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Thread: Danes World's Second Best Non-Native English Speakers

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    Danes World's Second Best Non-Native English Speakers

    Danes are the world’s second-best non-native English speakers, according to a new global ranking released on Tuesday.

    The English Proficiency Index (EPI) from global language training company Education First (EF) put Denmark behind only the Netherlands for non-native English proficiency.

    Danes topped the list back in 2014 but were topped yet again this year by the Dutch. Unlike last year’s ranking, however, the Danes at least have bragging rights over their friendly rivals the Swedes, who were ranked third.

    Denmark's overall score of 71.15 out of a possible 100 represented an improvement over last year’s ranking, but according to the EPI the Netherlands saw an even greater increase.

    “Denmark has been in the top of non-native English speakers throughout the period of the EF EPI,” the group’s vice president, Christen Bagger, told The Local. “The score for Denmark has marginally improved since the 2015 survey, but even so the Dutch have kicked Scandinavia off the throne.”

    Denmark was one of seven countries to receive the ‘very high’ proficiency rank, along with fellow Nordic nations Sweden, Norway and Finland. Iceland was not included in the study.
    http://www.thelocal.dk/20161115/seco...glish-speakers

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    World's Best Non-native English Speakers


    The Netherlands has been ranked the world’s best non-native speakers of English in a yearly international ranking. The country overtook last year’s winner, Sweden, which was relegated to second place. Norway completed the top three, followed by Denmark and Singapore.


    The report is based on a comparison of English skills measured by testing 2.3 million people, who voluntarily applied to take the test, in 100 countries and over 400 cities and regions.

    English is the most widely spoken language in the world, but it is worth knowing that the vast majority of speakers are not “native.” Of the roughly 1.5 billion people in the world who speak English, over 1.1 billion speak it as a second language.

    Fourteen countries were placed in the “very high” category: The Netherlands (No. 1), Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Singapore, South Africa, Finland, Austria, Luxembourg, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Belgium and Croatia (No. 14).

    The country with the lowest English proficiency is Libya, followed by Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Ivory Coast, and Uzbekistan.

    Which EU countries are the worst at speaking English?

    Italy has the lowest level of English proficiency of any country in the European Union. The country was given 36th place overall and placed in the “moderate proficiency” group. Joining Italy in the “moderate proficiency” band, and at the bottom of all EU countries, were Spain (35th), Latvia (32nd), France (31st).


    Which Countries Speak The Best English As A Second Language?

    Rank Country Score Proficiency
    1 Netherlands 70.27 Very high
    2 Sweden 68.74 Very high
    3 Norway 67.93 Very high
    4 Denmark 67.87 Very high
    5 Singapore 66.82 Very high
    6 South Africa 65.38 Very high
    7 Finland 65.34 Very high
    8 Austria 64.11 Very high
    9 Luxembourg 64.03 Very high
    10 Germany 63.77 Very high
    11 Poland 63.76 Very high
    12 Portugal 63.14 Very high
    13 Belgium 63.09 Very high
    14 Croatia 63.07 Very high
    15 Hungary 61.86 High
    16 Romania 61.36 High
    17 Serbia 61.3 High
    18 Kenya 60.51 High
    19 Switzerland 60.23 High
    20 Philippines 60.14 High

    November 5, 2019.
    The World's Best Non-Native English Speaking ...

    14 III 2020.

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    Out of all speakers of English as a second language, I find Danes the friendliest both in person and over long distance. Dutch are proficient but seem a little cold to me, sorry.

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    Danes sometimes will reflexively switch to English with foreigners not necessarily out of friendliness but because it's sometimes hard to understand the Danish spoken by foreigners. To some Danes, even broken English is preferable to broken Danish, especially in terms of pronunciation. But of course if we see you struggling with the language we'll switch to English out of politeness. It's not to say that the Danes are cold. Danes being cold is sometimes a stereotype held by foreigners and international students who don't understand that Danish/Scandinavian mentality is different from their own. For example, Scandinavians are comfortable with silence and pauses in conversations to process what the other is saying which some foreigners might find it awkward. Danes are also used to being more direct than beating around the bush. Some information about it here. Some people say Danes are like coconuts: once you've cracked the hard shell, you'll find something sweet and long-lasting inside.

    Maybe you had a somewhat similar experience with the Dutch? European Germanics in general have a different mentality from American Germanics. I also read about the Dutch being called rude and unfriendly by international students, immigrants, tourists because of similar reasons like directness. Maybe the Dutch don't open themselves up easily and it takes a bit more patience to get to know them. But there's a saying that if you make a Dutch friend, you make a friend for life.

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    I have not stated any Scandinavians to be cold. Danes are exuberant, Swedes are articulate, Norwegians are homely, while Icelanders keep to themselves. Dutch are a little too calculating and overbearing, urbane and metropolitan for me, dismissive without interest in even-keel interactions, like Londoners and New Yorkers, but Frisians as a quiet and laid-back coastal folk have the right saltiness of temperament without being brash or stylish, etc. This is not a prejudice against the Dutch in other environments, any more than the way English are outside the cities, as Boers I find less pushy and more open. It's a pity that Dutch barely grow more than tulips and most only cycle past those fields rather than tend them. I have never been comfortable with "city slicker" life and the mentality surrounding it, but the Blue Banana is all-encompassing for the folks who have to live in that general area. I'm sure that some might find the rat race not worth their incomes and I have empathy for those who feel like life is strangled out of them just trying to keep afloat.

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    I'm used to direct communication and prefer it over long windy explanations. I enjoy poetry but not in everyday common speech. Looking at the higher quality education system and 'push" to learn a second language during early academic years, I can understand the success in speaking English fluently for a second language. Over half the spoken words are Germanic origin, but English can be a headache to learn to read and write due to the multiple foreign languages in English, especially French and Latin influences. I think Dutch speakers have the least strong accents when they speak English comparing to the Danes and Germans. Danes and Germans seen to speak faster than English speakers in their own native languages.

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