Distance education languages include those which have been associated with culture, finance, multi media and world literature over the past two or three centuries, as well as the languages of up and coming financial and scientific centers which are becoming more and more important with increasing globalization. English and French, as well as Spanish, remain among the most popular distance education languages as they remain crucial for success in our increasingly connected world. At present, Russian, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi and Bengali are also growing in popularity as distance education languages just as Russia, Brazil, China and India are increasing their presence on the world political, financial and cultural stage.
Other distance education languages include culturally important languages, such as Italian and Greek. While most Italian and Greek business leaders speak English or perhaps French, there are distance learning students who want to learn these languages in order to understand a Verdi opera or read The Iliad in the original. Because of its religious and historical significance, Hebrew instruction is in demand, and it, too has a place on the list of popular distance education languages. And some seek more obscure distance education languages because they are the descendants of emigrants who spoke these languages.