Updated: 4 days ago
Author: Élodie Vandemeulebroucke
Date of Publication: 28/04/2023
No need to think about which language is the most studied in the world. It's obviously English. But what about the other two? So, the first place is occupied by English, with 1.5 billion students. In second place stands French, with 120 million students. And finally, in third place is Mandarin with 25 million students. It may be surprising that this is not Spanish. Instead, Spanish actually comes in fourth place! But why are these three languages so popular with students?
The English language
As the figures above show, English dominates all other languages and seems to be the language to master. Indeed, since the dawn of time, English has often been the language used to establish exchanges. In fact, it is considered by most countries as a bridge language. It allows them to understand each other. Thanks to it, it is possible to establish all kinds of exchanges. These can be both commercial and personal.
Therefore, it is quite natural that it has become the number one language to know after our mother tongue. In particular, there are 116 countries in the world that consider English to be the priority language for learning. Today, the most prestigious schools and companies require mastery of this language. As a result, it is essential for children to learn it as early as possible in order to have better chances for the future.
The French language
It is surprising to see French appear in this top 3 when you consider that it isn’t in the top 3 most spoken languages. However, this craze can be explained when we look at the reputation of this language. Actually, a Google search proves this. When one types refined, aesthetic, difficult language, French will immediately appear.
Unlike English, the choice of French for students is of a different nature. In fact, it is more related to the pleasure and the representation that one has for this language. What’s more, French is still a useful language to know for exchanges. France belongs to the more developed countries of the world. However, it is incomparable to English which dominates the world as a gateway language.
The Mandarin language
It is no surprise that Mandarin has found its place in this ranking. Although it seems natural to us, it is clear that in previous centuries this language didn’t have the appeal it has today. Unlike French and English, Mandarin is a language that could be described as 'rising'. Over the last few decades, China has continued to develop. Consequently, it has been able to place itself at the table of the world's greatest and best. So, by becoming one of the most commercial and qualified countries in the world, China has been able to impose its mother tongue. Today, Mandarin continues to spread within the establishments. Therefore, it's becoming one of the languages to be known to succeed. Still, English remains the number one language to know and the one that allows international access. However, it is important to pay attention to Mandarin. Even if it is not yet at its peak, it is likely to overtake French very quickly. So, why not try to equalize English, as China has done with Western countries?