One issue English-speaking travelers face from time to time is the language barrier. Luckily for English monoglots, the company EF Education First has just put together its 2017 list for the top 20 nations on earth with the highest English Proficiency Indices. All 20 of the nations listed below have very high levels of English proficiency…but it’s still a nice gesture to learn key phrases from your travel destination’s mother tongue.
For the second year in a row, EF ranks the Netherlands as the best nation in terms of English education. Study authors note that the Dutch Ministry of Education requires all schoolchildren to learn English in primary and secondary education. Plus, tons of Dutch kids spend hours watching American and British TV shows with English captions on the TV.
Number two on EF’s list is Sweden. Amazingly, at least one quarter of Swedes study and/or work abroad (most often in an English-speaking country) at some point in their lives. Plus, all foreign shows are shown in their original language without captions on Swedish TV.
The third best place for an English-only speaker to travel to is Denmark. If you know your geography, then you probably already know that Denmark is located nearby Sweden and the Netherlands. All three of these nations (plus Norway, which comes in number four) have similar Germanic roots to English. It also helps that most Danes love to travel internationally and watch British shows on TV without subtitles.
From number five to number 20, here are the remaining countries on EF’s list: Singapore, Finland, Luxembourg, South Africa, Germany, Austria, Poland, Belgium, Malaysia, Switzerland, the Philippines, Serbia, Portugal, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.