Irish language

Irish Duolingo course reaches a million learners

The Irish Duolingo course has grown rapidly since its launch in August 2014 
Cathal McGuigan

ONE MILLION people from around the world have signed up to learn the Irish language using a free language-learning app.

Duolingo boasts 100 million users worldwide learning through one of forty language courses, including courses in Spanish, Norwegian and Turkish.

Thirteen courses are available to English speakers, with Irish currently being the 7th most popular, ahead of Swedish and Danish.

The Irish course was first released for desktops in August 2014, with over 6,000 learners signing up on the first day.

The Irish and Dutch courses were the company’s first language courses to be created using a team of volunteers working in collaboration with Duolingo staff.

In a post on the Duolingo website, Alex Burke, one of the volunteers who helped to create the Irish course, thanked Duolingo users for their support.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank every one of you that tried out the course and for learning the beautiful language of my country," he said.

"This number blows my mind every time I think about it. I mean, 1,000,000 people is hard to even start to comprehend! What is even more mind blowing is that this number was reached in just over a year!"

European Commission statistics from 2012 indicate that there are currently around 138,000 native Irish speakers in Ireland. 

There are also around one million people in the Republic of Ireland and 65,000 people in Northern Ireland who have learned to speak Irish as a second language.

Irish language

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