There are a lot of benefits to learning a new language. These benefits include improving your career, a hobby to pass the time and a boost to your brain’s health. Picking which language to specifically learn highly depends on your goal; many will do it because of work, while others may just like how a certain language sounds.

A very common time for people to try to pick up a new language is after the new year as part of their resolutions, but beyond that, the pandemic has spurred on new language learners. According to a report by Duolingo, 30 million people began to learn a new language after the COVID-19 lockdown began. In this same report, Duolingo broke down which languages were most commonly studied and why. Let’s take a look at which languages ranked most popular.

Focused african man student freelancer making notes studying with laptop1. English

Nearly 1.5 billion people speak English, and it is often used as a language in common for many different countries. According to Duolingo, English was the most studied language in 121 countries and the second-most-studied language in eight more countries. Of the learners that picked English to study, 33.8% did it because of schooling, which was the most common reason. Work ranked second with 15.8%.

2. Spanish

Spanish recently surpassed French as the second-most-common language to study. It was the most common language to study in 34 countries. The No. 1 reason, again, was due to schooling at 23.3%. Interestingly, the second-most-common reason to study Spanish was brain training. It’s estimated nearly 600 million people now speak Spanish.

3. French

In 2019, French was the top studied language in 35 countries. This number dropped to 23 countries in 2020. The reasons for studying French are similar to Spanish, with 28.1% for schooling and 17.8% for brain training. The regions that most commonly studied French were Canada and South Africa.

4 – 10.

The report does not give a detailed breakdown of the final 6 most popular languages to study, but it does list them. In order from four to 10 they are German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Chinese. The most common reason overall for people to learn new languages was for schooling.

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