Love, Food and Music

The Local explores why Italian has become one of the world's most studied languages.

This article, written by Catherine Edwards, appears on The Local.

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.

Italian follows English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese in the rankings of most popular languages among students. But while the top three can boast hundreds of millions of speakers and have clear CV-boosting potential, the appeal of Italian is somewhat less obvious. Read more at The Local…

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