Lockdown Language Trend: Bored brits have been sprucing up on these languages in 2020

  • New research from online language learning platform Preply reveals English, Spanish and French are the most learned languages of 2020
  • Professional growth the main reason people learn a second language
  • Tips for learning a second language

English, Spanish and French are the most-learned languages worldwide, and professional growth is the number one reason why people learn a new language, new research from online language learning platform, Preply reveals.

Analysing internal data, Preply can reveal that the top ten most learned languages of 2020 so far, are:

  1. English
  2. Spanish
  3. French
  4. German
  5. Chinese
  6. Italian
  7. Japanese
  8. Arabic
  9. Russian
  10. Korean


Over 50% of users are learning either English, Spanish or French on site, solidifying them as the most-learned languages of 2020 so far.

Approximately 25% of users are learning German, Chinese, Italian, Japanese or Arabic, and the remaining 25% is split between users learning the world’s other languages, including Russian and Korean.

Learning another language is a great skill to acquire, for both professional and personal reasons. But why are people’s most common reasons for wanting to learn a new language? Preply’s research discovered the top three reasons people learn a new language are:

  1. To grow professionally (28%)
  2. I dream of moving abroad (10%)
  3. My child is learning a new language (8%)

To grow professionally is the number one reason why people look to learn a new language (28%) and it’s no surprise, as being fluent in two or more languages will always give you an edge over a monolingual candidate when it comes to job interviews.

Dreams of moving abroad and wanting to fit in with the locals is the second most common reason for people to learn a new language (10%), followed by children learning a new language and parents wanting to help them with their studies (8%).

Although many people are taking to learning a new language, Preply research has also found that nearly half (43%) of people in the UK don’t understand any foreign languages*.

With so many unable to recognise languages other than their own, Kirill Bigai, CEO and co-founder at Preply, offers his top tips on learning a second language:

  • Start with the basics:

It may sound like a cliché, but starting with the basics is the best way to grasp a new language completely. Conversational speak such as “hello, how are you, what’s your name, where do you live” will help you understand basic words, and help you converse naturally with native and fluent speakers.

  • Converse with natives:

Try and speak with fluent or native speakers as much as possible to gain a thorough understanding of the language. At Preply, we connect students with qualified tutors so you can learn from and converse with fluent speakers in a natural way. You’ll pick up the language much quicker. 

  • Regular study:

Regular study is key to getting results, and I’d recommend taking a class or practicing around 3-4 times a week. It’s really important to stick with your studies too and don’t give up if you’re dedicated to learning. 

  • Don’t be disheartened by your mistakes:

If you feel you’re not making progress, don’t be frustrated. Learning a second language is difficult and it takes time so don’t be hard on yourself. The most important thing is getting back into your studies and learning from your mistakes. 

  • Familiarise yourself with the language:

The more you can familiarise yourself with the language the better; listen to foreign music, watch foreign films with subtitles and immerse yourself in the language as much as possible. This will really help you understand the grammar and expand your vocabulary.


Commenting further on the overall findings, Kirill continues, “Learning a language is a great skill that you can take with you throughout your life, and our research shows that professional growth is the top reason why many people are looking to expand their skills and learn a new language. Not only can learning a second language help you in your career, but it can help you achieve a real sense of accomplishment too. It’s never too late to learn a second language, and at Preply, we encourage anyone and everyone to do it.”

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