PARIS, Feb 13 — Long envied for its seductive superpowers, the French language seems to have lost some of its appeal. In fact, Italian is taking precedence as the lingo of love, now considered the sexiest language in the world according to a new poll.

Oh la la,” “c’est la vie,” “bon appétit,” “voulez-vous coucher avec moi,” and of course “je t’aime” are among the best-known — and most widely used — French expressions in the world. And with good reason, since they ooze romance and sexiness — especially for overseas audiences, it seems.

However, a new poll conducted among several nationalities by OnePoll for Babbel, on the world’s most attractive languages — according to certain very specific criteria — sees a new challenger rise to pip French to the post as the world’s sexiest language.

Something to be aware of before attempting to bust out some phrases to seduce a potential partner this Valentine’s Day.

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Sexy vs. romantic!

According to the results of this survey, it’s Italian that dethrones French for the first time as the sexiest language on the planet.

Whether they live in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the UK or the USA, nearly three in ten adults questioned (27 per cent) believe that the language of Dante is without doubt the sexiest in the world, followed by French, which loses the lead but which nevertheless remains among the most attractive, along with Latin American Spanish.

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But make no mistake about it, the French language still dominates the debate when it comes to being romantic, rather than sexy. Over a third of those polled (34 per cent) voted it the most romantic language in the world.

So is speaking two different languages an obstacle or an advantage when it comes to love? It would seem that respondents favour the latter, with over half (53 per cent) considering it sexy to date someone whose mother tongue is different from their own.

And this can even be an asset in the long term, considering that an overwhelming majority of French people (79 per cent) would consider learning their partner’s mother tongue if the situation arose.

This is linked, in particular, to the desire to communicate clearly with their loved one (46 per cent). However, it’s also synonymous with commitment and respect (49 per cent), as well as a certain interest in their partner’s culture (52 per cent).

And if the French were to find a soulmate outside of France, they’d undoubtedly go looking for them in Italy (16 per cent) or Spain (11 per cent), while they themselves would make more of a splash in the UK, but only after... the Italians, who once again steal the show. — ETX Studio

*This study was carried out by OnePoll for Babbel among 6,000 people aged 18 and over from a representative sample of the populations of Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the UK and the USA between December 5 and 12, 2023. A total of 1,000 people were surveyed in each country.