Fictional languages might seem gibberish and non-sensical. But they are becoming increasingly popular, according to research by Preply. Could the growing popularity mean we’ll soon be studying fictional languages at university?
The e-learning industry has grown in the past decades from its humble beginnings to a multi-billion industry. Technology has been part of our classrooms for a long time. In the early days, teachers used technology to show videos and help with experiments.
As technology developed, so did the way we used it. Digital solutions first started as additional learning tools students could use. Teachers used technology to share learning materials with their students. You had the films to watch educational material or simple copying machines to make it easier to share information. Technology was simply a tool to be used in the physical learning space. Its use didn’t expand much out of the classroom.
As technology kept evolving, so did the e-learning industry. With improved technology came the opportunities to teach students online. This meant physical classrooms become less relevant. This gave birth to e-learning platforms bringing courses at the fingertips of anyone, not just those enrolled at a specific university.
People can learn all sorts of skills these days online, including weird and wonderful fictional languages. E-learning isn’t just an additional tool to traditional teaching but a way to learn and teach on its own. Digital technologies are now a way to teach and learn and they don’t always need to be part of a physical classroom.
The Rise of Online Learning Speeds Up
While the online learning industry was already growing rapidly in the past few years, the speed at which it was growing shot up last year. The increased speed in growth was a result of the pandemic that swept across the world.
Reportlinker.com published market research last year showing how the market grew by 36.3%, as schools adopted e-learning technologies due to COVID-19 restrictions. Over a billion students worldwide were unable to attend school and university because of the pandemic, forcing these institutions to look into other solutions. Teachers started looking for ways to ensure students keep learning even when they can’t be in the same physical space.
The online learning space offered the perfect solution. Online learning provides:
- Flexibility – You aren’t time or location restricted which means students and teachers have a lot of flexibility. You can choose where, how and when you study (in most cases).
- Accessibility – E-learning solutions are accessible and you can use them on a laptop, desktop or even mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. You only need an internet connection, allowing you to use lectures and materials in many different ways.
- Affordability – Online learning can be affordable to many students since you don’t have to consider the physical location. For example, students can stay at home while attending university courses. Most digital course materials also tend to be cheaper than physical versions.
- More opportunities – The above reasons result in more opportunities. Students can access a range of courses online, even fictional languages because they don’t have to worry about location or cost as much.
The point about affordability is especially important. Although the cost of technology used to be high, recent development in the field has pushed e-learning to the forefront. Internet connections and hardware are fairly affordable in most regions.
During the pandemic, there were efforts to provide students with cheap technology to ensure everyone could keep learning. Delivering e-learning still has challenges but it is becoming increasingly affordable which increases its lure to all sorts of learners.
The Lure to Study Fictional Languages
E-learning has become easier and more accessible with the pandemic making many of us curious about it. Lockdowns and restrictions gave many of us plenty of extra time. Preply’s research shows that a growing number of people decided to spend that time learning a language. But instead of choosing languages like Spanish or Arabic, some went with Elvish and the Huttese instead.
But why are people turning to the world of Tolkien and Star Wars to learn a new language? The lure of these fantastical languages can be explained by the popularity of the worlds they were born in. According to CNN reporting, 19.3 million people in the US tuned in to watch the final episode of Game of Thrones. People are interested and invested in the stories and characters.
Language learning offers another way to get closer to these worlds. It can be a wonderful feeling to know what your favorite character said without even reading the subtitles. Most fictional languages are sprinkled across TV shows and books which gives learners a wonderful incentive to learn.
Furthermore, fictional languages offer a nice way to connect with other people. Fictional fandoms are known for how connected and passionate they are. A common love for a fictional world and its characters can be a great motivator to study a language. It can bring learners closer to other people in different ways and add to a sense of community.
Are Fictional Languages on the Way to Becoming University Courses?
Preply has witnessed a growing interest in fictional languages. But are these languages going to be just a fad that fades away as societies get back to a new normal? The answer might be surprising, as fictional languages are starting to make their way to academia.
You might be surprised to know you could study Elvish at the University of Wisconsin. Tolkien’s magical language is undoubtedly not going to remain an outlier. The more people get interested in fictional languages and the more these languages develop, the more they will interest academia. It isn’t a big surprise if fictional languages continue to grow in prominence in the years to come.
Kirill Bigai co-founded Preply in 2013 along with Dmytro Voloshyn and Serge Lukyanov. Preply is a global marketplace for tutor-based foreign language learning which has over $50 million in funding from some of the world’s most reputable investors. As CEO, Kirill has overseen the company’s explosive growth of over 400% in the last year alone as well as grown the employee base to over 300 people across several locations globally.
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