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Old 07-13-2010, 11:55 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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With just a basic knowledge of that country's language? I have a dream of living in Italy one day, and although I would learn Italian, I imagine the first few years would be rather difficult. How would France, Greece, Spain compare?
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:02 AM
 
Location: Burnsville, Minnesota
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
With just a basic knowledge of that country's language? I have a dream of living in Italy one day, and although I would learn Italian, I imagine the first few years would be rather difficult. How would France, Greece, Spain compare?
I came into this thread with the intent of saying England, but in that case, I think I'll just go with France or Spain. Aren't French and Spanish easy languages to learn? Greek seems difficult to learn, but it would be awesome to speak.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:19 AM
 
Location: Wildside of Oahu
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Originally Posted by City Data Guy View Post
I came into this thread with the intent of saying England, but in that case, I think I'll just go with France or Spain. Aren't French and Spanish easy languages to learn? Greek seems difficult to learn, but it would be awesome to speak.
Hahaa...I was going to say the same thing!! England, Ireland, Scottland, Wales...all speak English.

Take a couple non-credit courses at your local CC or JC. They're usually cheap and short 6-8 weeks. I've taken both French & Italian, but personally found French easier. Italian was too close to the little bit of Spanish I speak and I kept getting them confused. Also many Fr/It words have the same latin root word and you'll find it easier to learn the second language.

Greek? You have to not only learn the language, but a completely different alphabet.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:25 AM
 
Location: Wildside of Oahu
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
With just a basic knowledge of that country's language? I have a dream of living in Italy one day, and although I would learn Italian, I imagine the first few years would be rather difficult. How would France, Greece, Spain compare?
After re-reading your post, I would say that France has more English speakers. Most French learn English in elementary school. And while you need to learn their language if you move there, France is pretty easy to get around with limited French. I also found the road signs more easily understandable in France vs. Italy.

In Italy, it seemed like more of the younger people spoke English, but people middle aged or older did not. In the small towns, we met few English speakers.

I've only visited Barcelona, which is a pretty large city but had no problem speaking English. As a matter of fact, my Californian Spanglish did me absolutely no good! LOL
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:39 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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^ Thanks, yeah I meant to say except the UK or Ireland but I forgot!
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:46 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pennsylvania / Dull Germany
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Besides UK, I think the Netherlands have the highest rate of english-speaking people in Europe. People in France often have learned english at school, but they do not want to talk to you in english, they often expect you to talk french with them in case you are in their country. This may be a prejudice but I have been to France several times and (of course not at Airports, large Hotels, etc) it was very similar.
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:45 AM
 
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As in the U.S., if you live in someone else's country the people there will expect you to speak their language. However, not a few number of Europeans are multi-lingual, and the mix almost always includes English.

There are, however, many areas where there are large numbers of English-speaking retirees and snowbirds, and in these areas English is more widely used and its use is far more accepted....the southern coasts of Spain and Portugal, for example. And Cyprus (the Greek portion at any rate) is virtually bilingual, so English there is no problem at all except in rural areas.
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:51 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pennsylvania / Dull Germany
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Another possibility in southern Europe would be Malta. Although it is a very small state, one of two official languages is English and many Europeans from Germany, France, etc. visit language schools in their holidays in Malta. The climate is comparable with Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:50 AM
 
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In my opinion, Scandinavian countries. Most people, to my knowledge, are English speakers there.

As for Mediterranean countries, generally speaking, only young people speak English, and only in areas where there is tourism to some extent. If you intend to live in any of these countries, you will absolutely have to learn the language.
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:18 AM
 
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To live in any foreign country long term, you need a local work permit/visa (unless you are super rich). It is quite tough for Americans to get work permits/visas to live any European Union country.
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