June 19, 2024

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Here’s How Many Americans Hope to Learn a New Language Next Year, According to Duolingo

“We expect 2023 to be the Year of the Confident Traveler.”

<p>Courtesy of Duolingo</p>

Nearly half of all Americans plan or hope to learn a new language ahead of taking a trip next year while a majority plan to travel internationally, according to a new study.

In total, 56% of Americans plan to travel internationally in 2023, according to a survey from language app Duolingo that was shared with Travel + Leisure. And 45% of Americans plan or hope to learn a language ahead of traveling in the future.

“While 2022 tourism boomed, learners are not yet ready to study new languages to use abroad. The proportion of new learners studying primarily for travel reasons was lower in 2022 than in 2021, but there are early signs that language study for travel is set to return,” Duolingo wrote in its findings. “In fact, we expect 2023 to be the Year of the Confident Traveler.”

Several languages will be popular in 2023, according to the survey, with Spanish being the most practiced. In fact, 25% of Americans said they’ve practiced Spanish ahead of traveling. Italian is another popular one for next year with Italy the most desired 2023 international travel destination, according to the company.

These languages join the fastest growing languages studied in the United States in 2022: Ukrainian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese.

Many American travelers, however, feel nervous or awkward when trying to speak an unfamiliar language they just started learning, with 50% of people surveyed even going so far as to prefer their flight be delayed by 12 hours rather than travel somewhere where no one speaks their language.

“Our learners know that there is a lot to be gained from learning the language of your destination, and it adds an entirely new dimension to any trip, Dr. Cindy Blanco, senior learning scientist and managing editor of learning content at Duolingo told Travel + Leisure. “People who are excited to connect with other people and other cultures use language as the bridge to do so.”

The study also found that an overwhelming 85% of Americans think learning a new language could make traveling more enjoyable, and 80% believe it would make them more adventurous.

And while people of all ages are attempting to learn new languages, about 60% of all U.S. learners in 2022 were under 30, according to Duolingo.

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Read the original article on Travel & Leisure.