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51 percent Indians use words, phrases from languages that are untranslatable to English: Report

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Shillong, April 8: Over half of urban Indians (about 51 per cent) use words or phrases from specific regional languages to express love language or in humorous or witty situations, which cannot be fully translated into English, according to a report on Monday.

The report by Duolingo, a language learning platform, is based on a survey done in collaboration with YouGov to gauge the attitudes of urban Indians toward language and expression.

The findings revealed that over half (51 per cent) of Indians often incorporate unique phrases (from different languages) into their daily conversations.

About 68 per cent of urban Indians said that there are certain phrases or words in a language that convey nuanced meanings which cannot be fully translated or expressed in English; while 69 per cent admitted to using language-specific phrases or words that cannot be fully translated into English to articulate emotions/feelings (happy/sad) or engage in conversations with family and friends.

Further, 51 per cent confessed to using these expressions as terms of endearment or love language or to inject humour and wit into their interactions.

To celebrate this linguistic diversity, the platform recently launched the ‘#EnglishMeinNahiJamta’ campaign on Duolingo India’s Instagram page, inviting users to embark on a journey of linguistic discoveries.

The users guided by beloved characters Duo and Lily shared treasured words from their regional dialects that lost their magic when translated into English.

“At Duolingo, we understand that languages are more than just communication tools — they’re expressions of culture, emotion, and identity,” said Karandeep Singh Kapany, Regional Marketing Director, Duolingo.

“Our ‘#EnglishMeinNahiJamta’ campaign celebrates this beauty by highlighting words that defy translation and reflect a growing appreciation for linguistic diversity. Through initiatives like this, we empower individuals to embrace expression, enrich lives, and foster global connections,” he added. (IANS)

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