Global Survey Reveals Why the World Learns Languages Online

  • Language Learning Company Babbel Releases 2016 Results from Nearly 45,000 Online Learners

56 percent of global users of Babbel – a market-leading language learning app – say that being able “to communicate better while traveling” is a top motivator for learning a new language. The international study surveyed over 44,000 respondents – including 2,510 U.S. respondents – and found out “self-improvement” (50 percent) and “mental fitness” (28 percent) round out the top three reasons for language learning in the 2016 Global User Survey.

Among Americans the most popular languages to learn are Spanish (27 percent), followed by French (20 percent), and German (17 percent). According to those surveyed around the world, English tops the list as the most popular language learned (28 percent), followed by Spanish (18 percent), French and Italian (13 percent), and German (9 percent).

The survey includes findings broken out by country, gender, age, language, and occupation.

Specific to the U.S., notable survey findings include:

1 . See the World and Improve Yourself: Top U.S. motivators for learning a new language are travel (22 percent), self-improvement (21 percent), and cultural interest (14 percent).

2 . Connect with Your Roots: 13 percent of U.S. users learn because they want to reconnect with their ancestral roots - more than six times the global average.

3 . Train Your Brain: U.S. respondents believe learning languages helps them stay mentally fit (94 percent), improve self-confidence (88 percent), explore places (87 percent), understand the world (86 percent), and meet people (76 percent).

Among the worldwide findings are the following:

1 . Climb the Corporate Ladder: The top “career” languages are English (47 percent), German (18 percent), French and Spanish (15 percent), and Italian (8 percent). Notably, only 19 percent of global respondents indicated they are learning a new language for a career boost.

2 . Be Disciplined: The top countries to learn according to a fixed routine were Brazil (56 percent), U.S. (51 percent), Spain (46 percent), France (37 percent), and UK (34 percent).

3 . Learn Quickly: Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of respondents say they are confident holding a conversation in a new language within five hours of using a language app such as Babbel.

“We know that learning a new language unlocks many enrichments in people’s lives,” says Thomas Holl, Co-Founder and President of Babbel. “Babbel has always aimed to create an enjoyable, engaging process of language learning with our easy-to-use app. This survey identifies how our users around the world are personally experiencing the many benefits of learning languages.”

Babbel has been helping users learn languages since 2007 through its fun, easy and accessible app that offers over 8,500 hours of learning materials. All content is developed by a professional didactics team of over 100 linguists, authors and language teachers to create highly interactive and unique conversational-style lessons, engaging users on average for more than 12 months. Learning a new language with Babbel is a fun, seamless, and multi-beneficial experience.

About Babbel

Babbel develops and operates an ecosystem of interconnected online language learning experiences and is driven by the purpose of creating mutual understanding through language. This means building products that help people connect and communicate across cultures. The Babbel App, Babbel Live, Babbel Podcasts and Babbel for Business products focus on using a new language in the real world, in real situations, with real people. And it works: Studies by linguists from institutions such as Michigan State University, Yale University and the City University of New York demonstrated the efficacy of Babbel’s language learning methods.

The key is a blend of humanity and technology. Babbel offers more than 60,000 lessons across 15 languages, hand-crafted by nearly 200 didactics experts, with user behaviors continuously analyzed to shape and tweak the learner experience. This results in constantly adapting, interactive content with live classes, games, podcasts and videos that make understanding a new language easy, from Spanish to Indonesian.

Because Babbel is for everyone, its team is as diverse as its content. From its headquarters in Berlin and its U.S. office in New York, 1000 people from more than 80 nationalities represent the backgrounds, characteristics and perspectives that make all humans unique. Babbel sold over 15 million subscriptions by creating a true connection with users.

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