Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP and convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Gaelic Alasdair Allan has welcomed the news that work has begun on adding Gaelic to Duolingo, the world’s most popular online language learning service.

The islands MSP started a campaign on this issue after being inspired by the success which the Irish language had on Duolingo. In the first two years after their Irish language course launched in 2014, 2.3 million people started learning Irish, averaging 3,000 new learners a day. Irish is reportedly one of the top ten languages on Duolingo.

The course is currently in Duolingo’s “incubator”, where language courses are constructed with the help of a community of volunteers, and has an expected completion date of July 17 2020.

Alasdair Allan commented:

“With people spending more and more of their time online and on their smartphones, it is important that learning Gaelic is as accessible in the modern world as possible. This news is a fantastic step forward in that regard.

“Duolingo has around 200 million users across the world so Gaelic’s addition to the platform would bring it to a vast new community of language learners while making it easy and fun to learn.

“We know from learning about how the Irish course was created that it really depends on volunteers so well done to everyone who has campaigned and pushed for Gaelic to be added to Duolingo in getting us to this stage.

“I look forward to seeing the course develop over the next year.”

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