Nearly Half of Americans Think Next President Should be Bilingual

thinkstockphotos-99495090A survey performed by One Hour Translation, the world’s largest online translation agency, shows that 52% of U.S. respondents think that speaking English is sufficient for the next U.S. president, while 48% think the next U.S. president should speak a second language.

The survey was performed together with Google Consumer Survey among 1,000 participants across the U.S. When asked which language the next U.S. president should speak, Spanish topped the list with 27% of respondents; Chinese was a distant second with 6.5%, followed by Russian (4.3%), French (3.8%), Arabic (3.7%), and German (2.7%).

When broken down by age, the survey revealed that 67% of the youngest voters (ages 18-24) believed the president should be able to speak a second language, and 41% of these respondents thought that language should be Spanish.

The survey also found a divergence of opinion in different states. In New York, a majority (52%) thought the next president should speak another language, with Spanish topping the list with 18.5%. In California, 45% believe that the next president should know Spanish and only 37% of the respondents felt that English was sufficient. In Arizona, 52% of the respondents thought English was enough, while 23% of the Arizonians believe that the next president should know Spanish, compared to 13% who favored Chinese.

Neither of the two major party candidates, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, speaks a language other than English.


  1. As did Theodore Roosevelt!
    I believe that John Quincy Adams & Thomas Jefferson spoke French (I do know Jefferson could read French & Latin, possibly Ancient Greek & some Spanish).
    English was Martin Van Buren’s second language (his first was Dutch)!
    Finally, although Eisenhower did not speak French (or spoke it poorly) he was able to read French very well & even translated French military manuals into English during the interwar period!

  2. Our next president should be able to demonstrate by speaking another language that in America we , too, are interested in being global citizens who genuinely care and take interest in our fellow human beings and their cultures. Speaking another language would certainly be a positive step in that direction.

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