One of the most important conditions for living in Europe is to learn the language of the destination country. It is easier to communicate in English in some European countries than in other countries. Some countries do not grant permanent residence and citizenship to those who do not speak their own language.
According to a study by InterNations, the biggest fear of living abroad is the language barrier.
Learning the language of the country of destination is a painful process and the time spent in this process varies according to the language learned.
For those who do not want to have too much difficulty in this process, a country with a high English speaking rate may be attractive.
Those who want to move to Europe but are worried about the language barrier can prioritize the countries where English is spoken the most or stay away from countries that require language proficiency.
The best countries in Europe for English speakers
According to a European Commission study, 56 percent of European Union citizens can speak at least one foreign language.
Global education company Education First (EF) ranks the best English speaking countries in Europe, excluding Anglo-Saxon countries, with its English Proficiency Index.
To prepare this index, EF studied the English test results of 2 million people around the world, including 35 European countries. Each country was given a score out of 800.
Eight European countries are in the top 10 in EF’s ranking. Among the European countries ranked according to their scores, Northern European countries gave the best results in terms of English skills.
Croatia ranked 10th in the list of the best English-speaking countries. Finland and Sweden remained in 9th and 8th place respectively, while Denmark found their place in 3rd place.
While Austria was 2nd with 641 points out of 800, the Netherlands came to the top. Between 91 and 93 percent of Dutch people say they can understand a dialogue in English.
The country with the lowest score among European countries is Italy.
Which countries require a language certificate for a residence permit?
At the beginning of the countries that should pay attention to those who have difficulties in learning a foreign language are the countries that subject language documents to obtain residence permit and citizenship.
For example, Germany requires learning German for permanent residence and citizenship. According to the current regulation, knowledge of German at B1 level is required according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in order to obtain permanent residence or citizenship.
While Norway does not impose a language requirement for temporary residence permits, it requires a command of Norwegian for permanent residence permits. One of the conditions for permanent residence is to complete 250 to 500 hours of Norwegian language lessons, depending on the situation, or to present an A2 level document.
For permanent residence permit in Switzerland, speaking skills at A2 level and writing skills at A1 level are required in one of the languages German, French or Italian.
Spain, Portugal, France and Italy, on the other hand, put forward the language requirement only in citizenship applications.