‘No Speak English’ Sign at Athens Metro Stuns Visitors

Even the best of us can get tongue-tied under pressure, but one Athens transport worker clearly had enough of trying to deal with non-Greek-speaking customers, erecting a ‘NO SPEAK ENGLISH’ [sic] sign at a booth used to sell tickets from Syntagma Square to the airport.

One traveller snapped the home-made sign and shared it on Twitter with the hashtag #nospeakenlgish.

Despite the incident, Greece remains one of the EU countries where knowledge of English is widespread among young people, city dwellers, those who work in tourism and those Greeks who have lived abroad.

English is the first foreign language Greek students learn from an early age. Official data released by the Eurobarometer Special Surveys in 2014 revealed that, when it came to people being able to speak English, 51 percent of Greeks could speak some.

Greece stood in the middle of the list of countries included in the survey, higher than Italy, which reaches 34 percent. In Spain only 22 percent of the population speaks English, while in Portugal the proportion is 27 percent.