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Influenced by pop culture and ‘Squid Games’, Korean is now the fastest growing language in India: Report

According to Duolingo, this rise can be attributed in-part to the release of popular TV series Squid Games in 2021.

The Netflix series "Squid Game" is played on a mobile phone in this picture illustration. (REUTERS)

Influenced by pop culture, Indians between the age group 17 to 25, are more interested in learning Korean.

Korean has climbed up the ladder of becoming the fastest growing language, ranking as the fifth most popular language in India, a report by language learning platform Duolingo revealed.

According to Duolingo, this rise can be attributed in-part to the release of popular TV series Squid Games in 2021. At least 56 per cent  respondents who surveyed said that they were influenced to learn a new language by pop culture trendsetters including movies, OTT shows and web series.

The report noted that close to 40 per cent 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. This trend is observed across age groups as well as across metro and non-metro cities in India,” the company said in a report titled: ‘Duolingo Language Report 2021’ .

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Meanwhile, 38 per cent respondents showed interest in learning European languages with French, Spanish and German being the top choices. “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,” the company added.

Interestingly, an equal number of respondents stated that they would be interested in learning English and an Indian regional language.

Fueled by the pandemic, virtual learning has taken precedence over physical classrooms. Respondents added 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.


Earlier, in 2021, Duolingo revealed that over 700 million hours were spent learning on the 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.

“With a young India wanting to stay connected to local and global culture we have witnessed most traction on Duolingo from the 17 to 25 age bracket, across languages. As Indians increasingly move to virtual learning platforms that are fun and effective, we look forward to further tailoring courses for the Indian learner and meeting their language learning need,” said Karandeep Singh Kapany, country marketing manager of Duolingo.

First published on: 07-12-2021 at 17:06 IST
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