One of Squid Games or for kawaii culture, Korean and Japanese appeal that drives East Asian language learning boom. Japanese is the fastest growing English language this year on online platforms Duolingo, and Korean is the fourth fastest growing language.
Much of the interest is due to cultural concerns, the company notes in its 2021 Duolingo language report, which sees usage across its platform’s 20 million downloads.
Consolidating elements of Japanese popular culture, such as Pokemon and video games, are joining the growing popularity of anime globally, such as Dragon Ball you My Hero Academy.
Duolingo notes that 26% of language learners are influenced by major cultural moments, such as the Tokyo Olympics and Euro 2020, and by television shows such as Squid Games, which is registered as 76% increase in Korean learners when launched in September. A third of students said they decided to watch a movie or TV show in another language.
Around the world, Japan surpasses Italy and become the fifth most popular language in 2021.
Jun Jinushi, executive director of the Japan National Tourism Organization headquarters in London, said the number of people traveling from the UK to Japan hit an all-time high before the pandemic.
“We certainly have felt increased interest in Japan and Japanese culture in recent yearsHe said, mentioning the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and TV shows like Joanna Lumley’s Japan, James May: Our Man in Japan y Tom Daley Goes Global.
“It’s also possible that Japanese food has always been on the English menu, and the generation of children who fell in love with Japanese pop culture and are now growing up and respecting the country again and the language that gave them character. such as Pokemon, Super Mario and Studio Ghibli.”
Spanish, French, German, English and Italian are the most popular languages on Duolingo in the UK, followed by Japanese and Welsh, the fastest growing languages last year.
The Welsh are still popular, according to Colin Watkins, head of the British company. “We are approaching two million students, which I hope we will surpass before Christmas,” he said.
“The growing popularity of Asian languages, driven by an interest in Asian culture, represents a fundamental shift in student motivation and a real shift in what English wants to learn.”.