The “Most 2022 Phrase” is “Please don’t cancel my plans”. Duolingo a leading online learning platform, selected this phrase, found in its English for Spanish speakers course, to reflect the tone and overall feeling of the year which saw record number of flight cancellations, natural disasters in vacation spots, and soaring travel costs.
Alongside the “Most 2022 Phrase”, the platform also launched the company’s third global Language Report, which examines the latest language trends based on data from millions of learners. The 2022 Language Report provides thoughtful analysis and unique insights into what learners want to study and why.
This year’s global data shows how reopened borders and eased travel restrictions impacted learners’ study choices. Key findings reveal:
Ukrainian language learning surged. More than 1.3 million people around the world began studying Ukrainian in a show of solidarity following Russia’s invasion in February, making it the fastest-growing course this year.
English remains the most popular language to learn globally and ranks #2 even in the U.S. The top ten languages studied around the world are (in order): English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Russian, and Hindi.
Duolingo predicts 2023 will be the ‘Year of the Confident Traveler’. There is reason to believe that 2023 will see big changes in learners studying for travel. For one, 45 percent of Americans plan or hope to learn a language ahead of travelling in the future, according to a recent survey by Duolingo. Not only that, but more than a third (38 percent ) of Americans say that to feel comfortable while travelling they would need to know enough of their travel destination’s language to have a simple conversation at the very minimum.
After 2 years of pandemic-induced hiatus, the world is up and running again – this time with extraordinary zeal and passion! Embracing YOLO in its truest sense, Indian travellers are once again ready to put on their globetrotting shoes to tick experiences off their bucket lists. They no longer seek just touristy experiences and want to travel like a local. Language and culture are interlinked, and you cannot learn one of these without having a clear understanding of the other. Knowing the local language of your destination results in a more personal and richer experience with the native culture!
Commenting on the 2022 edition of the Duolingo Language Report, Country Marketing Manager in India, Karandeep Singh Kapany said, “To help Indian travelers seeking authentic local experiences, wanting to connect with locals in their native, Duolingo has travel specific easy and basic modules. Duolingo enables a smooth and fun language learning process across several languages, and it is encouraging to see Indians willing to invest time and energy in delving deeper and mastering the art of language learning when planning their next trip. We look at promoting language learning as a culture which opens a whole new door of experiences for all our uses.”
Language is an important requisite for making travel plans
The cultural essence of any place is significantly coded in its language. Indian travellers understand this and are becoming more conscious and mindful of their travel choices – of the impact that they leave on the destination and its people. During the survey, about 50 percent of respondents agreed that the primary language of the destination is an important consideration factor for them while making travel decisions. The majority of the respondents (76 percent) said that relaxation and exploring new cultures act as the primary motivators for international travel in 2023. What can be a better way to experience the cultural diversity of a place than in its local language?
Say Bon Voyage! French tops the charts as the most preferred language for Indian travellers
Being spoken in more than 40 different countries across the globe, it is no surprise that the majority of the respondents (23 percent) plan to practice and brush up their French speaking skills followed by German, Arabic, and Spanish before they venture out to an international travel destination. Most of these respondents (46 percent) are Gen Z and millennials.
French is the fifth most spoken language in the world after English, Mandarin, Hindi, and Spanish. It holds the official language status in about 30 countries. Popularly known as the language of culture, knowledge of French enables you to access great works in global art and literature. A little research on the culture of the destination before the trip helps one to be more respectful towards local communities and people.
Shotgun! Language takes a front seat to authentic travel experiences
Indicating that travellers are ready to put in that extra effort at the travel planning stage – 62 percent of the respondents said that they have practiced at least one foreign language ahead of their travelling plans.
It is interesting to note that for their future international trips, travellers don’t want to stop at learning just a few basic words and greetings in the destination’s language but have an appetite for learning enough to have a simple conversation in the destination’s primary language! This contrasts with their past behaviour where they were satisfied with knowing a few keywords and phrases to get around the destination. This change indicates that Indian travellers are leaning towards conscious travel. They want to indulge in the socio-cultural experiences of a place in the most authentic way possible.