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How Many People Across Europe Speak More Than 1 Language

If you’re creating a piece of learning or marketing content to be used in Europe, you might be tempted to stick to the most common languages with your scripts. A French voice over, English, German, Spanish – all the most expected languages for their respective countries. In fact, did you know that a lot of Europeans actually speak more than one language? In fact, many people speak multiple languages in Europe. So, not only does that mean that one piece of content is applicable across the continent in more of an impactful way than you might expect, but also that targeting one country or area with a linear language is short-sighted. With so many people speaking multiple languages, a single-language strategy simply doesn’t make sense.

Europe – A Continent of Bilingual & Multilingual Speakers

In the UK we have a terrible reputation for being bad at learning languages. Whether that is an innate lack of ability to learn them, or a lack of willing – the jury is out. This linguistic lacking is highlighted by the way that everyone else in Europe is commonly able to speak one or more additional languages. More than half of Europeans (excluding the UK) are able to speak a minimum of two languages. With over 50% able to speak conversationally with at least one extra language in addition to their mother tongue. 25% can then speak two more languages in addition to their mother tongue, and 10% can speak at least three languages. The countries where a person is most likely to be bilingual or multilingual are: Luxembourg, Latvia, Netherlands, Malta, Slovenia, Lithuania and Sweden. People are least likely to be bilingual or multilingual in: Italy, the UK, Portugal, Ireland and Hungary.

As it stands, the most commonly spoken languages in Europe are:

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Russian


So where does that leave you when it comes to choosing the right language for your project? Realistically, if you’re advertising to a target country that is less likely to be bilingual or multilingual, such as those mentioned above, you may be better focusing on accurate, localised translation in the primary language of the country. However, in the countries most likely to speak an additional language, it’s imperative that you create content in multiple languages if you want to give your project the best possible chance of success. If you’re putting out a Spanish video, why not add an Italian voice over, a German option, a Polish option (if they are relevant to the country’s main languages)? If it can add relevance, accessibility and impact to your professional content, why not add additional voice overs and subtitles? And you can easily use a quality agency to get premium level voice-overs, see as a very good choice.

Whichever Languages You Choose – Choose Professional Services

If you do choose to add additional languages to your professional content, do choose professional services for translation, voiceovers, subtitling and more. This ensures that your content is accurate and has the best possible chance of being well-received by your target audience.

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