Language Learning Trends

Language Trends for 2015 and 2115

To kick off the new year in language learning, here are two predictions: Language learning company Rosetta Stone gives us one for the year ahead while Dr. McWhorter shares his thoughts on the state of global languages one hundred years from now in an essay on the Wall Street Journal.

Language Learning Trends in 2015 and beyond

Rosetta Stone’s prediction takes a closer look at the trends in the USA. The language learning company predicts that by the end of this year a language other than English will be spoken in nearly 65 million homes and in five years Spanish will be spoken by more than 10% of the country’s population. This will be driven by new U.S. policy around immigration and diplomacy towards countries like Cuba. On the other hand, English will become one of the top five non-native languages being learned by Americans in 2020.

This year Chinese/Mandarin will join Spanish, German, Italian and French as one of the five most popular non-native languages for Americans to learn and there will be a double digit increase in K-12 classrooms using language learning technology. A confirmation for this trend comes from Rosetta Stone rival Duolingo which just announced its new Duolingo for Schools platform.

Rosetta Stone also predicts that this year people will use more mobile devices than desktops or laptops to learn a language which is a trend we can already see in Asia and among learners who use competing services like Based on this, we can also expect to see more language learning products from Rosetta Stone that cater to mobile learners.

Also Read: What are the Top 5 World Languages in 2050?

What Languages will be left in 2115

What will the global language space look like 100 years from now? Dr. McWhorter, who teaches linguistics, American Studies, philosophy and music at Columbia University, wrote a commendable essay last week.

He predicts that in 2115 the landscape will have radically changed but that English will remain lingua franca. From the 6000 languages that are currently spoken only 600 will survive. A lot of those remaining languages will be dialects of more widely spoken languages like English.

The remaining languages will also be simplified with less complicated grammar and less vocabulary driven by a third wave of language “streamlining” that takes place among immigrant communities in cities around the globe.

Further Reading

  • Rosetta Stone predicts language trends for 2015 | Rosetta Stone
  • What the World Will Speak in 2115 | WSJ

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  • Garret Jones

    Only six hudred languages left a hundred years from now? I doubt that. Languages do die but in reality minority languages can survive for centuries with all of their speakers being bilingual so I don’t believe that the number will drop nearly as radically as that. Furthermore as each language dies another languages takes its place which would further delay the extinction process.

  • Randall Burns

    one important factor that isn’t being accounted for: the rise of automatic translation. Within 25 years, I think we’ll see a technology similar to Google Glass that will a) automatically translate all conversations around someone AND provide “cue cards” as one creates one’s own response. Before that the need to use English or another major language simply to access the internet will be greatly reduced.