Brits love Paris

Paris is the top European City for romance in 2006, according to a new YouGov survey of over 2000 UK residents. Despite the growing popularity of new European
destinations including Krakow, Budapest, Ljubljana and Riga the survey
revealed that when it comes to love, no city can compete with Paris, which
polled over 30% of male and female votes.

Overall, Paris narrowly pipped the canals of historic Venice to the top;
however, the latter was considered the most romantic city in Europe by
people living in the Midlands and Wales. Paris also trumped beautiful
Barcelona which trailed behind in third place with only 5% of the votes,
whilst London was in fourth place, with just 2% of the votes.  Notably, of
all the respondents who voted for Paris, the City was most popular with the
18-29 age group, perhaps illustrating its enduring romantic appeal over
newer ‘up and coming’ European cities, such as Moscow and Stockholm.

It is not just the beautiful sites of Notre Dame, Montmartre and the Sacre
Coeur which impressed our respondents; everything about our cross channel
neighbours conjures up images of romance including the language, which was
considered to be the ‘language of love’ by the majority of respondents (31%
of men and 30% of women), narrowly beating Italian at 29% of the votes and
English with 11%.

Interestingly, men and women differed in their opinions when choosing the
language of love with men opting for French and women choosing Italian - no
doubt a factor which is related to their different tastes in terms of
foreign lovers. Worryingly for the UK, only 7% of women and 15% of men
chose English as the language of love, which begs the question - are the
Brits a nation of damp squids when it comes to romance?

The survey also revealed that whilst Eastern European cities are
undoubtedly growing in popularity, they are not perceived as romantic
destinations; with Krakow and Moscow failing to pick up any votes at all
and nobody considering German and Polish as romantic languages.

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However, according to the results, and despite the popularity of Paris, not
all of us will be rushing out to learn French this year as Spanish, rather
than French, was found to be the most desirable language to learn in 2006,
according to over 30% respondents in the UK. French and Italian were both
in joint second place each gaining 16% share of respondents votes. 

James Pitman, Managing Director of Rosetta Stone, a leading provider of
e-learning and CD-ROM based language learning software commented, “It is
not surprising that Paris has a universal romantic appeal. Many people
would argue that it is hard to beat the experience of taking a bateau
mouche along the Seine or watching the sunset at the Sacre Coeur. What is
surprising is that, when it comes to language learning choices, the UK
population does not let romance have more influence on the languages they
decide to learn.  Spanish is overwhelmingly the most popular language to
learn, which is perhaps due to the popularity in the UK of Spanish holiday
homes abroad, with French and Italian in joint second place. Furthermore,
languages such as Greek and Russian were high on the wish list of over 100
people polled in terms of language learning.”
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