Buoyed by the success of its English course for Hindi speakers, online language learning company Duolingo has announced the launch of its Hindi course for English speakers. Duolingo, which has 200 million users worldwide, learning languages on mobile and web, has over 10.1 million total users in India since launching in the country in 2014. The company claims that globally it has about 8.6 million Hindi speakers learning English on Duolingo.
Incidentally, while 68 percent of Indian users prefer to learn English on the platform, French has 8.3 percent, Spanish 8.2 percent, German 5.5 percent and Japanese 2.1 percent. Myra Awodey, the Lead Community Specialist at Duolingo, says the Hindi course in its current iteration took about one year to build, led by Kanan Gupta, who previously worked with Duolingo in 2016 to redesign our English course for Hindi speakers.
“Kanan worked with 3-4 other contributors on building the Hindi course over the past year. The upcoming course will feature reading, writing and speaking exercises (like most other courses), as well as new character exercises that are unique to the Hindi course.”
Hindi is one of the top languages in the world with over 500 million speakers and has been among Duolingo’s most requested courses. “We believe it will appeal to people within India who would like to learn the language, as well as travelers to the country. We also believe many people worldwide will want to learn Hindi to better connect with their family heritage,” Awodey adds.
“We learn a great deal from every new language course that we create on Duolingo,” she says, about the experiences and learning from different languages.
Duolingo, Duolingo Hindi course, Duolingo top language courses, language learning services, Duolingo India users, list of most spoken Indian languages, Indian language courses, For example, one of the sentences that will be taught is, “Delhi is not a village.” (दिल्ली गाँव नहीं है ।)
“In particular, last year, we had a big focus on adding East Asian languages such as Japanese, Korean and Mandarin Chinese. As they are character-based languages, it took us a long time to figure out how to best teach them, and we realized that we would need to create new challenge types that would teach characters. Once we launched Japanese in May 2017, we were much better equipped to bring languages such as Korean and Mandarin to the platform as well,” she adds.
Duolingo is not working on other India language courses at the moment but might look at them depending on the success of the Hindi course. However, it is working on building English courses for speakers of Bengali, Punjabi, Telugu, and Tamil.
In addition to character exercises, the Hindi course will feature lessons relevant to Indian geography and culture that do not appear in our other courses. “For example, one of the sentences that will be taught is, “Delhi is not a village.” (दिल्ली गाँव नहीं है ।).”
Duolingo, Duolingo Hindi course, Duolingo top language courses, language learning services, Duolingo India users, list of most spoken Indian languages, Indian language courses Duolingo is not working on other India language courses at the moment but might look at them depending on the success of the Hindi course.
Indian users on Duolingo have thrown up some interesting numbers and trends. For instance, on an average user in India spend about 2 hours per week on Duolingo, completing about 2 lessons per day, or 16 per week. Major holidays like Holi mean a sharp dip in users. Also, Indians prefer to learn languages in the evening as about 25 percent use Duolingo between 6:30 and 9:30 pm local time.