Influenced by pop culture, Korean is now the fastest growing language in India, says language app

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Influenced by pop culture, Korean is now the fastest growing language in India, says language app
© Provided by The Times of India

MUMBAI: When it comes to learning new languages, more and more Indians between the age groups of 17 to 25 are taking online Korean language classes, according to the findings of a survey by an app for language learning. Korean has climbed up the ladder of most popular languages becoming the fastest growing language in India and has comfortably established itself as the fifth most popular language in the country, it said.

“This rise can be attributed in part to the release of popular TV series Squid Games in 2021. As India tunes into more Korean entertainment and listens to more K-pop, language study has been reframed as something that complements and supports interests and other activities—not just something required in a classroom,” said the survey report. Over 56% of respondents said that they were influenced to learn a new language by pop culture trendsetters including movies, OTT shows and web series, said the survey. English, Hindi, French and Spanish are the other top languages that Indians are currently learning on the app. English, Spanish, French, German and Japanese is the most popular languages on the app globally as well.

“Close to 40% of respondents stated that they were currently studying 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,” said the release issued by Duolingo, which conducted the survey. This trend is observed across age groups as well as across metro and non-metro cities in India. “Interest in a different culture, staying connected with the community and pursuing a new hobby are reasons that follow closely,” it said.

When asked which languages they would be interested in learning in the future, 38% of respondents picked a European language with French, Spanish and German being the top choices. An equal number of respondents stated that they would be interested in learning English and an Indian regional language.

“With the corporate and entrepreneurial sectors getting increasingly global, it is not surprising that Indians are looking to expand their professional boundaries by learning these globally popular languages… but the survey also showcases the need to branch and seek new opportunities, while also staying connected to cultural roots,” it said.

“Spurred by the pandemic, virtual learning has taken precedence over physical classrooms,” it said. The company revealed that in 2021, over 700 million hours were spent learning on their 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.The 2021 Duolingo language report includes information about learners who studied languages on Duolingo between October 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021. The survey covered over 1013 Indian respondents. The data was aggregated by country or by language to ensure learner privacy.

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