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English is the most spoken language that connects different cultures across Europe. However, not every European country has the highest proficiency in English.
In fact, there are many countries where your English knowledge wouldn’t be useful since the locals speak very little English or not at all.
Here are the 10 least English-speaking countries in Europe.
As strange as this may be. In Spain, not many people speak English. In big cities like Madrid or Barcelona, you can find people who speak English well and can help you to get to the museum or the nearest shop.
In smaller towns and villages, you will have difficulties communicating with the locals, especially because Castilian is the only language they speak. No matter their poor English knowledge, they will, somehow, always try to help.
Therefore, if you travel to Spain, we suggest you learn at least the most common words and phrases to facilitate communication with them.
Italians consider that being rude if you expect them to know English. Moreover, in schools, there is not enough attention to learning English, so no wonder why they mainly don't speak the language well.
In big cities, like Milano for example, and hotels, people do speak English, but you should prepare some common phrases in Italian especially for the restaurants.
Here's another surprise...or perhaps not?
The French are a very proud nation, proud of their culture, language, and tradition. They don't consider it necessary to know English.
On the other hand, not knowing at least some basic expressions, the French consider that quite rude.
Even though younger people do speak English, you have to speak clearly and slowly so that they can understand you.
And here's one fun fact: this concerns other French-speaking countries as well.
You must be wondering now 'What's that with all these huge countries and their bad English?'
Russia is one more huge country where English knowledge won't help you a lot. In fact, it won't help you at all especially in smaller towns and regions.
Why is that so?
Well, Russia had a huge impact on neighboring countries as well as the eastern part of the planet. So, many countries near Russia have been learning Russian and learning one more language, especially English, wasn't necessary.
However, in big cities such as Moscow or Saint Petersburg, you can find people with whom you can communicate in English.
But just in case, we recommend learning some Russian phrases and expressions or learning the Russian alphabet so that you can, at least, know to read and explain to the locals if you get lost.
This is one of the countries where people, besides their native language, Belarus, speak Russian very well.
On the other hand, this is one of the countries where you can hardly find someone speaking English, even in the capital city, Minsk.
The only 'safe' place where you can speak English and be understood is in airports and some more luxurious hotels.
So, if you decide to visit Belarus, you better prepare some phrases in Russian or Belarus, otherwise, you'll have difficulties communicating with the locals.
How many amazing things there are to see and experience in Belarus shows the fact that Minsk was a place wherein one of the most famous and favorite American sitcoms, Friends, Phoebe’s true love, David, moved to Minsk.
Georgia is one more country where speaking Russian will help you more than speaking English.
Even though younger generations and highly educated people speak English better than the older ones, it is far away from good English knowledge.
Even in restaurants, you will find menus rather in Russian than in English.
Not that you should avoid visiting this country, but better be prepared with some basic Georgian or Russian expressions.
Ukraine is a lovely country with amazing people. They are so friendly and open-hearted that you will feel like you are at home.
But, communicating with them, if you don't speak Ukrainian or Russian, is quite difficult.
Ukrainians mainly speak English pretty badly. In big cities and among educated people, you can find someone to talk to, but if you really want to make friends, you better learn some Slavic language, Russian or Ukrainian to communicate with them.
Who would say that such a big country and one of the top tourist attractions would be on this list, right?
First of all, in big cities, such as Istanbul or Ankara, you can find people to communicate with but in smaller towns don't hope so.
One of the reasons, besides money, is that English is so much different from Turkish, which makes it for them very hard to learn.
But don't think that in the future that won't change. In the meantime, you should consider learning Turkish with Turkish tutors.
In the past several years, Albania became a pretty popular tourist attraction.
Even in a small country, it has a lot to show and their tradition, which they are so proud of, is so specific that it deserves to be seen and experienced, as long as you don't have to speak to them in English.
Yes, in Albania you can have difficulties in communicating in English with people.
Albanians mainly learn and speak Italian so you should consider learning Italian if you don't already know it.
Azerbaijan is the country where you can see, hear, and learn so many amazing things that you would want to go back there again and again.
But one of the things that can be difficult for you as an English speaker is communication with the locals.
In Azerbaijan, people can’t say that they speak English. In big cities, like Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan, yes, but in other cities or far away from the center, not really. The main spoken foreign language is Russian.
But, it is obvious that younger generations speak English a little better than the older ones, which means that the situation with English is slowly changing.
Even though these countries can’t say that they are ‘English-friendly,’ you can put them on your list of destinations to visit. Even better, you can learn their native languages, which are all fascinating. And imagine how happy the locals would be if they heard that a tourist learned their native language. There is no better way to show respect and sympathy for that nation and their country. And the feeling is priceless.
That’s why you should learn one of these languages with Justlearn tutors.
The advantage will be in two directions. Not only will you learn one more foreign language, but you can also teach the locals English and that way help these countries improve their English skills.
Spain, Italy, France, Russia, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Turkey
English is the most spoken language that connects different cultures across Europe. However, not every European country has the highest proficiency in English. In fact, there are many countries where your English knowledge wouldn’t be useful since the locals speak very little English or not at all.
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