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Tens of thousands sign up in matter of hours as Duolingo releases Scottish Gaelic course

The Duolingo Scots Gaelic course has been launched.
The Duolingo Scots Gaelic course has been launched.

More than 20,000 people have already signed up to learn Scottish Gaelic after a course on how to speak it was uploaded to one of the most popular teaching apps in the world.

Duolingo’s highly anticipated tutorial on how to converse in the country’s native tongue went live on Wednesday to much acclaim from Scots.

And a spokesman for the learning platform said more than 24,000 people already signed up to learn the language within 12 hours of the launch.

The course comes following a campaign from Gaelic speakers to make the language available on Duolingo.

Duolingo says the Gaelic course, which was created with the help of volunteers across Scotland, was made available eight months ahead of schedule.

The course was created by Glasgow architect Màrtainn Mac a’ Bhàillidh, Fort William school teacher Ciaran Iòsaph MacAonghais, Eriskay teacher Iagan MacAonghais and student Joanne McLennan of Benbecula.

Course creator Mr MacAonghais said: “Helping create the course has been a real privilege. I’m immensely proud that the Gaelic community pulled together to make this happen in such a short time.

“I think this says a lot about our determination to secure a future for the language. I hope people enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed creating it, and look forward to developing it further in the future.”

Fellow creator Martin Baillie added: “Getting Scottish Gaelic on Duolingo is something I’ve been campaigning for so I felt I had to put myself forward to contribute.

“I’ve used Duolingo to learn many languages, mainly Irish, so I was aware of the reach, effectiveness and accessibility of the app.

“Scottish Gaelic is such a rich and fascinating language with an incredible history. The songs, poetry and meaning given to Scottish place names really open your eyes to a deeper understanding of Scotland and its culture.”

“I’m sure this course will raise the profile of Gaelic and increase the number of people learning. Duolingo is a fantastic way to start a new language and lets people learn in a fun, engaging game based way. We hope many of those that start learning go on to engage with other learning resources like LearnGaelic.scot, or take part in real life language classes and events.”

Duolingo UK country manager Colin Watkins said: “Our course will open up Scottish Gaelic to millions of people in the UK and across the Scottish diaspora around the world.

“Anyone with a phone can start learning for free. All it takes is to download Duolingo and then spend five minutes a day learning, that’s all. It’s perfect for when you’re on the bus or have ten minutes over lunch.

“We hope Scottish Gaelic goes on to achieve success like our Irish and Welsh courses.”

Duolingo has emerged as one of the most popular online language education tools in recent years with more than 300 million users worldwide.

More people are said to be using the free app to learn new tongues in the US than in the country’s entire public school system.

A tweet posted to Duolingo’s official account on Wednesday read: “It’s time to see Scotland in full colour. Scottish Gaelic is now available on Duolingo, for free!”

Scots Gaelic joins other Celtic languages including Welsh and Irish in the list of Duolingo courses.

The Gaelic course has gone down well with Duolingo users, some of whom took to social media to express their delight.

https://twitter.com/ScotsGaelicDuo

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Scots Gaelic joins other Celtic languages including Welsh and Irish in the list of Duolingo courses.

The Gaelic course has gone down well with Duolingo users, some of whom took to social media to express their delight.

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