Updated on: Tuesday, December 14, 2021, 06:06 PM IST

Learning Korean gaining ground in India, says education report

Indian millennials and Gen-Z -- particularly those between the ages of 17 and 25 -- are responsible for the increase of Korean learning in India, influenced by pop culture

New Delhi: Duolingo -- the world's most popular language learning app -- launched the 2021 Duolingo Language Report in India today, revealing language learning habits, attitudes, and perceptions in the country. It did additional research in India in collaboration with an international data and analytics firm to understand more about the impact of culture on language acquisition.

"With a youthful India eager to stay connected to local and global culture, we have seen the most traction on Duolingo from the 17 to 25 age bracket, across languages," Karandeep Singh Kapany, Country Marketing Manager in India, said of the 2021 edition of the Duolingo Language Report. We look forward to designing courses for Indian learners and satisfying their language learning needs as they increasingly transition to entertaining and effective virtual learning platforms."

According to hte report, Korean leads the language learning growth curve in India. Indian millennials and Gen-Z -- particularly those between the ages of 17 and 25 -- are responsible for the increase of Korean learning in India, influenced by pop culture. Korean has risen to the top of India's most popular languages, becoming the fastest growing and securely establishing itself as the country's fifth most popular language. This increase can be ascribed in part to the 2021 premiere of the popular TV show Squid Games.

Language education has been reframed as something that complements and supports interests and other activities, rather than something that is necessary in a classroom, as India consumes more Korean culture and listens to more K-pop. In fact, according to the survey, over 56 percent of respondents claimed that pop culture trendsetters such as movies, OTT shows, and web series motivated them to learn a new language.


Nearly 40 per cent of those polled said they were learning a new language at the moment. While there are many motivations for learning a new language in India, career and personal growth remain the most important factors. This trend can be seen in India across all age groups and in both metro and non-metro cities. Following closely behind are an interest in a different culture, a desire to keep connected with the community, and the pursuit of a new pastime.

When asked which languages they would like to study in the future, 38 percent chose a European language, with French, Spanish, and German being the most popular options. With the globalisation of the corporate and entrepreneurial sectors, it's no surprise that Indians are eager to broaden their professional horizons by studying these globally popular languages.


Surprisingly, an equal amount of people expressed interest in learning both English and an Indian regional language. This emphasises the importance of branching out and seeking new chances while remaining loyal to one's cultural roots.

Digital learning is the most preferred medium of learning especially via mobile applications and video platforms. Virtual learning has taken primacy over traditional classrooms as a result of the pandemic. It also gives students the option of upskilling while on the go or from the comfort of their own homes. Respondents said that mobile apps and video tutorials were the best ways for them to learn a new language. Physical classrooms are the next most popular learning environment, followed by online language courses.

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Published on: Monday, December 13, 2021, 07:00 AM IST