American Sign Language
American Sign Language is used as a primary means of communication by many Deaf people in the United States and Canada, as well as by many hard-of-hearing and hearing individuals, especially the children of Deaf adults. It is often said to be the fourth most-used language in the United States, though the exact number of users is hard to establish.
The lingua franca of the Arab world, Arabic is spoken by over 300 million people across the Middle East. As the official language of 26 states and the liturgical language of Islam, Arabic is an integral language in the world. While Modern Standard Arabic is used in formal writing and understood by many who speak Arabic, most countries have their own colloquial dialects that can vary significantly from one another.
Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein all employ German as an official language. With 90 million native speakers, German is a very important language in contemporary European economics and politics.
Hindi is the 3rd most-spoken language in the world, with more than 600 million speakers. It’s one of the official languages of India and is used in Bollywood films and songs. Spoken Hindi is mutually intelligible with Urdu, though each uses a different writing system.
The official language of Italy and closest living language to Latin, Italian is one of the most historically significant Romance languages in the world. Italian is spoken by 70 million people and is the language of classical opera and many great artists and thinkers of the past.
With three distinct written alphabets, Japanese is one of the most difficult languages in the world. However, the student of Japanese will find a rich literary and artistic history within Japan, a distinct and fascinating culture, and 125 million native speakers with whom to communicate.
Kiswahili is the lingua franca of the African Great Lakes region and is spoken by about 200 million people. It’s an official language in Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda as well as in the African Union and the East African Community.
Korean has one of the most recently created writing systems in the world, created in the 15th century by King Sejong in an attempt to spread literacy. Now, you can learn to read the Korean script in an hour! With 77.2 million speakers, the Korean language continues to gain international significance with Korea’s growing economic and cultural success.
Learning Portuguese can guide students through not only Portugal, but also Brazil, Mozambique, Macau, Angola, and Equatorial Guinea. With 223 million speakers, Portuguese is one of the most widely spoken Romance languages of all time.
The distinctive Cyrillic script of Russian sets it apart from nearby European states. The 150 million native speakers of Russian are spread across Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.