Budapest (MTI) – The proportion of Hungarians speaking a foreign language has gone up by 12 percentage points in five years, daily Magyar Nemzet said on Tuesday, citing data by the Central Statistical Office.

In 2006, only 25 percent of Hungarians spoke at least one foreign language whereas their proportion in 2011 was 37 percent, the paper said.

Although Hungary still lags behind the EU average in terms of command of another language, there has been improvement in all age groups, the paper said, noting that an increasing number of Hungarians aged over 55 realise the social and economic benefit of speaking a foreign language.

According to the Association of Language Schools, knowledge of a foreign language adds 40,000 forints (EUR 127) on average to the monthly wage of a Hungarian employee, the paper said.

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