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 – the app that helps you speak a new language like you’ve always wanted to. When learning a language, nothing is more rewarding than a real conversation. 73% of surveyed customers feel that they’d be able to hold a conversation within five hours of using the app.

The Babbel language learning app for web, iOS and Android makes it easy to learn 14 different languages from 7 display languages. Bite-sized lessons fit into everyday life and are split into useful real-world topics, from introducing oneself, to ordering food and making travel arrangements. The app’s effective game mechanics ensure that learners stay motivated to achieve their goals, with the average user continuing to learn with Babbel for more than 12 months. Uniquely, every course is created specifically for each language pair by a team of education experts, linguists and language teachers. Fast Company Magazine recognised Babbel as the most innovative education company of 2016.

Babbel was founded in 2007 by Markus Witte (Chief Executive Officer) and Thomas Holl (Chief Strategy Officer). Since then, the team has grown to over 600 people from more than 50 nations, spread between Berlin and New York. With no ads, and a transparent, subscription-based business model, the company’s focus remains firmly on getting learners conversational fast.The company recently surpassed 1,000,000 active paying subscribers.

For more information, visit www.Babbel.com

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