The Best Non-Native English Speaking Countries

Hammocks on a Filipino Beach
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The Best Non-Native English Speaking Countries

Hi Guys!

Travelling abroad can be an excellent way to practice your English especially if you are travelling to a native English-speaking country such as the USA or the UK. That said, there are also plenty of countries all over the world where English is not the official language where you can practice your language skills! In fact did you know that of the 1.5 billion people who speak English in the world, the majority are non-native speakers! In today’s post we are going to be taking a look at the top non native English Speaking countries where you can practice your English!

The Netherlands

Dutch Canal

No surprises here if you have ever spoken English to a Dutch person. They have a reputation for having an excellent level of English. A study by international Educational company EF Education First found that the Dutch are the best non native English speakers in the world with over 90% of the population speaking the language! It seems that anyone that has graduated from a Dutch school or University holds a native or near native level of English.

Strangely enough many US and English nationals actually choose to go to University in the Netherlands due to the high level of English, impressive standards of education and lower tuition fees.

Another interesting fact is that Dutch and English are oddly similar with Dutch actually being one of the easiest languages for English people to learn.

The Philippines

Hammocks on a Filipino Beach

Although Tagalog is the most commonly spoken language in the Philippines, over 92% of Filipinos actually speak English as well! Due to their fun loving good nature, Filipinos make great conversation partners. In addition to their impressive speaking ability, Filipinos also tend to be great readers and writers in English as well.

Due to their familiarity with the USA, they also have a great grasp of American culture and slang too.

Norway

As Norwegian and English are both Germanic languages it means that they come from the same root, meaning that the two share many similarities. In fact, Norse has had a huge impact on the English language over the years due to the Viking occupation over a thousand years ago! This is likely one of the main reasons why countries like Norway have such a high percentage of non-native English speakers.

Romania

Colourful Romanian Residential Street

A beautiful country with friendly locals, there are much worse places you could go to practice your English. In Romanian cities like Bucharest almost everybody speaks English to a good level. In the countryside English is not so widespread, however most of the younger population can speak the language.

Finland

Finland’s appearance on this list is rather strange as Finnish has very little similarities with any other European languages. That said, Finland consistently ranks very highly in terms of the population’s English speaking ability with 70% of the adult population speaking the language.

The Fins’ proficiency in English likely stems from the fact that they begin learning the language at a very young age giving them a head start!

Denmark

Denmark normally ranks somewhere near the top on these lists. Like the other countries in Scandinavia, the Danish people have a very high level of English. As only 5.5 million people around the world speak Danish it means that it is important for the Danes to speak English so that they can communicate with people overseas.

Interestingly enough the Danes also do not dub their tv shows and movies into Danish, another likely factor as to why they have such an impressive level of English.

Luxembourg

Not satisfied with simply being a trilingual country (Luxembourgish, German and French in case you were wondering), the Luxembourgish people also have a very good level of English. This is mainly due to the high levels of English education in schools, the language is also widely spoken in the international banking sector.

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Singapore

One of the few non-European nations on this list. The language was originally brought to Singapore by British colonisers. As Singapore is a global business hub it makes sense that the people there would have a good understanding of the language as English is the ‘lengua franca’ of the business world these days.  

Sweden

Stockholm Waterfront

Yet another Scandinavian entry on this list. Due to Swedish grammar being so similar to English it is no wonder why the Swedish population consistently rank as one of best non native English speakers in the world. Many Swedes actually speak English on a daily basis as it is the official language for most businesses in the country.

Malaysia

Another non-European country and rather similarly to Singapore, English was originally brought to Malaysia by British colonisers. Although Malaysia is an incredibly diverse country with a mixture of Chinese, Malaysian and Indian peoples living there, English remains the 2nd most spoken language in the country.

So, there you have it the best places you can go to practice your English. If you are interested in seeing the full English Proficiency Index you can access it here.

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