It’s official – we’re excellent at English!
English speakers arriving in Sweden already know that residents have amazing English skills. If an English speaker walks into a bar and tries to order in terrible Swedish, it’s likely that the bartender will reply in perfect English, and that will surprise neither party.
It is exciting, therefore, that Sweden has rightly been appointed fourth place in the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI). The list is compiled by Education First, a Swedish company with branches worldwide, which stresses the importance of international communication skills. Through their research, they have concluded that those aged 26-30 speak the best English and that English proficiency is improving worldwide.
Interestingly, in terms of English proficiency, Sweden as a whole ranks higher than the city of Stockholm. Contrastingly, Copenhagen seems to have a high concentration of English-speakers but fewer English speakers in Denmark as a whole.
English is not one of Sweden’s official languages, so it is remarkable that Sweden scores higher in English proficiency than some places that do consider English an official language. For example, Singapore does consider English as one of its official languages but the country comes in at number 10. Even South Africa, where there are 11 official languages, and where English is used in education and considered an official language, comes in at number 12 on the list.
Our country’s proficiency in a second language is extremely valuable. It is a skill that helps Swedish people to communicate effectively with neighboring countries and it demonstrates the excellence of our educational system. The country’s amazing English skills are definitely something to be proud of!