Why Is It Important to Learn a Language?

Good question. We are not obligated to learn any language. But things have changed in the past 100 years. The ability to communicate with those in other countries is something not to be ignored. In order to be economically competitive, more Americans are interested in studying languages than ever before.

Looking at the statistics. According to Wikipedia, Vistawide.com and other websites and organizations, the top ten spoken languages around the world are:

1. Chinese
2. Spanish
3. English
4. Hindi
5. Arabic
6. Portuguese
7. Bengali
8. Russian
9. Japanese
10. Punjabi

And the top ten online languages are:

1. English
2. Chinese
3. Spanish
4. Arabic
5. Portuguese
6. Indonesian
7. French
8. Japanese
9. Russian
10. German

Learning to communicate in another language will open the door to many millions, or billions of people around the world, and it builds a bridge to other languages for further communications.

Languages in the Media

When you look around, it's getting more and more difficult to ignore the spread of all these languages. Bank ATMs offer instructions in multiple languages; the Yellow Pages have foreign language editions. Packaging for most products are multilingual. You even use them when you want to go out to eat. Have you eaten fajitas with jalapeños and queso? How about tandoori?

In the larger cities, you can get television news and programs in hundreds of languages. Subscription services like Netflix, Hulu or VUDU have movies and shows you can watch in dozens of languages. Going online? YouTube has thousands of videos to let you practice your language skills.

Education and the Economy

A couple centuries ago, people had to educate themselves to keep up with the changes to the industrial world. Today, it's the digital world. Communications around the world are happening instantly. New technologies are keeping us busy trying to figure out how to communicate without a problem. People need to be educated in language to keep up with today's world. The demand for language courses are increasing every day.

Languages in the Media »