Irish is the Fastest Growing Language on DuoLingo

Irish is the Fastest Growing Language on DuoLingo
Today Irish is not spoken widely in most of the island - Image Source: Wikimedia

IRISH is the fastest-growing language on learning app DuoLingo, with over a million weekly learners worldwide.

DuoLingo, which has over half a billion app downloads worldwide, listed Irish as the 16th most popular language for English speakers to learn. It is also the top language studied by users in Ireland, and the fastest-growing option for learners in the world.


Once spoken across the island, the Irish language significantly declined under British occupation in the 18th century as English became widespread in Ireland. In 2016, 1.7 million Irish citizens said they spoke the language on the national census, though only 73,000 said they spoke it on a daily basis. It is only used regularly in Gaeltacht areas, mostly concentrated on Ireland’s rural West Coast.

Noah Higgs, an Irish teacher and consultant for DuoLingo, told RTE that part of the language’s popularity on the app was due to the huge number of Irish diaspora worldwide with an interest in studying their roots. He added that lockdown had given many people in Ireland a chance to brush up on their “Gaeilge”, which is a compulsory exam subject throughout the Irish school system.

For those interested in a quick fix of basic GaeilgeDia Duit is hello, Go raibh maith agat is thank you, Slan is goodbye and Eire means Ireland.

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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...


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