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English proficiency varies greatly across the continent. In the [[United Kingdom]], [[Ireland]], [[Gibraltar]], [[Cyprus]], [[Malta]], the [[Netherlands]] and [[Scandinavia]], nearly everyone is able to communicate in English with varying degrees of fluency. German-speaking areas (particularly in [[Austria]], [[German]] provinces of [[Switzerland]] and the former West Germany), [[Greece]], [[Estonia]], [[Slovenia]], [[Croatia]], and the [[Flanders]] region of [[Belgium]] are also good bets for English, though you may need to bear with heavy accents. Outside these areas, English proficiency will primarily be a function of age, educational attainment (i.e. those who are currently studying at or have recently graduated from university will likely be more proficient), proximity to the city centre and whether they work in tourism-related industries.
A bit of German and Russian may be known by older generation of people who grew-up in the former Eastern Bloc. If you can read German reasonably well, you may also be able to understand the writings in Dutch and Scandinavian languages.

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