Do They Speak English In Finland, Korea, And Iceland?

Do They Speak English In Finland, Korea, And Iceland

Languages Spoken In Finland, Korea, And Iceland | Do they speak English?

When you travel overseas, you are looking for directions, order food, and hopefully learn something from the locals. Although the majority of the natives in Europe know enough English to be helpful but does it is the same in Asian countries? English is not a common language in all countries of the world, somewhere it is a second language and somewhere as a minority. Almost there are more than 7,000 languages in the world and 23 languages covering more than half of the world’s population 

Do People Speak English In Finland?

Finland is a northern European country and has shared a border with Russia, Sweden, and Norway. The capital of the country is Helsinki, located in the Baltic sea. 

The population of Finland is 5.4 million people. Out of that 3.8 million Finnish people speak English. The younger of Finland also speaks English better than the elderly. 

You will face no problem in Finland from speaking English with anyone 60 years of age. According to a report, the official number of people speaking English is 70% of the Finnish population. Their neighboring countries like Norway and Sweden have a high rate of English mastery. However, even 70% majority is still very high for English-speaking tourists to get by fine visiting Finland. 

Proficiency Of English In Finland

English teaches in Finnish schools for a long time. Most of the people except the very oldest generation can also be able to speak fluent English. The fact that sets Scandinavian countries out from the rest of the world is not just they are adept in English but they have also excellent fluency and control of English they have.

According to a survey, Finland ranks fourth in the world for speaking English. They have high competency in legal and tourist professions but with overall high fluency across the whole sample. Even the weaker sector in Finland have still higher than the international average. Their competency is not bound to a few words as it can be in other countries. Rather Scandinavians can speak fluent English and can hold intelligent conversations in English without too many problems. The Finnish are also the same with high English fluency rates. Despite the higher fluency rates, the Finns are not the most talkative population in the world. The people are normally very nice and helpful but usually only talk when they have something to say.

Major  Cities Of Finland Where English Is Frequently Used

Helsinki – This city is the capital of Finland, founded in 1550. It city has a long history that makes it a year-round tourist place for many foreign visitors. This city lies on the Finnish Sea. Two of the tourist places that must visit in Helsinki are Uspenski Cathedral, located on the harbor, and Kruununhaka, also located on the harbor on the Finnish sea. 

Oulu – It is the fourth largest city of Finland and situated on the shore of the Bay of Bothnia. It is the urban gateway with nature and this city is one of Europe’s only “living labs” because it is the meeting point of technology and business. Oulu is the only European city to test with technology like Ubi-screens and NFC tags on a community-wide scale. Oulu is most famous for its Air Guitar World Championships, and it is the home to one of Europe’s best ice hockey teams. 

Turku – This city is located on the southwestern coast at the mouth of the Aura River. This area initially was Finland which later become the name of the entire country. As it is the oldest city in Finland, Turku is the most significant city for hundreds of years under the rule of the Kingdom of Sweden. Turku and Finland gained independence after the Finnish war when the Russian Empire take control of the city and move the capital to Helsinki. 

Tampere – It is an inland city in the western region of Finland. This city ranks as one of the most popular cities. This city grants its full rights on October 1, 1779. At this time, Tempere was geographically very small. This city is located between the two reservoirs. So rapids have a big source of electricity generation. 

Espoo – It is the second-largest city in Helsinki and it is one of the parts of the Finnish capital region. Espoo has a thriving research and science community. Aalto University is based in this city along with other international companies like HMD, Nokia, Orion Corporation, Neste, and video games developers Rovio and Remedy Entertainment. Espoo is a bilingual city. 

Do People Speak English In Korea?

Korean the official language of Korea, but now the English language teaches in schools. Thus about 58% of the Koreans can speak English. No language is currently officially considered, so phonology is known as pidgin English. There is no standardized writing, local varieties of both languages can be found. 


People in South Korea usually understand English than they speak. Even English teaches in schools but Koreans don’t get enough chances to speak English. Koreans are a helpful and friendly nation and your should you can get around even unless populated areas. 

Is It Necessary For Koreans To Learn English?

The answer to this question is tricky. Most of the schools in Korea need students to take English and many parents send their kids to English language schools. Additionally, many universities require students to pass the English proficiency exam before getting admission to universities. 

However, the first English school in Korea was founded in 1883. Koreans spend $20 billion annually on the education of the English language. However, the English language is neither the primary or secondary language in Korea.

Why Many Koreans Cannot Speak English?

Just because Koreans can speak little English, it does not mean that Koreans cannot understand the English language. Even Koreans who spend 12 years learning the English language and achieving high scores in English proficiency tests like TOEFL will not be able to communicate well in English. 

Many people think that it is due to the hagwons and other language programs using rote methods of teaching. You may calculate English proficiency by high test scores, not by the actual ability to communicate the language. English is popular in Korea and you can see how English words are used in the language. Here are some examples of this:

Sandwich day – It is the working day that falls between the two off days. If Tuesday is a holiday, then Monday will be Sandwich Day. 

Koreans use the words “Fighting” as an expression that shows the meaning “don’t give up” or “do it”. 

Meogstagram is a blending of Korean and American words that has meaning when taking pictures of meals to post on social media. 

Inteonet is referred to as the internet.

And you see a Korean saying “ssi yu” which means “see you”.

Ways To Overcome The Language Barrier In Korea

You will find more Koreans in Seoul who can speak English than in other major cities. Hotel staff in tourist places can speak English. Clerks in large departmental stores and malls will usually know enough English or be able to point you to someone you can easily answer your question. 

However, ordering in Korean restaurants can be a hard task. Even the pictures in the menu are not always helpful. Luckily, large cities have many American chains, including KFC, Mcdonald’s. Tourists places like Myeongdong, Insadong, and Hongdae will have English-speaking staff. But you will find very few people who can speak the English language. If you need some help ask the younger person who is more likely to speak English. And never assume that Koreans doesnot understand you. Unless they use the English language daily, they will always work to come up with the right words. 

Do People Speak English In Iceland?

Iceland is a great country which is located on the edge of Europe. The people of Iceland are a proud bunch but very open to good conversation. So with this, you may wonder how widely English is used in Iceland. 

The population of Iceland is 364000 of whom around 98% of people can speak English. The reason for this is that English classes in schools exist from the school level and this country is influenced by English because of business and cultural interactions. It seems that English is a more popular language than the Icelandic language. 

English Language Use In Iceland

Reykjavik – This city is the capital of Iceland and the largest city with more than 125,000 people. There are some museums in this city that are interesting to visit, great restaurants, a great concert hall, and lovely natural beauty. This city is the center of the economy of Iceland and all the major companies and financial institutions are based in this city. As everywhere in Iceland, the local people can speak very good English. 

Other towns – There are a considerable amount of other towns in Iceland but non rival Reykjavik in terms of its size. Much like the capital the local people speak Icelandic because it is their first language but they are also highly skilled in English. 

Languages Of Iceland

Icelandic – It is the official language of Iceland and is spoken by 93% of the Icelandic people. The Icelandic language began being spoken in the 9th century. 

Danish – Danish is also taught in schools along with English. This country was ruled by the Danish until 1944. Around 75% of Icelanders can speak Danish. 

English – In Iceland much of the economy relies on local people speaking English. Many medical types of equipment explain in English, the large majority of tourists cannot speak English and many of the movies are in English with Icelandic subtitles. Local people have naturally learned English to a very high level. Around 98% of local people can speak English in Iceland.

Is The Icelandic Language A Dying Language?

Many people in Iceland are worried that their language is dying. In reality, their language is an important part of their identity. However, the local government tries to preserve the Icelandic language in many ways. Anyone who wants to become a citizen of Iceland has to learn the Icelandic language. But many people believe that this is not enough. English is the international language and many cultural and economical norms function in English. Many people claim that the language of Iceland is very difficult to learn. The Icelandic language is a European language that shares its German roots with English. 


So that is about it for speaking English in Finland, Korea, and Iceland. These countries are great to visit. If you want to plan a holiday you should be just fine in that countries. Finland, Korea, and Iceland are worth-visiting countries and there are many deep cultures and inspiring sceneries. Their land is vast and you have many options to explore the countries in detail. In terms of the English language, you may not have to worry about communication in these countries. The majority of people can speak English in these countries.