IF you thought the English were some of Europe’s most linguistically inept, then think again.
It has emerged that Spain´s grasp of foreign languages really is worse than in the UK.
Almost half of Spain’s adults (46.6 per cent) speak no other language than their own native tongue, according to a new EU survey.
This leaves them sitting just above bottom of the class as the third worst EU country when it comes to speaking a second language.
Only Hungary – where 74.8 per cent cannot speak a foreign language – and Portugal fare worse.
While the UK was found hovering in the lower echelons of the league table, two thirds of the population speak more than one language.
Latvia emerged as the high-flyers with an impressive 97.5 per cent of the country being able to speak at least one foreign language.
The disappointing results have come after the Oxford University Press (OUP) launched a website to overcome Spain’s long-standing problem with Spanglish.
In a bid to highlight the common mistakes it shows well-known Spaniards, such as Jose Maria Aznar and even Franco, speaking in less than perfect
The OUP estimates that only 20 per cent of Spaniards are capable of holding a conversation in a foreign language, against the EU average of 44 per cent.
Hopes are that classic mistakes such as ‘I have 18 years old’ may one day be a mistake made by the minority.
The web address is www.100spanglish.es