Thursday, 17 December 2009

Native tongues

The second report from this year’s HSBC Bank International Expat Explorer report has revealed to us some interesting trends about the language barriers expats face as they move from country to country.

Not surprisingly, expats living in English speaking countries have no trouble with language barriers, regardless of their origins. Hong Kong’s language barrier is the biggest hurdle, with 50% finding that learning the language is very difficult.

But despite this, our research indicates that expats living in Hong Kong have one of the best social lives of anywhere else in the world. It just goes to show, language doesn’t have to be a limiting factor when it comes to enjoying the experience of a new country.

Expats are pretty good at picking up languages it seems. Of all those surveyed, 68% could speak more than one language with German, Sinhala, French and Chinese Mandarin being the most widely spoken. Collectively, our selection of expats could speak a total of 57 languages. A pretty diverse bunch no?

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