Italians, Germans and the French are the most insecure in Europe about their levels of English, with Swedes among the most confident, data showed recently.

根據最近一項資料顯示,在歐洲國家當中,義大利人、德國人和法國人對他們的英文程度最沒有把握,瑞典人則最有自信。

In celebration of European Language Day, the Eurostat statistics agency said 66 percent of working age adults claim to know at least one foreign language, with English overwhelmingly the most popular except in the Baltic states, Luxembourg and Slovakia.

為慶祝歐洲語言日,歐盟統計局最近公布,有66%的工作年齡成人聲稱至少懂得一種外國語,其中又以英語最為普遍,但波羅的海國家、盧森堡與斯洛伐克除外。

But asked if their level of English was "proficient", "good", or just "fair", 64 percent of Italians said only fair, followed by 50 percent in Germany and 49 percent in France.

但在被問到其英語程度屬「精通」、「良好」或只是「普通」時,有64%的義大利人回答普通,德國的比率為50%,法國的比率則為49%。

In Malta, Britain’s one-time Mediterranean outpost, 53 percent of respondents judged themselves proficient in English followed by Sweden at 43 percent and Denmark at 36 percent.

在曾為英國在地中海前哨的馬爾他,有53%的受訪者認為自己精通英文,瑞典為43%,丹麥則為36%。

The data showed a whopping 94 percent of upper secondary school students in the European Union choosing English as their second language, with French a distant second at 23 percent, and German at 21 percent.

這份資料也顯示,有高達94%的歐盟國家高中生選擇英語為第二語言,法語以23%的比率遙遙落後,德語更只有21%。

The crushing preponderance of English as the foreign tongue of choice is a sore subject for many European countries, especially the French, who long for a continent where the language of Shakespeare is not the lingua franca.

英語在歐洲外語選擇中佔了壓倒性優勢,是讓許多歐洲國家心痛的話題,尤其是在法國,法國人最不樂見莎翁的語言變成歐陸的共通語言。

新聞辭典

proficient:形容詞,指精通的、熟練的,如She is proficient in two foreign languages.(她精通兩種外國語言。)

outpost:名詞,指前哨或國家的邊遠地區,如The community is the last outpost of civilization in the far north.(這個社區是極北地區最後的文明哨站。)

preponderance:名詞,正式用語,指佔大多數、居於優勢,如The preponderance of visitors to the museum are from outside the country.(博物館的大多數訪客都來自外國。)

文章出處:<a href="http://iservice.libertytimes.com.tw/Service/english/">自由時報電子報中英對照新聞

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