English Language in Europe

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The English Language in Europe.

A French MEP in the European Union, Julie Lechanteaux, used the French language during a recent parliamentary session, disregarding request by another French MEP to use English.


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The French politician refused to switch as she claimed “since we no longer have the UK here, so we no longer have anyone who speaks English.”

The French politician obviously does not realise that the English speaking Ireland and Malta are also in the EU. Unless she just considers them unimportant to the EU.

Maybe she also does not know how well used the English language is, in the EU, outside France.

English is the lingua franca of the European Union to enable communication within the offices and thus work.

It was Karima Delli also a French member of the European Parliament, who requested the use of English from Julie Lechanteaux.


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English Language in EU Schools.

According to data from Eurostat, English is the most common foreign language in upper secondary education in the European Union.

Over 65% of pupils studied English in upper secondary schools in current EU states. (It was 81% including the UK)

The next three highest languages with about 18 or 19% each, were:

  • French 19%
  • German 18%
  • Spanish 18%

Maybe it was these words that Julie Lechanteaux used, but not sure if she said them in English so that everyone could understand…

“I defend the French, so I speak French!”

English Language in the World.

English is been considered to be the international language worldwide.

About 370 million people worldwide speak English as their first language, with under 80 million speaking French as their first language.

But some French people would prefer the world learns French.

1,400 million worldwide speak English, (about 20% of the Earth’s population).
About 370 million people speak English as their first language.

About 270 million people speak French.
About 80 million speak French as their first language.

The population of the European Union (EU) with 27 member states was estimated at 448 million, down from 514 million on 1 January 2019, when the UK was still a member state.

English Language in the EU.

These numbers are AFTER the UK has left the EU.

  • 44% of EU citizens can speak English.
  • 36% German.
  • 29% French.
  • 18% Italian.
  • 17% Spanish.

Both the French President Emmanuel Macron and the Luxembourgish former Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had suggested that French should be used more frequently in the EU institutions after the UK leaves.

If the French did manage to exclude English, their own argument would suggest German being above French in choice….

How do the Spanish feel about French?

463 million people in the world use Spanish as a first language, compared to the 70 million that use French.


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