Bad news for those of you who slacked off in high school French class: Your adolescent laziness might have lessened your likelihood of finding romance as an adult. It turns out that the benefits of being multilingual extend beyond padding your résumé. New research has found that speaking more than one language also makes you more attractive to potential romantic partners, so if you've been itching to learn Swedish or Italian or Russian, consider this just one more reason to get started.
In a recent survey, language-learning app Babbel asked 3,000 English-speaking people (from the US and UK) about the relationship between language and romance, and found that the two were more connected than you might think. 71 percent of Americans said that being able to speak more than one language was sexy, and it's no surprise why — it takes brains to become fluent in more than one language, and who doesn't love someone who's an intellectual at heart?
"Learning another language will help you to become more skillful and sophisticated, which are attractive qualities in any person," Miriam Plieninger, Director of Didactics at Babbel, tells Bustle. "The more you study languages, the better you are at communicating, and the more you communicate in a new language, the more confidence you build. Together, communication and confidence create a powerful attraction."
Here are five things the Babbel survey revealed about the relationship between love and language — if you're looking for a productive hobby and only speak your native tongue, why not teach yourself a new language?
1. Most Americans Think Being Bilingual Is Attractive
As mentioned above, almost three-quarters of Americans (71 percent) said that speaking more than one language is an attractive quality in a partner, and who can blame them? "Languages not only enable you to expand yourself in terms of perspective and skillset, but they also open doors and help you better understand other cultures and people," Plieninger says. "Knowing another language helps to break barriers and to connect on a special level of mutual understanding; be it while on the street, traveling, or in business."
2. Men Fantasize About A Foreign Romance More Often
Daydreaming isn't just for Harlequin romance lovers: 53 percent of men in the U.S. said they'd dreamed about having a romance with a foreigner, compared to 49 percent of U.S. women. Being younger also makes you more likely to have an exotic fantasy — 71 percent of people under 45 said they'd thought about having a foreign lover.
3. French Was Deemed The Sexiest Foreign Language
It seems that one of the Romance languages is living up to its name: 40 percent of Americans said French is the sexiest foreign language. Another 38 percent said hearing English in a French accent is the height of sexiness.
4. Most Americans Would Learn A Language For Love
Maybe it's because of all the rom-coms we've been watching, but a whopping 9 out of 10 Americans said they'd learn a language in the pursuit of love. "If your partner speaks another language, then you of course feel the desire to communicate with them and understand their culture and open up your eyes to their world." says Plieninger. If only every love story ended like Jamie and Aurelia in Love, Actually, when they both learned the other's language "just in case" things worked out — swoon.
Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy (5)