High School Foreign Languages

What foreign languages are most commonly taught in American classrooms?
Quiz by SuperStokes
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Last updated: April 7, 2021
First submittedApril 7, 2021
Times taken582
Rating4.33
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Language Learners
Answer
6,418,331
Spanish
1,254,243
French
395,019
German
205,158
Latin
72,845
Japanese
65,058
Italian
59,860
Chinese
41,579
Sign Language
12,389
Russian
+14
Level 53
Apr 12, 2021
ASL should be a type-in for sign language
+12
Level 41
Apr 12, 2021
Sign language is not a foreign language....
+8
Level 59
Apr 12, 2021
Nice quiz, please make the title a little more precise though. Sign Language is not really a "foreign language."
+2
Level 81
Apr 12, 2021
Good quiz. It's really dumb that Latin is still so high on the list - American schools need to get with the times. Mandarin should be above French. Japanese and Russian should be over German. And Arabic, Portuguese, Korean, and Hindi should all be taught more than Latin or Italian. Farsi, Urdu, Vietnamese, Cantonese, and Tagalog are all more practical than Latin or Italian, for that matter... and personally I'd like to know Thai.

In 1994 I signed up for Japanese in high school, but there wasn't enough interest so the class was canceled and I ended up taking Spanish instead. Spanish has sometimes been useful to know but I've still never (not for a lack of interest just never happened) been to Spain or anywhere in Latin America outside of Miami and San Diego. The last time I had an opportunity to use Spanish was when I was in Moscow and took my car to a garage ran by Uzbeks. None of them spoke English but one of them knew Spanish. :D

+2
Level 62
Apr 12, 2021
I think the reason that most schools teach Spanish, French, German (and to some extent Latin and Italian) is because they use the Latin Alphabet. I started learning a new language at 11 years old, and I feel that it would have been a lot harder to learn a whole new writing system for Arabic or Mandarin. I absolutely agree that when I reached high school there should have been more options for languages. I also have no idea why Portuguese and sign language aren't taught more often.
+1
Level 48
Apr 12, 2021
Portuguese would be great, especially given that Brazil is such a big country.
+2
Level 57
Apr 12, 2021
I am not American, so when you say what they should and shouldn't do, I don't really have the right to disagree, but I still do. America's cultural roots, and most of the population's cultural roots are in Europe, so no wonder European languages are preferred over Asian ones.It's tradition: the US belogs to the Western civilization, the largest languages of which are the mentioned European ones.

Furthermore, these European languages are closely related to English both in terms of grammar and vocab, and are written in the Latin script, and that makes it easier for students to get results in them. That may well be one of the reasons that teachers are more readily available in these languages, as well as higher education, i.e. the training of teachers, is easier.

+1
Level 48
Apr 12, 2021
French is kind of useful if you ever plan on visiting Quebec.

Other than that, I agree.

+3
Level 57
Apr 12, 2021
I really don't think that sign language belongs here. It's not a foreign language, it's a different communication form.
+1
Level 43
Apr 12, 2021
Good quiz! But why are we still learning Latin in school? At this point it's a dead language, and nobody even writes in it anymore. And Sign language isn't a "foreign language" in the context of a foreign language coming from a foreign land/country.
+1
Level 48
Apr 12, 2021
Latin is useful for reading historical documents as well as understanding word history in English and romance languages.
+1
Level 53
Apr 12, 2021
Sign language is not foreign to American schools

It's literally in the name "American Sign Language"

+4
Level 66
Apr 12, 2021
Mandarin should probably be a type-in for Chinese, considering Chinese is more of a language family than a language proper.
+2
Level 48
Apr 14, 2021
Why does it accept Chinese but not Mandarin???