Foreign Languages

Why Learn a Foreign Language

While most people's thoughts, beliefs, and tastes are a reflection of the time and geography of their lives, we have it in us to become something of our own design. One very effective way to reassess our base understandings of things and to think in new ways is to explore beyond our cultural programming.

You will be what you will to be.

- As a Man Thinketh


Considerations of Choosing a Foreign Language to Learn

While the choice of foreign language to learn depends most on individual circumstances, there are global factors that affect everyone's choice. Below is data to consider on the population, economic significance, and cultural strength of various languages.


Population[1]


Economic Significance[2]


Cultural Strength[3]


Data Sources

  1. Population: Population of Native Speakers and Internet Users By Language
  2. Economic Significance: These numbers were determined by cross-referencing the 2019 national GDP (as determined by the World Bank - or the IMF or UN if the World Bank did not have the GDP data) of every nation and their primary spoken language. Since English is the lingua franca of international business, countries that secondarily speak English were also included in the English totals. These are not precise numbers, but the GDP totals accounted for English may still be low considering the disproportionate amount of commerce done between nations in English.
  3. Cultural Strength: The book totals were determined by cross-referencing books published per year per country with the primary and secondary language spoken of each country. Since English is the world's lingua franca, a significant percentage of authors in countries that secondarily speak English typically publish their books in English to capture a much larger international language.

Created by Jordan Clive