English Usage: Austria
Austria has a very high level of proficiency according to the EF English Proficiency Index 2018 and has around 6.4 million Austrians that use it as a second language. Only 0.16% of people in Austria use it as a mother tongue, while 40.48% use it as a foreign language. Vienna is the city with the highest level of proficiency and the best-ranked region is Wien. English is commonly used for business, but people in Austria are often not comfortable speaking English. There are a lot of ads in Austria that use the English language, but only around 8.05% of news and media sources are available in English.
ENGLISH PROFICIENCY LEVEL IN AUSTRIA
- According to the EF EPI 2018 Austria has a very high level of proficiency and was ranked 12th among 88 countries with a score of 63.13.
- Cities that have the highest proficiency levels are Vienna, Graz and Linz, while the top-ranked regions are Wien, Steiermark and Salzburg.
- The female population has a slightly better knowledge of English with a score of 64.40 vs. men who have a score of 61.88 as stated by EF EPI.
ENGLISH AS A MOTHER TONGUE OR SECOND LANGUAGE
- The most spoken foreign language in Austria is English with 40.48% of Austrians of all ages using it. Other second languages spoken are French (6.8%) and Italian (5.31%).
- Only 0.16% of people speak English as a mother tongue in Austria.
- Since Austria has a high standard in education, children have a good knowledge of English and most of them learn it in school. English can be considered as the most popular foreign language in Austria.
- Austrians usually hesitate to communicate with foreigners in English unless it is absolutely needed.
- Tourists that visit Vienna, for example, can use English without any problems in stores and other places that usually accommodate foreigners. Hotels and restaurants in Vienna use English as "their official communication language".
USE OF ENGLISH IN BUSINESS, ADVERTISING AND MEDIA
- English is commonly used in business communication in Austria.
- German is the preferred business language in Austria, but "most upper level managers are quite capable of carrying on a conversation in English". It is recommended to hire an interpreter in order to "avoid any misunderstandings".
- Austrians are often not comfortable speaking English and they will respect if you try to learn their language.
- There are a lot of English-speaking jobs available as well as websites with listings in English for all job types across Austria.
- Government of Austria, Study in Austria and some popular news and magazines such as the Local have a translation in English.
- Only 7 out of 87 outlets are available in English according to a list of news and media sources in Austria. Based on this information there are merely 8.05% (7/87x100) of the country's news and media sources available in English.
- According to the Ads of the World, there are a number of ads in Austria that are in the English language. Austrian Airlines campaign “Waltz into the World” is an example of advertising in Austria that uses English words.