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Ireland failing language test

IRELAND is near the bottom of the class in Europe when it comes to ability to speak foreign languages. Just 40pc of Irish people claim to be able to speak another language, a new Eurobarometer survey outlines.

The most common additional languages for Irish people were Irish, French and German.

This means Ireland is in fifth worst place, after Hungary, Italy, the UK and Portugal.

However Ireland is one of the countries that show notable increases in the proportion of respondents who say they are able to speak at least one foreign language.

Compared to data from the previous edition of the Eurobarometer survey, in Ireland this figure went up by six points to 40pc.

When asked to name the two languages they believed to be most useful for children to learn, one in two Irish people said French, followed by German, Spanish and Chinese.