Published on by

10+ European Countries That Speak English

People in the Old Continent speak English quite well, far better than people in Asian or Latin American nations. English has become the most useful language for bridging the gap between Europe’s many language groups. 

In Belgium, the United Kingdom, Ireland (along with Irish), and Malta, English is the official language (along with Maltese). The ability to communicate effectively in English is essential for business success. Europe has the highest number of English language job offers.

A Brief History of English in European Continent

The English language in Europe is a native language, mainly spoken in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The English language is the de facto official language of England. English is spoken by people who have learned it as a second language. It is also spoken natively by certain immigrants from English-speaking nations to a lesser level in other regions of Europe. 

European countries are most proficient in English. The population of European nations speaks English at an extraordinarily high level. The European continent has both native and non-native English-speaking populations. A variety of informal combination terms have been coined to describe European English. There are fifty recognized distinct languages in Europe. It shows diversity in many aspects. 

Varied patterns of immigration contribute to the linguistic landscape in Europe. The English language in Europe has been uniquely established. The 20th century influenced the spread of the English language. The English language is associated with the highest level of official international language. English is used for different roles and areas, and its speakers benefit. 

Many European nations speak English as a second language, but people visit Europe thinking of English as a first language. English is also a lingua franca. English is the official international language and language of the workplace. The rise of English is unavoidable. 

In Europe, English proficiency depends on English learning skills. Knowledge about the English language makes everyone a global participant.

In English-speaking countries in Europe, the entertainment industry plays a significant role. People usually migrate to these countries to pursue higher education and find job opportunities in a globalized world where people speak multiple languages.

As English is a component of the Indo-European language family, it is connected to a variety of other European languages. The Proto-Indo-European language was English’s ancestor.

The English language is a liberating force. About 450 million people speak the English language throughout Europe. However, there aren’t many officially recognized European Countries that Speak English. The majority of the continent can be spoken in that language.

The EU is noted for its cultural and linguistic diversity, and the languages spoken by its members are a significant part of its cultural heritage. As a result, the EU encourages multilingualism in its programs and institutions’ activities.

What are the English-Speaking Countries In Europe?

The English language is treated as a native language in Europe. It is widely spoken in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Apart from these states, the language itself has official status in Gibraltar, Malta, the Crown dependencies, and the Sovereign Base Areas of Akron.

A large proportion of the inhabitants, all over the continent, can speak two or more languages. Almost half of the natives are either eloquent or able to maintain a conversation. As per the English Proficiency Index, around 67% of the population in Finland speaks English. English is the world’s most widely spoken language. It has the potential to open doors to incredible possibilities for you.

English is the world’s most widely spoken language. The European Union has 24 official languages. The founding principle in the European continent is multilingualism. It has the potential to open doors to incredible possibilities for you. 

19 out of 25 countries commonly speak English in Europe. According to the EF English Competency Index, the Netherlands has the most significant English language proficiency, with a score of 663.

1. Netherlands

  • EF Ranking: #1 out of 112
  • EF EPI score: 663
  • Position in Europe 1 of 35

The English language is spoken by the great majority of the population in the Netherlands. European countries that speak English have the top ranking in the EF EPI(Education’s First English Proficiency Index).

The 2021 regional trends show the highest score of 663. The average level of English within the EU has risen by a slight increase. The eligible population in the Netherlands is 16,770,000, with 90.9% of total English speakers.

The bands make it easy to identify nations and regions with comparable skills. The Netherlands has a very high proficiency. Sample tasks like using nuanced and appropriate language in social situations, reading advanced texts with ease. 

The Netherlands also uses English language subtitles for foreign languages on television, rather than audio dubbing. The dependency on international trade contributes to a high degree of English fluency. 

There are many reasons why nations with high English proficiency do well in the innovation industry. English proficiency enables innovators to study primary scientific research, develop international collaborations, hire foreign talent, and attend conferences.

The population of the Netherlands is 16.8 million people. About 91 percent of the population, or 15.3 million Netherlanders, speak English.

The second official language of the Netherlands is  English, announced by the Dutch government. The non-native speakers speak Dutch-English perceptibly. 

The main reason for high English proficiency in the Netherlands in the small country size. One of the reasons is the Dutch language’s proximity to the English language.

2. Austria

  • EF Ranking: #2 out of 112
  • EF EPI score: 641
  • Position in Europe 2 of 35

European countries that speak English as a lingua franca have very high English proficiency. The position of the top proficient nation increases the scope for using language flexibly and effectively for social, academic, and professional purposes. The eligible population in Austria is 8,415,000, with 73% of total English speakers.

Austria holds the second position from the European Union continent. English usage in Austria appeals for the student’s involvement. According to recent statistics, Austria has over 1.5 million tourists each year. 

In Austria, English is spoken by roughly 73 percent of the population. In some areas of Austria, the level of spoken English depends on the tourist. One should have some knowledge about the German language to converse better. 

The English Proficiency Index reveals that Austrian women speak English significantly more fluently than Austrian males. This gender disparity is more diverse than that reported in other European countries. 

3. Denmark

  • EF Ranking: #3 out of 112
  • EF EPI score: 636
  • Position in Europe 3 of 35

History shows Denmark is a homogeneous country. Danish is the official language in Denmark. 86 percent of Danes speak it as a second language, and English is taught to Danes from an early age. The eligible population in Denmark is 5,543,000, with 86% of total English speakers.

In Denmark, about 4.77 million individuals in the Danish population speak English. Denmark is routinely ranked among the top three countries in the world for English proficiency.

The English language in Denmark is taught to young children. The population is exposed to the English language, culture, and literature. The learning process enables students to learn fluently from childhood. 

Denmark reflects a very high proficiency ranking and tops the third position in the world. Thus, it reflects higher growth in learning English. 

In the European Union, English is considered a medium of international connectivity. 

Danes are required to study English in Folkeskole. It becomes an optional language. English is the third most widely spoken foreign language in Denmark, with a 13% speaking population.

4. Norway

  • EF Ranking: #5 out of 112
  • EF EPI score: 632
  • Position in Europe 4 of 35

Norwegians speak English as a second language daily. When they go on vacation, most Norwegians only speak English. Norwegians, like me, work in global corporations where English is the primary language of communication. The eligible population in Norway is 5,136,700, with 90% of total English speakers.

Norway ranks at 5th position with very high proficiency. The EF EPI (Education’s First English Proficiency) Country and Region Rankings look at changes in English skills over +24 points. 

Learning English in Norway is a choice. People might not use English much while communicating. People are drowned by English literature, movies, and books.

But the English language learning starts from kindergarten. Scandinavians, including the Dutch, have the finest non-native English abilities globally.

Although English and Nordic languages appear to have nothing in common, the fact is very different. English language abilities have become more vital to enable active involvement in society with the rise of English as a lingua franca (ELF). 

English has high prestige, and students are involved in English language study both in school and in their free time. 

5. Belgium

  • EF Ranking: #6 out of 112
  • EF EPI score: 629
  • Position in Europe 5 of 35

Education’s First English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) from global language training puts Belgium in the 5th position in Europe with a very high proficiency index. The eligible population in Belgium is 10,584,534, with 60% of total English speakers.

The extensive usage of English worldwide has ramifications for English language instruction in Belgium. In Belgium, English has high prestige, and students are involved in English language study both in school and in their free time.

In Belgium, students begin official English teaching in the first year of primary school. They are six years old and continue their 10-year obligatory education. The English language as a school topic has gotten more attention and is a necessary and life-long ability in Belgium. 

Belgium has multilingual cultures and people who are bilingual or trilingual. A large percentage of Belgium population students learn English as a second language. Over 4.5 million non-native Belgium’s population speak English as a second language.

6. Portugal

  • EF Ranking: #7 out of 112
  • EF EPI score: 625
  • Position in Europe 6 of 35

According to the Education’s First English Proficiency Index (EF EPI), Portugal has a very high proficiency in English. Portugal stands at the 6th position in the European Continent. The eligible population in Portugal is 10,623,00, with 27% of total English speakers.

It seems that a quarter and a third of Portuguese people can speak English. Portugal attracts at least several million English-speaking tourists each year.

The number is growing, so you’ll find a large number of English speakers in any of the tourist destinations, as well as airports, stations, and other locations, and you’ll have no trouble communicating in English.

As many Portuguese individuals immigrate, a large portion of the elderly population speaks English. Most jobs in tourist locations are expected to speak English, so if you’re planning a vacation, you’ll be able to get by with only English.

Although English is spoken in many tourist destinations, it is not universal. Portuguese students learn the English dialects in schools. They have also been exposed to American and English films and television shows. The English-speaking population is found more in Portugal than in Spain or France. 

7. Sweden

  • EF Ranking: #8 out of 112
  • EF EPI score: 623
  • Position in Europe 7 of 35

Sweden ranks 8th position in the world in EF EPI(Education’s First English Proficiency Index). The consistent high score makes the European continent very high in English language proficiency. The eligible population in Sweden is 10,377,771, with 89% of total English speakers.

English in secondary school from third to ninth grade is a required subject. All pupils must continue to study for at least another year. Linguists are debating whether English should be classified as a foreign language, a second language, or a transcultural language in Sweden at the moment.

English speakers take the Swedish course in Sweden more than any other course for services because Sweden has a high immigrant population.

English is not the official language in Sweden, but Sweden’s population excels in speaking English. Sweden is a multicultural country.

The English language has many academic programs offered and a good chunk of multinational companies in Sweden. It makes English the common language among all the different nationalities.

Sweden’s excellent English proficiency is one of its advantages as it seeks to internationalize its higher education industry and attract more foreign talent. Swedes are exposed to media in the English language.

8. Finland

  • EF Ranking: #9 out of 112
  • EF EPI score: 618
  • Position in Europe 8 of 35

Finland is in 9th position with very high proficiency. EF EPI (Education’s First English Proficiency) Country and Region Rankings look at changes in English skills in over 618 bands.

The eligible population in Finland is 5,410,000, with 70% of total English speakers. The two main official languages of Finland are Swedish and  Finnish. The Finnish population speaks English with tourists. Finnish is the most widely spoken language. Language and culture studies programs are available in the English language in Finland. 

Finland offers a wide range of study programs in English. Because learning English in Finnish schools takes a long time. Most individuals, except the elderly, will communicate in it to some degree, many of them fluently. As a means of communication, English is becoming more functional. 

Visitors frequently report that they don’t need to speak Finnish because English is spoken practically everywhere. Since English proficiency is good, most Finns prefer to communicate in Finnish.

Because Finland is regarded as off the beaten road by some, English teachers have many chances. English is in high demand in the corporate world. 

9. Croatia 

  • EF Ranking: #10 out of 112
  • EF EPI score: 617
  • Position in Europe 9 of 35

Croatia is in the 10th rank out of 112 countries with very high proficiency. EF EPI (Education’s First English Proficiency) Country and Region Rankings look at changes in English skills in over 617 bands. The eligible population in Finland is 4,555,000, with 60% of total English speakers. 

Croatia is becoming more popular as a tourist destination in Eastern Europe. Croatians speak English widely, with more than half of the population knowing the language. According to a Eurobarometer estimate, English speakers account for roughly 49% of the population in Croatia.

Many Croatians speak other languages, with roughly 39% speaking German and 23% speaking French. Croatian children learn English in school at a young age. The current trends and exposure to the internet and media increase the scope. 

Croatians are among the very high proficiency English speakers. It is Croatia’s official and literary language and one of the European Union’s official languages. Croatian is also one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s official languages and a minority language in Serbia and adjacent nations.

10. Germany 

  • EF Ranking: #11 out of 112
  • EF EPI score: 616
  • Position in Europe 10 of 35

German is the most frequently spoken language in Germany. There are several dialects as well. However, they are only spoken in certain areas.

Germans are very proficient English non-native speakers. The eligible population in Germany is 80,600,000, with 56% of total English speakers. The majority of Germans study English in school as their first foreign language. 

The majority of the courses are offered in German. Students can study English in German institutions through an increasing number of English-language programs. English is a tourist language in Germany. Survival without knowing German is possible. 

People who work in the service and industry in the larger cities and attractions will speak decent English for their particular area of expertise. The degree of English proficiency varies considerably throughout Germany’s various regions. 

The overall quality of English in the country is outstanding, and it compares favorably to that of most other European countries; nonetheless, there are notable regional differences. English may be commonly spoken in some vocations. You will be expected to be able to communicate in German with others.

Quick Tips when Visiting Europe

  • English may not be the first language in some countries in Europe. It results in a linguistic barrier. 
  • It includes travel, work, and study. With all of this in mind, there are several options for choosing the most appropriate reason for visitors and tourists to visit Europe.
  • Many individuals in Europe speak some English, and it’s not uncommon for them to know a little bit of the language of a neighboring nation, such as German in the Netherlands or Spanish in Portugal.
  • Europe is a similar-sized continent with 44 different countries. Each country’s history, culture, cuisine, and language are distinct.
  • Before visiting Europe with Babbel, learn a little about the local language.  The software makes learning French, German, Spanish, or any other language a breeze, with bite-sized sessions only 10 to 15 minutes long.
  •  It has travel, employment, and studies. There are many possibilities of finding the most suitable purpose for visitors and tourists to visit Europe. 
  • Another thing to keep in mind while visiting Europe for the first time is that national holidays differ from region to region.
  • Eastern Europe is just as charming as Western Europe, and it’s a lot less expensive. Learning a little French will help to visit Europe. Also, use some internationally understood words. 
  • Make sure you verify your visa requirements twice. Any translation app will suffice. It facilitates communication with local merchants. Take charge and be explicit about what you desire. For both of us, the discussion will be more and more pleasurable. Avoid using different dialects of English as possible.
  • It is better to learn the local words and popular phrases in a different language to plan a successful visit to Europe. Familiarize with the regional dialects to seek help in finding directions. 
  • Avoid the Nazi Salute when in Germany. It is considered to be the most offensive act. German people consider Nazi Salute disrespectful.
  • Europe has many languages and dialects according to different regions. The EU has many linguistic and ethnic differences. 
  • It would be beneficial if you could read the signs. It makes finding instructions easy. Also, for greater comprehension, utilize translation applications.
  • Nonverbal communication is successful when a person’s body language is friendly. As a result, while asking for aid from locals, it is advisable to be pleasant and modest.
  • When in doubt, use DeepL to understand the local language. 
  • A Phrasebook or Pocket Dictionary should always be carried. Relying on digital technology can probably be challenging. A tiny book in your bag will raise your self-esteem and aid you in a stressful situation.
  • To assist you in communicating in English and your native language, use a Local Speaking Guide. If you get stuck, someone can translate for you and teach you a few things along the way.

5 Useful Apps to Get you Around

Let’s face it: apps have made foreign travel more accessible than ever before. It features a plethora of technological amenities that help to overcome linguistic difficulties. 

You’ll need these apps whenever you travel to a new nation since they’ll help you learn as you go. You may use these applications to translate by taking photographs and instantly converting voice to text.

It might be tough to travel in the European nation when people do not speak English. 

There are, however, a plethora of excellent applications that offer to assist you in your travels around Europe. These applications help users in overcoming linguistic barriers. They can quickly comprehend the specifics of local attractions and dining establishments.

Before your next vacation to Europe, check out these five handy applications.

1. Google Translate

  • It works 100% free in all European countries. 
  • You can easily download language packs that have sizes between 150 and 300 MB.
  • This is a better option to translate any language into English.
  • Google Translate is a simple and friendly go-to application for translating one language to English. 
  • This application contains most modern languages that help as a free travel guide.
  • Google recently added a feature of SMS and phrasebook translation for android devices.

2. Microsoft Translator

  • It can translate text, voice, and photos between 60 languages, including English.
  • Its camera translation feature provides instant translation. You can point your camera to get the result.
  • This allows you to translate the language through voice. But if you are in a noisy place, you can also use text translation.
  • It offers some ideal features of multi-person conversation translation where you can connect your device with as many as 100 people at once. 
  • It also has split-screen functionality that offers travelers to translate while sitting across. 
  • Microsoft translation has offline language packs available for translation. 
  • This app comes with translation guides and also helps in pronunciation. People can also learn how to speak some of the phrases properly.

3. SayHi 

  • Its voice recognition feature allows you to be a part of any conversation without changing the language.
  • This app is ideal for instant person-to-person communication.
  • It not only translates several languages, but it impressively detects many dialects. The list of dialects includes USA, UK, Canada English, Canada French, Mandarin, Taiwan Chinese, etc.
  • It offers the feature to program the voice used to be male or female. You can set the speed to your liking as well.
  • If you need to converse languages regularly, you can download the SayHi app for your Android and iOS devices.

4. iTranslate Voice

  • Unlike other applications, the iTranslate voice app works as advertised to get the job done instantly. 
  • It can translate up to 40 languages.
  • Its air-translation feature can translate voice-to-voice communication. This feature can connect your iPhone with other iOS devices via Bluetooth. Then each other can communicate in your languages. 
  • You can adjust the volume and speed of audio according to your liking. 
  • It offers smart features to change the voice as male or female.
  • It provides quick access to recently used languages. 
  • It is a must-have smart translation app on your iOS device.

5. Triplingo 

  • It is an ideal app to learn titbits and local phrases whenever you travel.
  • TripLingo helps you to understand essential phrases as well as street slang. 
  • The database of applications access around 26,000 phrases in 13 languages and provides instant voice translation. 
  • Triplingo offers an audio lesson or an offline dictionary with a currency converter. 
  • The app has image translation. You can tap the camera option to get the job done. 
  • Many features need a subscription of USD 20 per month.

Final Thoughts on English-Speaking Countries in Europe

Europe has a very high proficiency in English-speaking. European people have their regional dialects.

European countries offer various courses that have freeships and scholarships.

Europe can be the best choice for students, job seekers, and tourists. 

Additional FAQs — English-Speaking European Countries

How Many Countries in Europe Have English as their Official Language?

Europe is the most populous region on Earth. The current population of Europe is 784,316,438 for the year 2021. European regions have monolingual English speakers.

There are 24 official languages in the EU. Bulgarian, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian,  Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, and Swedish are among the languages spoken in the country. 

With 38 percent, English as a foreign language is definitely in the lead, followed by German and French (each with 14 percent), Russian and Spanish (each with 6 percent), and Italian (3 percent).
English is the official language in the United Kingdom (de facto), Ireland, Malta.

Over 98 percent of the 65.1 million people in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland speak English.

Geographically, English is spoken in almost every part of the United Kingdom. It is widely spoken in England. Northern Scotland and Wales, which feature regional languages, are the most probable places to encounter persons speaking minority languages.

Do European Countries Learn English?

According to EF EPI (Education First’s English Proficiency Index) European union has the highest band 663 across the globe. It also has the world’s top 10 countries in rankings.

The European content has accepted English as de facto. English is spoken as a first language by 13% of EU citizens. 38% of EU people claim to be able to carry on a conversation in English, bringing the overall reach of English in the EU to 51%.

According to data from Eurostat, the most studied languages in European schools are French, German, and Spanish. Across Europe, students learn English in primary and secondary school. 
Students in Europe acquire foreign languages at a significantly greater rate in school than their peers in the United States.

Nine out of ten students in senior high schools in Europe learn English (94%), which is much higher as compared to those who learn French (24%), German (20%), or Spanish (24%). 
European countries have the highest proficiency and English skills ranking of countries and regions.

Is English Common in Europe?

English remains the most frequently spoken language in the EU, with German spoken by 36% of the population and French by 29% of the EU’s new population of 446 million. With 18 percent, Italian is fourth, followed by Spanish with 17 percent.

English proficiency has risen rapidly across the continent among young people.

English has always been the Lingua Franca of European Union institutions in Brussels, serving as a single language for EU officials to communicate about legislation governing areas such as energy, security, and commerce.

It reflects the use of English across Europe as a whole. A majority of EU citizens could speak English, either as a first or second language.

The English language is referred to as the universal language. It’s the lingo for managing diversity. It aims to promote language homogeneity.


A group of language enthusiasts with a shared commitment to helping you succeed in your English language journey. With years of experience, relevant certifications, and a deep love for languages, we're here to provide you with the support and resources you need to excel in exams like IELTS, TOEFL, OET, Duolingo and many others. We take pride in helping individuals like you achieve their language goals.