What Languages Are We Learning In Lockdown?


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Experts have long told us about the benefits of learning other languages.

Some are obvious, like helping you communicate when travelling. And clearly retaining so much complex information is bound to improve our memory.

But did you know that research suggests it can also improve decision making? And even increase the size of your brain?

Editor Angela has been leading the way for the “Friend” team, by using the coronavirus lockdown to brush up on her Gaelic.

And it turns out she’s not the only one.

According to a new study by discount code and charity fundraising platform Savoo, there has been an incredible increase in online interest in languages.

Indeed, its research found as much as a 234% increase in some searches (using the term “Learn X language”) over the past few months.

The top five most-searched were:

  • Spanish (234% increase in searches)
  • Malayalam (182% increase in searches)
  • Hawaiian (180% increase in searches)
  • Middle English (150% increase in searches)
  • Zulu (143% increase in searches)

There are some potentially obscure ones in there (Middle English is presumably down to an increase in English Literature students . . .)

But perhaps the strangest one comes in at number 10 in Savoo’s list.

Apparently there has been a 100% increase in Google searches for the phrase “Learn Quenya language”.

Quenya, for those unfamiliar with fantasy literature, is the language of the Elves in J.R.R Tolkien’s novels!

Well, at least people are keeping busy!


Today is European Day Of Languages. Click here for more information.

Click here for some other online learning ideas.

Iain McDonald

I am the Digital Content Editor at the “Friend”, making me responsible for managing the flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine’s website and social media channels.