NEW DELHI: According to the India report card 2022 of Duolingo — the most downloaded education app globally — the top five languages Indians are learning on the platform are English, Hindi, French, Korean and Spanish.
“Even though it is claimed that India has the largest population of English speakers globally outside of the US, at 129 million English speakers across 29 states, less than 10 per cent of the total population speaks English,” according to Bob Meese, chief business officer, Duolingo. “In other words, 90 per cent of the population is in need of English learning resources. It’s no surprise that English is the top language of choice for Indians to learn on Duolingo,” he says.
As far as Hindi is concerned, Meese says given that many Indians migrate from their home states for work opportunities, they see the benefits in knowing an additional Indian language. While French as the third-most popular language on Duolingo in India isn’t a surprise, Korean at the fourth spot is.
“In 2021, Korean was ranked fifth among the most popular languages to study, but in 2022 it became the fastest-growing language in India and surpassed Spanish for fourth place,” says Meese. “Korean, in fact, beats French in states such as Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal.”
The popularity of K-culture with younger audiences in India is one of the key drivers for the rapid growth of interest in Korean language. Some of the states where French is at the third rank are Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Also, younger Indians are more interested in learning languages. “Learners in India are younger than the global average, with over 75 per cent of learners under 30 years of age,” says Meese.
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