational English so to speak that he has retained over the years of watching movies, school etc.

Accent is very important, if not, more important than grammar.

DrJules
04-24-2011, 11:47 PM
Sweden and Norway are the best. (probably Denmark as well)

The Netherlands and a lot of the Germanic/Saxon influenced countries in Central Europe deal with it pretty well. Should be mentioned that a lot of the countries with a high educational level have a pretty decent record as far as learning some proper English.

Spain, Portugal, Italy are pretty awful. (all Latin countries, surprise).

Hungary and Finland are dreadful but that's to be understood given their "peculiar" alphabet and roots of their languages. Slavic countries are not necessarily that bad but unfortunately because of their native tongues it's very hard for people to fake a decent English accent although they're at a very good learning level and reportedly retain some of the highest average IQ's for the population. Russia and in general the ex-USSR countries are a bit special since they're known to be very attached to their mother tongue and only in recent years they're grown a bit more conscient of the western worlds.

Japanase, Chinese etc have their difficulties with it but it's mostly due to the striking difference between the languages, writing, alphabet etc...

I personally know a Swedish person that does not speak English for a whole year at once but when he is put to the task of breaking a few words he shows off an amazing accent/prononciation. Admitedly he knows some conversational English so to speak that he has retained over the years of watching movies, school etc.

Accent is very important, if not, more important than grammar.

In many ways reflects the general social and economic development of the countries involved. Of course Portugal, Italy and Spain when combined with Greece are part of the European economic basket economies grouping know as "PIGS".

Protestant Nothern Europeans seem to outperform Catholic Southern Europeans at most things. Possibly owing to the Protestant work ethic.

Getta
04-25-2011, 12:31 AM
In many ways reflects the general social and economic development of the countries involved. Of course Portugal, Italy and Spain when combined with Greece are part of the European economic basket economies grouping know as "PIGS".

Protestant Nothern Europeans seem to outperform Catholic Southern Europeans at most things. Possibly owing to the Protestant work ethic.

Greeks with a good education coming from a fairly high-status background would readily switch to perfect English if you engaged them in conversation. possibly their agnostic/atheist work ethic differentiates them from those dumb dirty Orthodox plebs.

Nathaliia
04-25-2011, 12:59 AM
Surprised to see Poland so high, but it's true it's a nearly mandatory foreign language here now and I remember having classes 5 times a week at highschool; most of my classmates learnt the language from the scratch within 4 years. it's surely developing here. You won't go to a cafe or a shop in a big city and find staff that wouldn't speak very good or even perfect English. The only flaw I've noticed is sometimes when asked about direction at the street people turn to lose a tongue in their mouth and switch :speakles: but it's due to having small contact with the language on daily basis and getting scared which results in instant forgetting of the most simple words like "turn left, turn right" ;)

Bobby
04-25-2011, 07:45 AM
Sweden and Norway are the best. (probably Denmark as well)

The Netherlands and a lot of the Germanic/Saxon influenced countries in Central Europe deal with it pretty well. Should be mentioned that a lot of the countries with a high educational level have a pretty decent record as far as learning some proper English.

Spain, Portugal, Italy are pretty awful. (all Latin countries, surprise).

Hungary and Finland are dreadful but that's to be understood given their "peculiar" alphabet and roots of their languages. Slavic countries are not necessarily that bad but unfortunately because of their native tongues it's very hard for people to fake a decent English accent although they're at a very good learning level and reportedly retain some of the highest average IQ's for the population. Russia and in general the ex-USSR countries are a bit special since they're known to be very attached to their mother tongue and only in recent years they're grown a bit more conscient of the western worlds.

Japanase, Chinese etc have their difficulties with it but it's mostly due to the striking difference between the languages, writing, alphabet etc...

I personally know a Swedish person that does not speak English for a whole year at once but when he is put to the task of breaking a few words he shows off an amazing accent/prononciation. Admitedly he knows some conversational English so to speak that he has retained over the years of watching movies, school etc.

Accent is very important, if not, more important than grammar.

I take it you have personally spent long periods of time in each of these countries so that you can draw this conclusion. Because ordering a cup of coffee at the airport is not enough to speak about general language skills.

Not sure what you mean by peculiar alphabets. Finland has the same letters as all the western countries. Our accent is not strange either, I don't know where you get that. Of course you can hear that English is not our first language, but that applies to all the people who have some other language as their first language.

Action Jackson
04-25-2011, 07:55 AM
Hungary and Finland are dreadful but that's to be understood given their "peculiar" alphabet and roots of their languages.

That's bullshit about Finland, you'd be more likely to find more people who don't speak English compared to the rest of Norden. With the decline of Swedish in Finland apart from the Swedish-speaking Finns. The level of English has risen and apart from the Netherlands a lot higher than mainland Europe.

Straight away you can tell a person from the Netherlands when they speak.

Castafiore
04-25-2011, 08:19 AM
Not a bad place for Belgium but the fact that French is either the first or the second language in the country places English in third position within the country.

MariaV
04-25-2011, 08:25 AM
Most Finns have certain accent speaking English but nothing wrong with their English skills (they can still be understood very well) or the Finnish alphabet! :armed: :lol:
The areas in eastern Finland bordering Russia want to teach Russian instead of Swedish but IMO it's good to learn Swedish too, I wish I could've learned more languages when I was younger, behind the 'iron courtain' we didn't have much chance even to learn decent English.

Action Jackson
04-25-2011, 08:27 AM
Not a bad place for Belgium but the fact that French is either the first or the second language in the country places English in third position within the country.

Flemish carrying them.

Polikarpov
04-25-2011, 10:47 AM
I see the Philippines wasn't included in the survey. I wonder how our country would have fared.

peribsen
04-25-2011, 02:13 PM
Spain, Portugal, Italy are pretty awful. (all Latin countries, surprise).

I think you need to take another look at Portugal. Size does matter here, countries whose language is mostly unknown abroad have a bigger need to command a foreign language than countries whose own language already provides them with a means to communicate with broad areas of the world (even if less so than English does). Whether you like it or not, one can spend weeks in NY, Miami or LA speaking almost exclusively in Spanish. You can also look at France's comparatively not so good results.

In many ways reflects the general social and economic development of the countries involved. Of course Portugal, Italy and Spain when combined with Greece are part of the European economic basket economies grouping know as "PIGS".

You are forgetting another 'I' for Ireland. And you can't avoid he fact that the entire 'PIIGS' idea is a shambles that tries to bring under the same umbrella economies that are so different in size, structure and degree of development as the Spanish and the Greek, or the Irish and the Italian ones.

Protestant Nothern Europeans seem to outperform Catholic Southern Europeans at most things. Possibly owing to the Protestant work ethic.

What a racist, simplistic and preposterous idea! So Catholic France or Belgium have historically performed worse than their Germanic neighbours? Go read something, please!

And there are few things that I detest more than the 'Protestant work ethic', please make sure to include Max Weber in your readings.

Had never seen you spill the balls you hold in your mouth to such an extent. I am really saddened by it.

Li Ching Yuen
04-25-2011, 02:17 PM
That's bullshit about Finland, you'd be more likely to find more people who don't speak English compared to the rest of Norden. With the decline of Swedish in Finland apart from the Swedish-speaking Finns. The level of English has risen and apart from the Netherlands a lot higher than mainland Europe.

Straight away you can tell a person from the Netherlands when they speak.

I am willing to bet you a large sum of money that you won't find a another nation that has more problems with learning English than Finland, this has nothing to do with level of education or will to learn a foreign language. It's just that the humongous differences between their language and English kills it for them.

I know of a girl that reads (and understands) entire books in English, is at a very decent educational level but when she has to communicate in English words come out of her mouth like nails on a chalkboard. Intonation, prononciation, accent all make it nearly impossible to comprehend what's coming at you even if grammatically it's correct and the selection of words is appropriate. I suspect Hungary is in a similar position. Maybe Sonja can give us a little bit more detail.

(I see that Helevorn has posted the same thing as me in the other page)

That's the downside of things for them.

The Swedish are the exact opposite, you hear some crisp clear English from them even and it comes pretty naturally.

Just a little sidenote, but I've heard more Swedish people that speak very understandable English than Scottish for example. No offense to the Scots.

Li Ching Yuen
04-25-2011, 02:24 PM
IMO for Portugal, Brazil and French it's a bit harder to manipulate English than for Spain and Italy. Negclectable differences though and nowhere near the obstacles that a Chinese encounters when trying to learn Shakespeare's language. But that's taking the discussion into another direction.

Action Jackson
04-25-2011, 02:25 PM
I am willing to bet you a large sum of money that you won't find a another nation that has more problems with learning English than Finland, this has nothing to do with level of education or will to learn a foreign language. It's just that the humongous differences between their language and English kills it for them.

Considering they learn English at an early age and like the rest of the countries in Norden, they have the same situations with the original language and subtitles. The smaller areas in the north and near Russia, there are less speakers, but I have spent a lot of time in Finland and never had a problem communicating. In fact I got chewed out when I used Swedish instead of English. Much higher level than anything on the continent apart from the Netherlands but behind the other 4 nations.

Would be glad to put money on this, but how are you going to judge it.

Doesn't matter that much about the accent. Every country has accents that are hard to understands. There are Indians who are hard to understand but have a high proficiency level.

I know plenty of Swedes with very hard accents to understand in English, not all of them sound like Americans.

Action Jackson
04-25-2011, 02:26 PM
I think you need to take another look at Portugal. Size does matter here, countries whose language is mostly unknown abroad have a bigger need to command a foreign language than countries whose own language already provides them with a means to communicate with broad areas of the world (even if less so than English does). Whether you like it or not, one can spend weeks in NY, Miami or LA speaking almost exclusively in Spanish. You can also look at France's comparatively not so good results.

Size in this case does matter. It's no surprise that the Norden countries and the Netherlands don't exactly have captive markets for their languages.

Li Ching Yuen
04-25-2011, 02:28 PM
OK, but do you agree that Finland is the weakest from all the Scandinavian countries?

Bobby
04-25-2011, 02:30 PM
I am willing to bet you a large sum of money that you won't find a another nation that has more problems with learning English than Finland, this has nothing to do with level of education or will to learn a foreign language. It's just that the humongous differences between their language and English kills it for them.

I know of a girl that reads (and understands) entire books in English, is at a very decent educational level but when she has to communicate in English words come out of her mouth like nails on a chalkboard. Intonation, prononciation, accent all make it nearly impossible to comprehend what's coming at you even if grammatically it's correct and the selection of words is appropriate. I suspect Hungary is in a similar position. Maybe Sonja can give us a little bit more detail.

(I see that Helevorn has posted the same thing as me in the other page)

That's the downside of things for them.

The Swedish are the exact opposite, you hear some crisp clear English from them even and it comes pretty naturally.

Just a little sidenote, but I've heard more Swedish people that speak very understandable English than Scottish for example. No offense to the Scots.

Just to put this politely. You have no idea what you are talking about here. You base your opinion on one girls difficulties to speak proper English. You give the impression you know the Finnish language well, yet you obviously no next to nothing about it.

Action Jackson
04-25-2011, 02:32 PM
OK, but do you agree that Finland is the weakest from all the Scandinavian countries?

That is what I said previously. They're behind the other 4 in Norden which is the term used, but still well ahead of most other nations.

MariaV
04-25-2011, 02:32 PM
Considering they learn English at an early age and like the rest of the countries in Norden, they have the same situations with the original language and subtitles. The smaller areas in the north and near Russia, there are less speakers, but I have spent a lot of time in Finland and never had a problem communicating. In fact I got chewed out when I used Swedish instead of English. Much higher level than anything on the continent apart from the Netherlands but behind the other 4 nations.

Would be glad to put money on this, but how are you going to judge it.

Doesn't matter that much about the accent. Every country has accents that are hard to understands. There are Indians who are hard to understand but have a high proficiency level.

I know plenty of Swedes with very hard accents to understand in English, not all of them sound like Americans.

I don't have that vast experience or don't want to sound racist or anything but I have also had problems understanding some Indians. :o

MariaV
04-25-2011, 02:34 PM
OK, but do you agree that Finland is the weakest from all the Scandinavian countries?

Well yes maybe but there's really no problem managing with English in Finland. You must've had some weird situation or smth.

Li Ching Yuen
04-25-2011, 02:39 PM
Just to put this politely. You have no idea what you are talking about here. You base your opinion on one girls difficulties to speak proper English. You give the impression you know the Finnish language well, yet you obviously no next to nothing about it.

And to answer your constant attacks at my lack of "knowledge": I think you're getting a bit butthurt living with the impression that I am somewhat trying to denigrate the average Finish's level of learning the language.
Which is nowhere near the truth, all I am doing is trying to point out that they're at a clear disadvantage when starting to accomodate themselves with English. And that, on average is affecting the end results.

That is what I said previously. They're behind the other 4 in Norden which is the term used, but still well ahead of most other nations.

Well ahead of?

(Let's stick this to Europe only)

Yves.
04-25-2011, 02:42 PM
Li Ching Yuen, where are you from yourself?

Li Ching Yuen
04-25-2011, 02:52 PM
I am from Romania. (half-slavic/half-latin roots, even though history might tell you otherwise, don't believe it it's bullshit)

We have the accent, very similar to that of the serbs. (in fact I sound a bit like Djokovic on a bad day. :p) but in general the level of English is alright, depending on what you're looking at. The older folks don't really know it since we were communist 'til 1989 and that came with a large influence from Russia (Russian was being taught as the primary foreign language)

On average I'd say we're mediocre. Which is expected, especially since we've been a third world country for most of our contemporary history. (like most USSR, and countries heavily influenced by them in the past century)

Currently things are getting slightly better (as is the case for most Europe, now free from the socialistic medieval plague)

Bobby
04-25-2011, 02:53 PM
[QUOTE=Li Ching Yuen;10963420]And to answer your constant attacks at my lack of "knowledge": I think you're getting a bit butthurt living with the impression that I am somewhat trying to denigrate the average Finish's level of learning the language.
Which is nowhere near the truth, all I am doing is trying to point out that they're at a clear disadvantage when starting to accomodate themselves with English. And that, on average is affecting the end results.

QUOTE]

This is not a personal issue for me. You have a right to your opinion, that's obvious. What annoys me, is that you give the impression you know this issue well. Yet you base your argument on one single Finnish person. Obviously you don't even know the Finnish language. So how can you say anything about the difficulties it causes for people learning English.

How long have you spent time in Finland? Must be quite a while, since you have such a strong opinion. How many Finnish people do you know and how regularly you speak English with them?

Li Ching Yuen
04-25-2011, 03:04 PM
I am offering an outsider's view on the matter, since I'm obviously not Finnish. I do have a few Finish friends that I have carried discussions with over this issue in the past. I'm sure that what they have told me is not fabricated in any way.

You could just give it a rest or we could continue this argument which will only lead into showing your xenophobia and my lack of expert knowledge on the matter (which of course is implied since I'm not Finnish or live there).

Bobby
04-25-2011, 03:11 PM
I am offering an outsider's view on the matter, since I'm obviously not Finnish. I do have a few Finish friends that I have carried discussions with over this issue in the past. I'm sure that what they have told me is not fabricated in any way.

You could just give it a rest or we could continue this argument which will only lead into showing your xenophobia and my lack of expert knowledge on the matter (which of course is implied since I'm not Finnish or live there).

I think it's best to give it a rest. It's a very nice weather today and I have to go play some tennis. Hope you have a pleasant evening!

Action Jackson
04-25-2011, 03:12 PM
Well ahead of?

(Let's stick this to Europe only)

I made this point a few times. The 4 Norden countries which should have included Iceland and the Netherlands are at the top and that's where they should be.

As was said in the OP why this is the case and peribsen made some sound points coming from a small language group, no dubbing helps a lot when it comes to language learning

Try spending some time in Finland and it'll be a better picture or have regular interaction with Finnish speakers. They don't talk much in any language.

Li Ching Yuen
04-25-2011, 03:13 PM
Likewise.

Cheers.:wavey:

Li Ching Yuen
04-25-2011, 03:16 PM
I made this point a few times. The 4 Norden countries which should have included Iceland and the Netherlands are at the top and that's where they should be.

As was said in the OP why this is the case and peribsen made some sound points coming from a small language group, no dubbing helps a lot when it comes to language learning

Try spending some time in Finland and it'll be a better picture or have regular interaction with Finnish speakers. They don't talk much in any language.

I was asking for specifics.

I'd put them in the lower half if I had to make an assesment of all countries.

Har-Tru
04-25-2011, 03:16 PM
Finns have the clear disadvantage that they don't speak a Germanic language like the other folks in the north.

Still, their English is pretty good.

Action Jackson
04-25-2011, 03:22 PM
I was asking for specifics.

I'd put them in the lower half if I had to make an assesment of all countries.

It's a circular discussion, as you are showing a very limited sample based on a few people you know.

Lower than Germany, where they have many people in the eastern part who aren't proficient. Walloons in Belgium bring down the rate there. Switzerland do well considering it's not compulsory to learn English. Lower than any of the Eastern European countries then no. Not even close with Italy or Spain.

Luxembourg would be the only one close to the Netherlands on mainland Europe for proficiency and Finland even as the weak link with Norden is higher than the others mentioned.

I'd back my own experiences of spending significant time in Finland and living in areas of Norden where there are Finnish language populations.

Li Ching Yuen
04-25-2011, 03:29 PM
Fair enough. It's a pretty debatable subject all in all.

ibreak4coffee
04-25-2011, 07:43 PM
Top 5 in this survey is spot on. I was just in Denmark two months ago and its absolutely incredible how every single person speaks better English than 90% of North Americans.

One country that ranks low is Turkey, but in my experiences there the level of English is getting incredibly good, better in fact than in Italy and Spain. Sure this is confined primarily to the tourist areas, but still nonetheless its amazing how many people in Istanbul speak amazing English. More so I found than in places like Rome or Athens.

Nathaliia
04-25-2011, 07:57 PM
I've had some relations with around 30 Finnish people in my life and all of them spoke very good English; I'd never think they could suck at it as a nation, really.

However, in Turkey (incl. Istanbul) I was more fortunate to communicate speaking Polish than English, and it even included the restaurants, shops and the custom office. It was hilarious to find out how many Polish words they knew.

Nadull_tard
04-25-2011, 08:02 PM
I believe we should consider the knowledge of languages(especially English) outside big cities to know the whole angles of this issue. It's quite natural that educated people gather in metropolises and automatically that sort of people know languages better than persons who spend their whole lives in the countryside.

It can't be shocking people in big cities as Stambul speak good English, but I'm pretty sure that If you go to the country you won't hear a single word in English, and this refers to most of countries, excluding Sweden, Denmark and maybe Norway where people speak fluent English all over the state.

Chiseller
04-26-2011, 10:29 AM
Some people are confusing proficiency with pronunciation. There are languages which are naturally more compatible with English than others, thus the more correct pronunciation. Obviously, the accent is usually the first thing you will notice but it's dangerous to place your judgement of proficiency on the correctness of pronunciation.
I think Dutchies are a good example. You can clearly hear where they come from but they speak a good English. On the other hand, I got fooled multiple times by Swedes because I thought they were Americans. In fact, one of them is half Swedish/Finnish and her pronunciation is flawless.

Action Jackson
04-26-2011, 12:14 PM
Wouldn't tell that Thorkildsen is Norwegian.

k1setwZd2kk

Nieminen, you can tell he is Finnish but easy to understand.

1Oig_xoYt8g

peribsen
04-26-2011, 12:18 PM
Some people are confusing proficiency with pronunciation. There are languages which are naturally more compatible with English than others, thus the more correct pronunciation. Obviously, the accent is usually the first thing you will notice but it's dangerous to place your judgement of proficiency on the correctness of pronunciation.
I think Dutchies are a good example. You can clearly hear where they come from but they speak a good English. On the other hand, I got fooled multiple times by Swedes because I thought they were Americans. In fact, one of them is half Swedish/Finnish and her pronunciation is flawless.

I personally am fed up of being mistaken for an Englishman whenever I travel to Germany, while in England itself I've been asked if I was... Norwegian!!

So much for topics!!

bokehlicious
04-26-2011, 12:27 PM
Within 50 years it will be interesting to see such a map for Mandarin and where it stands....... :o

habibko
04-26-2011, 12:35 PM
How the fuck is Japan at "moderate proficiency"? Last time I was there NO ONE could speak proper English and most people only knew a few English words (without any idea how to apply them) for trying to impress the gaijin or to simply sound cool. I had to speak Japanese at Narita airport customs, to a taxi driver and at the hotel, which is shocking considering it's Chiba prefecture. I won't even mention that going shopping for food without basic knowledge of Japanese in Narita was basically impossible. I sent my friend to buy some food and he bought a stick of bread with chocolate inside.

this is true, even in freaking McDonald's they had difficulty understanding English when I spoke to them, I'm pretty sure Saudis are more proficient on average than the Japanese, especially comparing the educated public groups.

good to see Saudia ahead of Russia, India and China, does us justice even though I wasn't included so our score should be higher :worship: :p

habibko
04-26-2011, 12:36 PM
oh and France being ahead of Saudia is another joke, even my grandma knows better English than your average Parisian.

Smasher
04-26-2011, 01:08 PM
I am willing to bet you a large sum of money that you won't find a another nation that has more problems with learning English than Finland, this has nothing to do with level of education or will to learn a foreign language. It's just that the humongous differences between their language and English kills it for them.

No offence, but that is just a massive load of crap

Har-Tru
04-26-2011, 02:52 PM
this is true, even in freaking McDonald's they had difficulty understanding English when I spoke to them, I'm pretty sure Saudis are more proficient on average than the Japanese, especially comparing the educated public groups.

good to see Saudia ahead of Russia, India and China, does us justice even when I wasn't included so our score should be higher :worship: :p

http://toychop.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/troll-face-meme.png%253Fw%253D264%2526h%253D198

ibreak4coffee
04-26-2011, 03:22 PM
oh and France being ahead of Saudia is another joke, even my grandma knows better English than your average Parisian over 40.

Fixed your post. Otherwise its completely inaccurate.

habibko
04-26-2011, 06:48 PM
http://toychop.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/troll-face-meme.png%253Fw%253D264%2526h%253D198

ok even though, fixed it for you, happy now -_____-

oranges
04-26-2011, 06:49 PM
Everyone and their grandmother speaks (excellent) English in the Netherlands. Very refreshing after my visits to Germany, where after strenuous efforts to speak German, we usually settle on me speaking English and they German and we mostly understand each other :lol:


See it helps that TV and movies aren't dubbed into the native languages, using subtitles while hearing the original language.


Very true.

habibko
04-26-2011, 06:55 PM
Fixed your post. Otherwise its completely inaccurate.

but you don't know how well my grandma speaks English so how can you know if it's accurate or not.. :rolleyes:

anyway it wasn't an accurate post either way since who knows what really is the average, what I mean is that most Saudis around me speak much better English than the French people I meet everyday during my stays, I'm interested in knowing how this statistic was determined and how big the sample was and who was included in it.

Start da Game
04-29-2011, 05:55 PM
people pointing out nations for their pronunciation and stuff, better get your listening skills checked first.......any buffoon with formal education with english as a medium can understand clear and uncomplicated speech.......

your true worth lies only in understanding what the less proficient speakers say and getting your point across to them as well......

GugaF1
04-29-2011, 08:25 PM
Damn, Brazil has crappy English according to this, no sruprise really as English here is taught mainly in private schools. I hope they have included in public schools recently. But here at most places where is expected t obe international transaction you can get around in English. And most likely with people with good education as well.

Pronunciation I think is really good though, but that is a problems as well. I know a lot of brazilians who have a small vocabulary and because they think they soung good in the few words they speak it, they think they are fluent or soemthing.

When I lived in the U.S the people I had the toughest time understanding was the Indians and Chinese. Try understanding an Indian taking care of your credit card bills on the phone, which is common in the U.S or telemakerting you. Good old times ;)

Start da Game
04-29-2011, 08:28 PM
it simply means that your listening skills are not that high.......

Everko
04-29-2011, 08:42 PM
My spoken english is quite poor actually. Not very many people i know in person know english. only a few from my former school and my dad. I don't speak it much but type it a lot because i visit english websites.

GugaF1
04-29-2011, 08:45 PM
I don't think so buddy. I moved to the U.S when I was 15 years old did high school and college there, lived there for almost 7 years. I think my English listening skills are just fine, thank you very much.

Indian people's English accent in general are a little harder to understand a lot of people would agree, weather you like it or not, sorry.

Start da Game
04-29-2011, 08:56 PM
right, random MTF opinion = world opinion.......

Start da Game
04-29-2011, 09:02 PM
i find chinese and koreans easy to understand.......heck they don't eat off half of the word, unlike some of the native speakers.......among the americans, afro-americans are much clear compared to the other race there.......europeans are clear as hell.......i never had any problem comprehending what people said unless they ate off parts of words which is annoying as hell.......

GugaF1
04-29-2011, 09:05 PM
right, random MTF opinion = world opinion.......

Not world opinion, something I saw from experience. I can tell you a lot of people in the U.S would agree that the Indian accent is harder to understand, it is not something measurable, but it is a common held opinion. Here:

http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=en&rlz=1R2ADRA_enBR416&source=hp&q=Americans%20complains%20about%20Indian%20accent&rlz=1R2ADRA_enBR416&aq=&aqi=&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=8bd9f4185bcfc162&pf=p&pdl=500

Start da Game
04-29-2011, 09:14 PM
My spoken english is quite poor actually. Not very many people i know in person know english. only a few from my former school and my dad. I don't speak it much but type it a lot because i visit english websites.

when you don't need english in your daily life, no need to think about it......your writing skills are quite good by the way considering that you hardly use the language......

tennizen
04-29-2011, 09:17 PM
Not world opinion, something I saw from experience. I can tell you a lot of people in the U.S would agree that the Indian accent is harder to understand, it is not something measurable, but it is a common held opinion. Here:

http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=en&rlz=1R2ADRA_enBR416&source=hp&q=Americans%20complains%20about%20Indian%20accent&rlz=1R2ADRA_enBR416&aq=&aqi=&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=8bd9f4185bcfc162&pf=p&pdl=500

The complaints are because of the whole outsourcing saga. I don't think that Indians would be anywhere near the top if you actually polled Americans regarding all the accents they encounter in their work place.

Start da Game
04-29-2011, 09:23 PM
Not world opinion, something I saw from experience. I can tell you a lot of people in the U.S would agree that the Indian accent is harder to understand, it is not something measurable, but it is a common held opinion. Here:

http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=en&rlz=1R2ADRA_enBR416&source=hp&q=Americans%20complains%20about%20Indian%20accent&rlz=1R2ADRA_enBR416&aq=&aqi=&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=8bd9f4185bcfc162&pf=p&pdl=500

big deal? US =/ world plus, based on 5 or 10 indians you cannot generalize it.......

there are some indian speakers(sidhu and bhogle for instance) who have pwned the native speakers and rendered their language useless in front of the world.......that does not mean indians are the best at the language.......

like i said one's true worth lies in figuring out what the non native speakers say and also being able to clearly convey your point to them......

Taz Warrior
04-30-2011, 01:00 PM
The Baltic countries (especially Estonia) would have been high on this list, I think, if they had been included.

Not surprised that Scandinavia features highly :yeah:

barbadosan
04-30-2011, 01:24 PM
Understanding someone speaking English, or any other language for that matter, does tend to depend on the cadence of the speaker. Even for native English speakers, if you are not familiar with the cadence of, for example, a Trinidadian or an Irishman, it can be quite a challenge until your ear becomes more attuned to it.

FormerRafaFan
04-30-2011, 10:35 PM
I'm not surprised about this article. Norwegians are good in English. This seems accurate to me.

FormerRafaFan
04-30-2011, 10:54 PM
OK, but do you agree that Finland is the weakest from all the Scandinavian countries?

Finland does not belong to Scandinavia, it belongs to the Nordic countries.

FormerRafaFan
04-30-2011, 10:59 PM
Well ahead of?

(Let's stick this to Europe only)

Norden = the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland)

Scandinavia only consists of three of the Noric countries, and that is Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

arm
05-01-2011, 12:12 AM
#15 for Portugal? yay.
I can speak about my own experience. I believe that in Portugal the younger generations speak good english. We learn it at school for 7 years (normally), and of course there's the big american influence with all the films and musics. Basically here we hear english on a daily basis, as nothing is dubbed. That is also one of the reasons why our pronunciation is so good but and we speak with clear american accent. :lol: As for the older generations, it's quite different. Lets take my mother as an example, she is a well educated 41 year old woman and I wouldn't say she speaks good english. However, she does speak enough to understand a normal conversation and to help someone out at the street who asks for directions. So I would say that it really depends on the age. But one thing is for sure, as our language is quite difficult, we do have some sort of easiness to learn new languages. :lol: unlike our fellow neighbours in Spain :p

arm
05-01-2011, 12:20 AM
BTW, they don't mention Slovenia, But I was very impressed when I was there. Everyone everywhere spoke good english.

bokehlicious
05-01-2011, 09:21 AM
our pronunciation is so good but and we speak with clear american accent.

:spit: :haha: :hug: :p

jonathancrane
05-01-2011, 09:33 AM
Spain #24 http://www.ottawahondaclub.com/forum/Smileys/ohc/facepalm.gif

Japan #14? No way. I've been there, they are pretty awful speaking it

arm
05-01-2011, 09:42 AM
:spit: :haha: :hug: :p

:confused: you seem to believe you know a lot about my country, have you ever even been here? :lol:

bokehlicious
05-01-2011, 09:50 AM
I've been there a few times yes, and though most young people could indeed speak English, I never for one second thought I could be in Texas or anywhere else in the US for the matter :shrug: :lol: ;)

arm
05-01-2011, 09:56 AM
I've been there a few times yes, and though most young people could indeed speak English, I never for one second thought I could be in Texas or anywhere else in the US for the matter :shrug: :lol: ;)

Well, first of all lucky you. It's a beautiful country, right? :p Second, they certainly won't sound like they were born in Texas :rolls:. But I do believe we speak with an american accent, at least I do, and so do my friends who speak good english :shrug:.

bokehlicious
05-01-2011, 10:02 AM
Lisboa is one of the most beautiful city in Europe :hug:

arm
05-01-2011, 10:07 AM
Lisboa is one of the most beautiful city in Europe :hug:

Yes, I agree. :hearts: Eventhough a lot of people in Portugal don't seem o realize that. :(

well, back to the topic. :lol: :scared:

Time Violation
05-01-2011, 02:06 PM
But I do believe we speak with an american accent, at least I do, and so do my friends who speak good english :shrug:.

Unless you and your friends have spent several years in the US, you are not going to be anywhere near US accent, fully agree with what -calimero- said. :)

Action Jackson
05-01-2011, 02:08 PM
Slovenia they have quite a high level and definitely higher than Japan. But Japan as has been said by plenty of others, they study a lot of years but can't speak it.

bluesoleil
05-01-2011, 04:22 PM
any buffoon with formal education with english as a medium can understand clear and uncomplicated speech.......

your true worth lies only in understanding what the less proficient speakers say and getting your point across to them as well......

Relevant video is relevant:
XSD9XF6S5BE

Taz Warrior
05-01-2011, 05:33 PM
:bowdown: to any non-native English speakers who can understand that :lol:

FiBeR
05-01-2011, 05:35 PM
Argentina #16 :cool:

I have mastered the Proficiency in English btw :bounce: (a degree from Cambridge) :rolls:

Time Violation
05-01-2011, 07:00 PM
I have mastered the Proficiency in English btw :bounce: (a degree from Cambridge) :rolls:

What did you get? :)

gaitare
09-07-2011, 11:54 AM
Wonder what would be US of A's score in that test.

70?

gaitare
09-07-2011, 11:57 AM
Oh, that would slightly top Norway, which is just about right.

Nidhogg
09-07-2011, 12:33 PM
I wish I could speak English like Davy Jones. :hearts:

http://vocaroo.com/?media=v5BnQ27kj5owgvlkK