Czechs lagging in languages

54 percent of Czechs have no foreign language ability whatsoever, according to the results of a survey released yesterday by the Social and Economy Analyses Institute (ISEA).

The same poll showed that only 27 percent of Czechs can communicate in at least one foreign language, usually English, followed by German. A negative correlation between age an language skill was found, with younger people reporting stronger abilities in foreign languages. Those with a university degree are also much more likely to speak a foreign language, with 77 percent of graduates able to speak at least one.

Language skills are key component foreign investors look at when evaluating a labor market, and the Czech-German Trade and Industry Chamber says it is a crucial point for 75 percent of German investors.

Everyone knows language skills are vital for anyone wishing to compete in an integrated European economy. Maybe the foreign investors who decry the lack of skills in this country (but who are still happy to set up shop, since low wages are the trade-off) should invest a bit in people by providing language trainning to their employees. Just a thought.

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