Dip in Danes studying second foreign language

Fewer Danes are fluent in two or more foreign languages, says study

July 5th, 2012 3:26 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Danes are considered to be some of the best non-native English speakers in the world, but fewer are choosing to study two or more foreign languages, a study has found.

The number of Danes who have mastered at least two foreign languages has dropped by eight percent since 2005, according to the recent European Commission report.

While 58 percent of Danes speak more than two foreign languages fluently – a comparatively high figure against the European average of 25 percent – business experts say the decline is of concern.

Jannik Schack Linnemann, the head of research policy at chamber of commerce Dansk Erhverv, told Berlingske newspaper that Denmark derives more than half its GDP from exports – a sector that is responsible for employing 700,000 people. “We need to become better equipped when it comes to the languages used in exporting industries,” he said.

In response to the European Commission’s report findings, the education minister, Morten Østergaard (R), told Berlingske his ministry will focus more on how to promote language courses at school and university. “It is extremely worrying. This is the opposite of what we need in a globalised world.”

The Education Ministry last week received an updated report regarding a national foreign language education strategy. One of the recommendations is that school students take English starting at age 6 and a second foreign language at age 9.

Alan Brejnholt, University student, is one of the shrinking number of Danes studying a second foreign language. He is taking intensive German classes in order to get into a Copenhagen Business School master’s programme that requires students to be fluent in at least two foreign languages.

“While English is really important, one reason I study a second foreign language is to do with the link between culture and language,” Brejnholt said. “I think it also shows prospective employers willpower, determination and an interest in different cultures.”

The opening of the festival's main stage is viewed as an esteemed honour by many (photo: Bill Ebbesen)
Syrian National Orchestra to open Roskilde Festival
The Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music with Damon Albarn and g...
The wind turbine manufacturer expects to make at least 67 billion kroner in revenue this year (photo: Samir Luther)
Vestas announces another strong annual result
Vestas shares surged 10 percent today after the company announced a record...
Payment will be made using the vehicle's number-plate (photo: kk.dk)
Copenhagen ushering in digital parking throughout the city
In a bid to make it easier and more flexible for motorists to park in the c...
The Veteran Council will be open both to soldiers and humanitarian workers returning from a mission (photo: iStock)
Municipalities to support returnees from war and disaster zones
The municipalities of Gladsaxe, Herlev and Ballerup are opening Denmark's f...
Support the traditional Danish drinking establishments this month (photo: Tuborg)
Celebrating the old-style bodega with a round on the house every Friday in February
In a bid to give Denmark's struggling old-style bodegas a helping hand, Tub...
Unfortunately, the meteorite hasn't been recorded on camera directly. (photo: iStock)
Meteorite landing site located in Greater Copenhagen area
The Natural History Museum has established that the meteorite that hit Denm...