Are you learning another language? Maybe you're trying to get to grips with it for work or study, or maybe you're trying to master it just for the fun of it? Language learning is nothing new, of course, but technology has made it easier than ever to grasp.
The popularity of language-learning apps in particular has boomed around the world, especially as more people are working or studying at home. They are usually easy and convenient to use because you can access them on your smartphone. And apps can offer languages not popular enough to be taught at evening classes or schools or universities.
Many of us are aiming to be bilingual to enable us to communicate with people around the world. But, maybe surprisingly, it's the British, who are not renowned for their enthusiasm for language learning, who are leading the way in the growth of these apps. US firm Duolingo told the BBC that in 2020 new user numbers globally were up 67% compared with 2019, while in the UK they shot up by 132%, almost double the worldwide average. And London-based Busuu, saw a similar trend for learners based in the UK.
But for anyone trying their hand at a new language, what motivates them to carry on learning when there isn't a teacher around to manage their progress? Colin Watkins from Duolingo told the BBC that for UK learners at least, "people are learning because of culture, brain training, family, and relationships, along with school and travel. We want a positive use of our time, and to do something productive on our phones." The recent lockdowns have given us more time to do this. Certainly, becoming bilingual or a polyglot is a good thing, and it helps us to bring the world a little closer together.， 英语短文