A reader writes, "Does Cornell keep track of the 'popularity' of languages on a year-to-year basis, as global events and trends unfold? For instance, are more students now learning Arabic or Chinese? And how many languages are taught at Cornell?"
Cornell Language Resource Center Dick Feldman responds: "You're certainly right that language enrollment is responsive to economic and political forces. Arabic has more than doubled in the last few years, and Chinese has increased by about 25 percent. Spanish still has the highest enrollment.
"If you count every possible course that might be a language, meaning ancient (non-spoken) languages, and occasionally taught languages,
Cornell, via the College of Arts and Sciences, offers 50 languages. Within that number are 29 modern language programs with at least two regular years of instruction that satisfy the Arts and Sciences' language requirement. For a list of all language programs, look at lrc.cornell.edu/learning/languages. Regarding these numbers, Cornell is about in the middle of the pack of its peer (Ivy League) institutions."