If you are planning to visit another country, learning a few words and phrases can make things much easier. Knowing the language and even the different dialects could also help you integrate better if you choose to move.
But where in Europe is it easiest to learn the local language?
Learning platform Preply looked at 29 European countries to find out which were the easiest to visit and live with when it comes to languages.
They ranked the nations from most difficult to least based on criteria such as their English proficiency scores, native languages, accents, dialects and the average cost of a language lesson.
Which countries are the least difficult for languages?
Serbia comes in third place thanks to its cheap language courses. These cost an average of €19 per session. It has only two official languages, Serbian and Albanian. As for dialects and accents, a total of eight are recognized, including Shtokavian, Eastern Herzegovina, and Šumadija-Vojvodina.
Its lowest score came in English proficiency where it came 13th out of 29 countries analyzed.
In joint third place is Portugal, mainly due to its only spoken language being Portuguese. But, if you plan to visit or settle there, there are ten different regional dialects to learn. However, many people in the country speak English. He came in 7th position in the ranking for English proficiency. It also ranks in the top 10 of the cheapest language courses at €21 per session.
The second place for the least difficult countries for linguistics is Ireland. Gaelic is the only other language spoken in Ireland besides English and it has only four recognized regional dialects. It also claims the highest place for English proficiency (jointly with the UK). But if you want to learn Gaelic, courses cost an average of €23 per session.
The easiest country in Europe to navigate linguistically according to Preply is Romania. It has three official languages spoken: Romanian, Hungarian and German. The country also has the fewest recorded accents and dialects – Wallachia, Moldavia and Banat.
Although it is in the middle of the list for English proficiency, private lessons in Romania cost an average of €15 – the third cheapest overall.
Which countries are the most difficult for languages?
In terms of regional variations, the country with the most accents and dialects was Netherlands. This country alone has 70 variants. Norway, the United Kingdom and Turkey follow closely with 60 and 52 respectively.
Near the top of the toughest countries chart were France and Switzerland. France has the lowest English proficiency score and language lessons will cost you an average of €26. There are a total of 40 unique regional dialects and accents in France.
There are four different official languages in Switzerland: German, French, Italian and Romansh. The country also ranks near the bottom for its English proficiency score.
But the country with the most language barriers for visitors and expats was Czech Republic. Private language lessons cost an average of €72 and, although there is only one official language (Czech), there are 26 different dialects and accents.