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THE UK FINDS PARIS THE MOST ROMANTIC CITY IN EUROPE BUT BRITS WOULD PREFER TO LEARN TO SPEAK SPANISH THAN FRENCH, ACCORDING TO YOUGOV

8th February 2006 - With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, 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.

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.”

To mark Valentine's Day, Rosetta Stone is offering up to 10% off all its online ‘romantic’ languages courses including French, Italian, Latin and Spanish and a FREE headset to accompany the course until the end of February 2006. The offer can be redeemed through the company’s website: www.therosettastone.co.uk/en/offer/vd026a

Media Contacts:
Vicky Hayden or Peter Fitzpatrick at hbl media on 020 7612 1830
vicky@hblmedia.com or peter@hblmedia.com

About Rosetta Stone
Fairfield Language Technologies publishes Rosetta Stone, the revolutionary CD-ROM and online language-learning software acclaimed for the speed, power and effectiveness of its Dynamic Immersion method. Teaching 29 languages to millions of people in over 150 countries throughout the world, Rosetta Stone is the key to language-learning success. For the second year in a row, Fairfield Language Technologies is one of the fastest growing technology companies in Virginia as ranked by Deloitte and Touche.

The company was founded in 1992 on two core beliefs: that the natural way people learn native languages as children remains the most successful method for learning new languages; and that interactive technology can replicate and activate that immersion method powerfully for learners of any age. The company is based in Harrisonburg, Va. For more information, visit www.RosettaStone.com.