The most studied languages don’t change often. English, Spanish, and French consistently lead the pack.
But that could change if a new trend continues.
Asian languages are on the rise — Chinese and Japanese are the fastest growing languages in the US and UK in 2021, per Duolingo.
While the reasons for Chinese are less clear, the surge in Japanese — which saw 80%+ learner growth on Rosetta Stone in 2020 — is led by a younger crowd who attribute their interest to:
- Cartoons, like manga and anime, which have grown in popularity in the US.
- Pop culture, which Japan influences through fashion, food, music, and travel.
Other languages, like Korean, have seen culturally-driven spikes in popularity, thanks in part to shows like “Squid Game.” (Google searches like “million in Korean” spiked dramatically after its release.)
Historical scholars, take note — perhaps all you need for Latin to be cool again is a solid TV show.
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