This survey was carried out by TNS Opinion & Social network in the 27 Member States of the European Union between the 25th of February and the 11th of March 2012. Some 26.751 respondents from different social and demographic groups were interviewed face-to-face at home in their mother tongue on behalf of DG Education and Culture, DG for Translation and DG for Interpretation.

The methodology used is that of Eurobarometer surveys as carried out by the Directorate-General for Communication (“Research and Speechwriting” Unit). A technical note on the manner in which interviews were conducted by the Institutes within the TNS Opinion & Social network is appended as an annex to this report. Also included are the interview methods and confidence intervals3 . The findings of this survey have been analysed firstly at EU level and secondly by country.

Results have also been compared with the previous survey conducted in 20054 . There are a number of differences between this latest wave and that conducted in 2005: the questionnaire has been modified and is shorter and the wording of some questions has also altered; and in 2005 the survey was conducted in 29 countries – the 25 Member States plus Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Croatia. This survey includes Bulgaria and Romania (which joined the EU in 2007) but not Croatia and Turkey.

Comparisons between the two surveys are based on EU25 (in 2005) and EU27. It is important to bear these changes in mind. Where appropriate a variety of socio-demographic and behavioural variables – such as respondents’ age, terminal education age, occupation, social positioning, internet usage, ability to pay household bills and degree of urbanisation – and measures based on respondents’ language learning activity and number of foreign languages spoken have been used to provide further analysis.