Squid Games gets Indians to learn Korean language: Duolingo

Korean fastest growing foreign language in India
/ New Delhi
Squid Games gets Indians to learn Korean language: Duolingo

Popularity of Squid Games led to rise in learning of Korean language (Photo: Netlix)

The spread of Over The Top (OTT) platforms and their content from across the world has led to increasing curiosity about foreign cultures and led to a spike in demand for learning new languages. Popularity of Squid Games has seen a number of Indians picking up their Korean dictionaries.
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Language-learning app Duolingo says Indian millennials and Gen-Z – especially between the age groups of 17 to 25 years – are responsible for the rise of Korean learning in India influenced by pop culture. Korean has climbed up the ladder of most popular foreign languages, becoming the fastest growing language in India and has comfortably established itself as the 5th most popular language in the country. This rise can be attributed in part to the release of the popular TV series Squid Games in 2021.

“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 needs,” says Karandeep Singh Kapany, country marketing manager of Duolingo in India.

Duoling conducted additional research diving into the impact of culture on language learning in association with international data and analytics groups. 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. According to Duolingo, over 56 pc respondents said that they were influenced to learn a new language by pop culture trendsetters including movies, OTT shows and web series. English, Hindi, French and Spanish are the other top languages that Indians are currently learning on the Duolingo app. English, Spanish, French, German and Japanese are the most popular languages trending globally.

As per the users of the app in the country, they are learning new languages improving career opportunities and personal growth close to 40 pc of respondents stated that they were currently studying a new language. This trend for learning is observed across all 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.

The company announced its most 2021 phrase. ‘I’m mentally exhausted.’ It selected this phrase, found in its Japanese course, to reflect the tone and overall feeling of the year after much of the globe continued to cycle through lockdowns, delayed return-to-office plans, and ever-changing health policies.

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