The 2021 Duolingo Language Report is out and it presents some interesting patterns and attitudes towards learning languages. Additionally, the report took a deep dive into the data from India conducting research on these trends with an international data and analytics group.
One of the key insights that came out of the research was that Indians between the ages of 17 and 25 were the biggest Duolingo users with the app witnessing the most traction from that age bracket across languages.
Specifically, Indians between the ages of 17 and 25 were also responsible for the rise of Korean learning in the country. The report revealed that Korean has become one of the most popular languages to learn in India ranking at number 5 on the charts of the most popular languages on Duolingo. It is also the fastest growing language in the country.
The report states this rise in Korean’s popularity can be attributed partly to the release of Squid Games and also the country’s growing affinity for Korean entertainment and K-Pop.
According to a survey conducted by Duolingo, 56 per cent of the respondents said that were influenced by pop culture (like movies, OTT shows, web series, etc) to learn a new language. This effectively takes language learning outside classrooms and professional spaces into a domain that supports hobbies and interests.
Besides Korean, English, Hindi, French, and Spanish were the other four top languages Indians were learning on Duolingo in 2021. And globally, English, Spanish, French, German and Japanese were the most popular languages on Duolingo.
For Indians, improving career opportunities and personal growth were the main drivers to learn a new language with 40 per cent of the survey respondents stating that they were “currently” learning a new language.
“While the range of reasons to study a new language is diverse for Indian learners, professional and personal growth remain top motivators. This trend is observed across age groups as well as across metro and non-metro cities in India,” the Duolingo report said, adding that interest in a different culture, staying connected with the community and pursuing a new hobby were other reasons that also got people to learn a new language.
About 38 per cent of survey respondents wanted to learn European languages like French, Spanish, and German. And an equal number of respondents said they wanted to learn English and an Indian regional language.
Respondents also said that they were most comfortable learning a new language from mobile applications and video tutorials. Physical classrooms are the next preferred medium of learning followed by distance learning language courses.
Duolingo revealed that in 2021, over 700 million hours were spent learning on the Duolingo app with nearly 10 billion lessons completed and 15 billion words learned. It also revealed that 25 million people worldwide were learning more than one language.
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