Looking at Duolingo’s end-of-year report on language learning trends

Last week, you may have seen folks sharing their Spotify Wrapped all over social media.

Just a couple of days after that, another popular app released an end-of-year report for its users: Duolingo’s 2022 Year in Review. 

The report gives users insights into their language learning habits for the past year, all in the form of a neatly packed Instagram story-like widget. And following up on that personalized data, the company also released information on language-learning trends among all of its users earlier this week in its 2022 Duolingo Language Report.

“The biggest trend of 2022 was the global spike in people learning Ukrainian,” reads the 2022 Duolingo Language Report, released on Tuesday. “In addition, this year’s report explores how re-opened borders and eased travel restrictions impacted learners’ study choices. Taken together, the insights from this year’s global report show that language learning can reflect essential elements of a person’s identity.”

The report is based on data from the platform’s 500 million users and their learning activity between Oct. 1, 2021 and Sept. 30, 2022.

As noted, the platform saw a major spike in Ukrainian learners across the world — in Ireland, for instance, the number of Ukrainian learners jumped by 2,229%. This growth appears to have leveled out after March and April of this year, but the number of Ukrainian learners remains higher than before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“For language learners, the war in Ukraine was unusual in that it was covered by the media in ways that included language, thus setting it apart from other political and humanitarian crises on learners’ minds,” the report reads.

English, Spanish, and French remain the most widely learned languages on the platform. English was the most widely learned language in a total of 119 countries — Spanish topped the list in 34 countries, while French was at the top in 22. The platform also notes that more people are studying the language of their home country than before, tying this development to the fact that more students, immigrants, and temporary workers are entering these countries from abroad.

In addition to platform-wide details outlined in the 2022 Duolingo Language Report, users who spent more than five days learning on the app will be able to access an individualized Year in Review report with insights specific to that user. In the vein of Spotify Wrapped, the report includes details on how much time a user spent on the platform, the total number of new words a user was exposed to throughout the year, and the longest streak a user was able to maintain throughout the year.

Andrew Warner
Andrew Warner is a writer from Sacramento. He received his B.A. in linguistics and English from UCLA and is currently working toward an M.A. in applied linguistics at Columbia University. His writing has been published in Language Magazine, Sactown Magazine, and The Takeout.


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