A recent survey from goo Research, reported on by japan.internet.com, into learning foreign languages found not surprisingly that English was the most popular language, but surprisingly that for most it was a hobby rather than for any specific work or travel-related objective.
Between the 22nd and 26th of September 2010 1,074 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.8% of the sample were male, 16.2% in their teens, 18.2% in their twenties, 21.5% in their thirties, 16.5% in their forties, 15.6% in their fifties, and 12.0% aged sixty or older.
I’d love to have found out more about how people were learning for free – was it something like me with What Japan Thinks, just reading stuff on the web and hoping it sticks, was it free lessons through NHK educational television, or just choosing to go to the subtitled instead of dubbed version of movies?
First of all, 21.2% of the complete sample, or 228 people, had studied a foreign language in the past year outside of school, university or other education system courses.
Q1: Why are you studying a foreign language? (Sample size=228, multiple answer)
Votes Percentage Hobby 132 57.9% Work 68 29.8% Travel 55 24.1% Qualifications 50 21.9% Other 18 7.9%
Q2: Which foreign languages are you studying? (Sample size=228, multiple answer)
Votes Percentage English (to SQ) 199 87.3% Chinese 22 9.6% French 18 7.9% Korean 16 7.0% German 12 5.3% Spanish 5 2.2% Russian 4 1.8% Portuguese 2 0.9% Arabic 1 0.4% Other 7 3.1%
Q2SQ: How much have you spent on studying English in the last year? (Sample size=199)
Nothing at all 17.6% Under 1,000 yen 13.6% 1,000 to 4,999 yen 18.6% 5,000 to 9,999 yen 15.6% 10,000 to 49,999 yen 18.6% 50,000 to 99,999 yen 6.5% 100,000 yen or more 9.5%