A global study of the world’s English language skills, the English skills index, has ranked the Danes as the third most skilled non-English speakers as mother tongue.
Based on data from over 1 million standardized EFSET tests conducted in 112 non-English speaking countries, the ranking is carried out annually by the education organization EF Education First,
This year, Denmark has been taken by the Netherlands in first place and Austria in second place.
But the Danes can at least claim the victory among their Scandinavian peers, where Norway comes in an overall fifth place and Sweden in an eighth place.
How is your danglish?
According to Professor Dorte Lønsmann from the Department of Linguistics at the University of Copenhagen, Danes’ knowledge of English gives them an advantage when it comes to being part of international communities.
However, not all Danes wear ‘Danglish’ well.
“By and large, the elderly are the worst. And people who are in contact with English-speaking communities through work or study are the best, ”said Lønsmann.
She adds that Danes are generally best at speaking English in informal contexts – ordinary conversation away from work or study. Formal situations are how many Danes fall short.
“We know that there is a difference between speaking English on holiday and speaking English in situations where something is at stake – for example in the workplace,” Lønsmann said.
She highlighted a study from 2013 only about 50 percent of Danes showed that their English is good enough to read and understand English news.
Source: The Nordic Page