Scandinavians are best non-native English speakers

Swedes rank fourth in the world in English skills, Norwegians first

Norwegians, Danes, Swedes and Finns are four of the world’s top five best non-native users of English, according to a new study by the world’s biggest private educational company, Stockholm-based EF. Norwegians have the best English as a second language, followed by the Dutch, then the Danes in third place, the Swedes in fourth and the Finns in fifth. The excellent English skills found in the Nordic region boost the countries’ international prospects and business opportunities, including in the world of travel and tourism.
The EF English Proficiency Index is the first study of its kind to rank proficiency in English. It conducted the survey among more than two million people in 44 countries around the world, who took a free online test between 2007 and 2009.
“People from the small Nordic countries are motivated to learn English at a high level because they know that English language proficiency is essential for their professional careers,” Eva Kockum, the president of EF International Language Centres, told Radio Netherlands Worldwide. “That may be the only way to survive in the global economy and find economic success outside their borders.”
The Swedish Wire
[pictured: Visby, Gotland; photographer Erik Lindvall; copyright Erik Lindvall;]