25% increase in Gaelic Duolingo learners in a year

Duolingo has released new data revealing that 1.5 million people have started learning Scottish Gaelic on the App since the course launched just over 3 years ago on St Andrew’s Day (November 30th) 2019. The free Duolingo course has seen a 25% increase in daily learners since St Andrew’s Day 2021. Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture,  and Duolingo officially joined forces to deliver the popular Scottish Gaelic language course in 2022, which currently has 450,000 active Scottish Gaelic learners. The primary motivation for learning the language is recorded as culture, with many looking to reconnect with their heritage.

An interest in Scotland’s Gaelic language and culture

Màrtainn Mac a’ Bhàillidh, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture, said: “There has always been an interest in Scotland’s Gaelic language and culture, especially with such a vast Scottish diaspora, but learning apps like Duolingo and the growth of Gaelic Medium Education in schools have made the language so much more accessible to a larger audience.  Gaelic on Duolingo has played a big part in the expansion of learning resources and opportunities across the board, including the multimedia platform SpeakGaelic. At Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, we have had students come to us via Duolingo, starting with our An Cùrsa Inntrigidh or An Cùrsa Comais immersion courses and going on to study on our degree courses. Long may this growth continue.”

Colin Watkins, Duolingo’s UK Country Manager said: “We’re delighted Scots Gaelic has reached 1.5 million learners on the app, which I challenge to reach 2 million by this time next year. It’s great to see so many people cite culture as their reason to learn, showing the role language plays in all our lives, something we are proud to celebrate. Our mission at Duolingo is to make education accessible, which is why our Scots Gaelic, French, Latin, and other courses in 39 other languages are free to all.”

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