Language App Boosts Uptake of Scottish Gaelic Courses

By Gary Cutlack on at

Being able to learn languages on a smartphone is fuelling another rise in the taking of courses in Gaelic, with 127,000 signing up to learn Scottish Gaelic following a wave of recent positivity on learning platform Duolingo.

Duolingo says that around 80 per cent of that number are people actually living in Scotland, with interest also rising in learning the Scots language too – a more English-leaning dialect that's even less widely spoken than Gaelic. Of course, there's quite a monumental difference between putting an app on your phone and actually following through with opening it more than twice and learning a thing properly, but still. People are trying, and may at least be able to say "Nollaig Chridheil" to granny next year.

It's a stonking number of sign-ups for Gaelic considering that it was only added to the ranks of Duolingo languages on St Andrew's Day last November, and Gaelic campaigner Màrtainn Mac a' Bhàillidh told the Guardian at the time: "Duolingo have never been under so much pressure to provide a language before, that's what clamour there was for a Scottish Gaelic course." [Guardian]