Simon Sinek says you should always start with “why.” This seems to be true both in the world of business and the world of self-development. One of the things we do is learn languages. But… why?

Check out: Why We Are Learning New Languages



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  • compile – produce (a list or book) by assembling information collected from other sources
  • by far – by a great amount
  • retireea person who has retired from a working or professional career
  • heritage – property that is or may be inherited; an inheritance


Think about it

Answer the questions below.

  • In which countries is Spanish the most popular language?
  • Which country is most enthusiastic about learning English?
  • What does the number 39 refer to?
  • What did the survey reveal about motivation and confidence?
  • What do the statistics look like for “learning to live abroad one day?”
  • In which category did the Polish language rank fourth?


Practice makes perfect

Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words.

Why ________ people learn languages? Babbel’s numbers break this _______ by country. The Germans learn in order to communicate better _________ traveling. The Brazilians and Spanish do it for self-improvement. In Austria, 42% say they learn languages to “improve or maintain mental fitness.” In ________ U.S., the top reason given for learning a language was “cultural interest,” possibly reflecting the unwillingness of U.S. citizens to travel abroad—the State Department figures say that 126 million valid U.S. passports were ________ circulation in 2015, which is just 39% of ________ population.


English is the clear winner here, ________ terms of popularity, closely followed ________ Spanish, ________ makes sense as they’re two most widely spoken languages (after Mandarin, which doesn’t really count _______ it’s only the official language of a few countries). ________ you speak English and Spanish, you have a good proportion of the world’s countries covered. Of the languages available in Babbel’s apps, only one didn’t make ________ into the listings: Turkish. Indonesian and Norwegian made it in, but only because they were not favored by male or female learners, i.e., they’re gender-neutral, preference-wise.


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