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Foreign languages in Poland - statistics & facts

Foreign languages have gained considerable importance due to globalization, migration, tourism, and internationalization of markets. Consequently, the highest share of Poles studied English regularly, followed by Spanish and German. Additional languages also play a key role in salary negotiations. In 2019, Polish directors with an advanced level of English proficiency could be offered an average gross salary of 18 thousand zloty per month. In terms of the number of potential job candidates with advanced foreign language skills, Warsaw recorded the highest number of advanced German language speakers seeking employment in 2021.

Is learning foreign languages popular in Poland?

Over the past few years, the average number of foreign languages studied by Polish pupils in all education levels has remained the same. In 2019, individuals in upper secondary education learned 1.7 languages on average. In the 2020/2021 school year, English and German were the most common additional languages studied; relatively few pupils were learning Italian. In 2020, every fourth Pole stated that they ended their language-learning adventure upon completion of compulsory education, with the most common length of foreign language studying ranging from three to five years.
According to a survey carried out in 2020, one in 10 Poles chose to participate in advanced-level English language courses. In terms of study tools, Duolingo was the most well-known e-learning platform for learning English. The language learning app reached its highest revenue in December 2020, amounting to nearly 95 thousand U.S. dollars.

Translation services in Poland

Translation services cover a vast variety of areas – general, legal, commercial, literary, financial, administrative, technical, and judicial. As a result, there are three kinds of translators on the market: general, specialized, and sworn. The latter are especially competent to translate laws and international agreements and provide certified copies of translated documents. Consequently, sworn translators' work is recognized by their government. To become a sworn translator in Poland, candidates must pass the official state examination administered by the Examination Board at the Ministry of Justice. Successful candidates are then entered into the official register of sworn translators maintained by the Ministry of Justice.
As of February 2022, 3.7 thousand sworn translators offered their services for German, making it the most popular language in this particular profession. English, Russian, and French followed, whereas languages such as Albanian, Armenian, and Icelandic figured among the least practiced. In terms of location, the highest share of Polish sworn translators resided in the Masovian (Mazowieckie) voivodeship. The Śląskie and Małopolskie regions were next in line.
Translators can either choose to work in-house or on a freelancing basis. In 2021, translators constituted over seven percent of Polish freelancers. In the same year, the majority of freelance translators earned up to two thousand zloty per month; relatively few had net monthly earnings exceeding 10 thousand zloty.

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