Duolingo Reveals the “Most 2021 Phrase” and Launches Second Global Language Report

Dec 06, 2021

End of year campaign showcases most popular language courses, phrases and reasons people use the world’s leading mobile language learning platform

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Duolingo (NASDAQ: DUOL), the world’s #1 language learning platform, this week revealed the “Most 2021 Phrase” which is “I’m mentally exhausted”. Duolingo selected this phrase, found in its Japanese course, to reflect the tone and overall feeling of the year in which we witnessed record-setting burnout and fatigue induced by the ongoing pandemic.

Alongside the “Most 2021 Phrase”, Duolingo also launched the company’s second global Language Report, which examines the latest language trends and learner behaviors based on data from over 500 million Duolingo learners around the globe who have downloaded the app. In 2021, over 700 million hours were spent learning on Duolingo with nearly 10 billion lessons completed and 15 billion words learned. Almost 25 million people worldwide were learning more than one language. Duolingo has more insight into global language learning trends than any other entity in history and the 2021 Language Report provides thoughtful analysis and unique insights into what learners want to study and why.

This year’s results clearly show that learners continue turning to languages to build bridges with cultures and people, across distances we can't quite traverse in person -- yet. Key findings reveal:

  • Asian language learning is skyrocketing -- Japanese is the fastest growing language being learned this year in the US, with Korean rising in popularity around the world as well.
  • Family and heritage drives language learning in the U.S. -- Family has suddenly surpassed school and brain training to become the most popular reason new learners in the U.S. are studying languages. Seventy percent of those who started learning a language during the pandemic say their learning is related to family heritage, ancestry or culture, according to a recent survey conducted in conjunction with the 2021 Duolingo Language Report.
  • Spanish still leads the way -- The top five languages learned on Duolingo this year in the U.S. are Spanish, English, French, Japanese and German.

“We saw record growth of new learners studying a language in 2020, fueled by the pandemic, and now we’re able to share insights on how these patterns have evolved this year,” said Cindy Blanco, senior learning scientist. “One of the most interesting trends we saw this year was an increase in learners who were studying a language in order to connect with family. It’s been exciting to see people use language as a way to reconnect across cultures and relationships.”

Additionally, Duolingo is rolling out a new Year in Review experience which provides a visualized deep dive on individual user activity, showcasing eight different types of learners based on a variety of factors including hours spent learning, number of courses a learner has taken, what time a learner tends to practice, and more.

“This year, we’re rolling out personalized learner styles that give our learners a unique look at their learning habits, and we hope this inspires them to set new language learning goals for 2022,” said Blanco.

The Year in Review experience is available for all Duolingo learners who completed at least 10 lessons in 2021. Duolingo learners can see their personalized Year in Review snapshot in the app and can share their learner style directly to social media.

About Duolingo
Duolingo is the most popular language-learning platform and the most downloaded education app worldwide. The app makes learning new languages fun with bite-sized lessons that feel like playing a game. The company's mission is to develop the best education in the world and make it universally available. Duolingo offers over 100 total courses across 40 distinct languages, from Spanish, French, German and Japanese, to Klingon. www.duolingo.com.

Press Contact:
Sam Dalsimer,
Global Head of Communications