After the success of its English course for Hindi speakers, the US-based free language-learning app Duolingo on Thursday announced the launch of its Hindi course for English speakers in India. Launched in India in 2014, the company recently passed 10 million users who learn languages both on mobile and the web and is among the service's top 10 largest markets worldwide.
Worldwide, the company has 200 million users and claims that it has about 8.6 million Hindi speakers learning English globally.
"Spoken by over 500 million people worldwide, Hindi is one of the top most spoken languages in the world and has been among Duolingo's most requested courses," Michaela Kron, a spokesperson for Duolingo, said in a statement.
"We are glad to now offer it to those who want to learn this compelling language with over 1,000 years of history -- whether it's for travel, business, connecting with family heritage and more," Kron added. The course is built to feel like a game. Users can compete with friends, have streaks, get points, level up, and earn virtual currency to spend on bonus items.
It is also completely interactive, with users having to answer questions to move forward. Lessons which include reading, writing, listening and speaking exercises, are "bite-sized" which means they can be taken on-the-go in five minutes at a time and fit anyone's schedule.
"Our Chatbot feature helps users practice conversation, without the fear of embarrassment that comes with talking to native speakers. Unlike most chatbots so far, Duolingo Bots accept and react to thousands of unique responses," the company said in a statement.
With Duolingo for Schools, over 300,000 teachers are using it in class, which means students can play a mobile game during school time and actually enjoy homework. While English has 68 per cent takers on the platform, French has 8.3 per cent, Spanish 8.2 per cent, German 5.5 per cent and Japanese 2.1 per cent.
The course will be available via Duolingo's Android and iOS apps at a later date. Besides offering total 80 language courses for 31 distinct languages, Duolingo is currently working on English courses for Bengali, Punjabi, Telugu and Tamil speakers, the statement said.