Language as a high-status hobby extends far beyond America. In Russia and many parts of Asia you can get by with a single language, but knowing several is a sign of higher education.

I agree with you there could be other reasons (I learned most of mine out of necessity, as do many people from my home country of Switzerland), I disagree that the reasons I listed are limited to the American upper middle class.

Overall, this was article was addressed at those who learn language as a hobby.

Writing to get better. Tokyo-based polyglot with a degree in human rights. Travel | Humor | Language | Society. Find me anywhere @alexstwrites.