Table: Who's Winning the Race
Proportion of people who say they speak English. Number of fluent speakers is likely far lower.
English starts in first grade and is prominent on TV and radio. Movies are never dubbed.
Depending on the state, English begins between ages 5 and 10. In the past decade, eastern Germany, formerly focused on Russian, has put on a big English kick.
Children start at 10, but the format is often criticized as too bookish.
High school students average only one to three hours of English a week. Result: Some Roman tour guides give English spiels without understanding what the words mean.
Three hours a week starting at age 8. The government wants to lower it to kindergarten but lacks teachers.
Data: European Commission, BusinessWeek