Curzon makes three main tiers of languages to prioritize educational efforts. The tiers are below
I generally agree with the tier system. I think Russian is going to greatly decline in demand as Russia continues to decrease in population and speaking it is more of a political statement in the Near Abroad (former Soviet states). Arabic is growing in importance and probably should rank above Russian; however, who knows if the Arab markets will adjust to a post-oil world.
Certainly the tiers of language have changed massive in recent history. This is probably the widest range of tongues of importance in Western history. Just think about it
- Roman Empire to Early Renaissance: Latin and Greek were the only two languages of importance
- Renaissance to Early 1800s: Latin fades as French becomes the only language of diplomacy
- Early to late 1800s: English becomes equally important to French. Last few years see rise of German due to German scientific achievement.
- Early 1900s to End of World War II: English, French, German
- Cold War: English, Russian with Arabic and Chinese growing in importance. By the end of the era more second and third world languages become important.
Agree or disagree? Feel free to comment!