Global Survey Reveals Why the World Learns Languages Online

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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
Since 2007, Babbel has made learning languages fun, easy and accessible to everyone. The market-leading app consists of high-quality courses available for iOS, Android, on the desktop, and now Apple Watch.

Uniquely, every course is created specifically for each language pair by a team of education experts, linguists and language teachers. Babbel helps self-directed learners to discover a new language, and motivates them to keep learning: the average customer continues with the app for more than 12 months. The company’s premium business model ensures an ad-free experience with the focus remaining squarely on content.

Currently, Babbel offers 14 learning languages (Spanish, French, English, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Turkish, Polish, Indonesian, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Russian). These are available for seven display languages.

Babbel was founded in 2007 by Markus Witte (Chief Executive Officer), Thomas Holl (President, Babbel Inc.) and Lorenz Heine (Chief Innovation Officer). Over 350 people presently work from the company’s offices in New York and Berlin, representing 28 different nationalities between them. The company has been profitable since 2011 and has experienced 100% year-on-year growth since this time. The Babbel app now sees up to 120,000 downloads each day.

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