A piece by Rick Noack in the Washington Post leads off with an intriguing question:
Do men and women prefer to learn different languages?
A new survey by the language learning site Babbel has come to surprising conclusions. “Our data shows that men have a bias towards learning German, Portuguese and Russian, whereas women seem to choose Dutch, French, Italian and Spanish,” Thomas Holl, the company’s co-founder and president, explained in an email. The survey is based on data provided by Babbel’s 1 million customers from around the world — the majority being based in Europe and North America.
While some of the differences might seem insignificant, some stood out. “We were surprised to see the differences between German and Dutch,” Holl said. “Despite the similar structure and shared roots of the two languages, women tend to prefer learning Dutch and men are more likely to choose learning German,” he explained.
There’s also discussion of “a recent study by Education First, an international education company, which showed that girls largely outperformed boys in learning English as a non-native language,” as well as various graphs; it’s probably overblown, but I pass it on for what it’s worth. Thanks, Eric!