Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Love, food and music: Why Italian is now the world’s fourth most studied language

“Italian is growing in popularity as a foreign language around the world – but why the appeal? We asked our readers, whose reasons for learning the language ranged from family old and new to an appreciation of the food and culture – as well as some more unexpected factors.

Italian has leapt to fourth place in terms of the most-studied languages worldwide. The number of foreigners studying it has risen to 2,233,373 in the 2015/16 academic year – up from 1,700,000 the previous year.

The figures, released by the General Assembly of the Italian Language in the World, revealed student numbers saw a particular increase in France and Germany but also further afield, in Australia and the USA.”


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Languages do matter!


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