Biz / Tech

Demand for minor language skills set to rise to tap BRI opportunities

New technology like AI is "creating more  classrooms" to learn minor languages, online education platform Hujiang says. 

The demand for minor language fluency is set to surge as China’s connection with the world rises and also in tandem with its Belt and Road initiative, with the growth likely to be fueled by new technology like artificial intelligence, said a report from Hujiang, an online education platform.

The second foreign language market in China is expected to to generate a revenue of 30 billion yuan (US$4.77 billion) by 2020, fueled by national strategies, consumption upgrade and mobile Internet technology development, said Zhang Jing, general manger of Hujiang’s multi-language business division.  

The technology, including AI, is “creating more classrooms” besides professional courses in universities and colleges, said Hujiang.

More than 25 to 30 percent of learners study minor languages online, and the proportion is forecast to increase amid surging demand for such courses to tap opportunities in some BRI countries.

A total of 53 official languages are used in 65 countries along the BRI regions. Most popular languages are Japanese, Korean, German and Spanish, according to Hujiang.

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