IT’S usually Britons on the Costa del Sol who are criticised for not speaking Spanish.

But it turns out 60 per cent of Spaniards can’t speak a word of English – or any foreign language.

Researchers discovered one in four Spaniards have no interest in learning another language.

Only 23 per cent of respondents said they could speak and write English well, while only nine per cent can speak French and two per cent German.

Spain’s Sociological Research Centre surveyed 2,500 Spanish adults, finding 8.3 per cent currently studying a language and 70 per cent learning English.

Half of those studying said it was necessary for work while a third said it was merely for the pleasure of learning.
Nine out of ten Spaniards thought language skills were ‘important’ or ‘very important’.

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  1. I’m not sure what point Olive Press is making here. Britons on the Costa del Sol, or anywhere else in Spain, should be making the effort to speak Spanish because they are living in Spain. We British immigrants come from a country where learning a foreign language is no longer a prerequisite in our schools. Our tradition for learning or speaking anything other than our mother tongue is not exactly something we can be proud of.

  2. I entirely agree with Sheilagh even though at my age I find Spanish very hard to learn. But we are guests in their country and it is up to us to learn to fit in. I am impressed that 70% of Spanish surveyed are learning English. We English get very exercised if Asians, Poles etc can´t speak English when they live in England, but many think it is ok for us not to bother to learn Spanish. Double standards or what?

  3. Sheilagh is absolutely correct of course in what she says and the point that she makes about schoolchildren no longer being required to learn a foreign language as part of their education curriculm is total madness in todays world but trust the UK to get things arse about face just when other countries strive to teach as many languages as they can? That’s the very reason that the UK’s representative in the European Parliament has made such a dogs ear of her job there having been appointed by Labour, she was the only one who didn’t speak any language other than her native one.Everyone else spoke at least one more language.Also in the UK we ALWAYS criticise Indians or Pakistanis etc for creating “ghettos” and not mixing but the majority of British do the same in Spain and some go to the extreme of hardly eating Spanish food, shopping in English food-shops-very expensive-buying frozen bread,bacon etc.Why come to Spain at all?

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