The Center for Languages

Chinese is one the oldest languages still in use today. Spoken by more than 1.3 billion people or some 15 percent of the global population, it is also the most widely spoken language in the world. Unsurprisingly, it is an official language of the United Nations. In recent years, there has been a rise in Chinese learners, as knowledge of the language opens many doors in terms of economic opportunities.

After English, French is the second most widely learned foreign language in the world. The OIF, an international organization of French-speaking countries, comprises 88 member states. French is also an official UN language. There has long been widespread interest in French, and some 300 million people speak the language globally. It has long been considered a language that allows the learner to access educational and employment opportunities, as well as enabling them to explore culture and literature.

German is the most spoken native language in Europe as well as an official UN language. With 90 million native speakers, it is among the ten most commonly spoken languages around the world. Learning German is very useful for people aspiring for careers and teaching opportunities in Germany. It also enables access to great literary texts of the past and present.

For Muslims all over the world, there is tremendous love and respect for Arabic. An official language of the UN, it is the fourth most spoken language in the world with some 315 million speakers all over the world considering Arabic their first language. It is widely spoken in the Middle East and North Africa, and learning the language opens new doors in terms of economic opportunities as well as culture and literature.

Persian, also called Farsi, is the language of Iran. It is a language of historic importance, and has deep connections to South Asia. A language of life, love and romance, it has produced some of the most famous works of literature and poetry. It remains an essential language for historians and lovers of literature interested in the history and culture of Islam, South Asia, and Persia.

Japanese, a language spoken by around 130 million people worldwide, with its 125 million native speakers predominantly in Japan, holds a unique place in global philology. Renowned for its intricate writing systems of kanji, hiragana, and katakana, it embodies linguistic richness. Its honorific levels, with different forms based on the social status and relationship, mirror a deep cultural emphasis on respect and hierarchy in communication. Today, Japanese influence extends globally, shaping industries such as anime, manga, technology, and business, making it a sought-after language for personal enrichment and professional opportunities alike.

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