One million more people are using their ‘cúpla focal’ thanks to one app


When we think of learning Irish we generally imagine being in a stuffy classroom with scratchy polyester jumpers, fuzzy pencil cases and a TV on wheels lurking in the background.

The concept of sitting down for your morning commute to get in some conditional tense practice is far from what we ever imagined. However, that is exactly what is happening.

Thanks to the DuoLingo app, one million more people from all over the world are learning the Irish language. A moderator for the app’s website, AlexInIreland wrote:

“Dia daoibh, a chairde, I am here to inform you of a massive milestone just reached by the Irish course. That is, of course, 1,000,000 learners!”

Saying that the number “blows my mind” every time he thinks about it, Alex put the numbers into perspective for us.

He compared the number of people who have added a ‘cúpla focal’ to their repertoire as being the same number needed to fill Croke Park 12 times.

The app itself has gone from strength to strength in the last year, with Google becoming a key investor. Impressive. One of the reasons the app is supposed to be so popular is because of how much attention it requires. The app also appears more like a game than a textbook-type learning tool, making it more inviting for users to come back for more.

The Irish-language section has only been added to the app in the last year. Over one million people learning Irish means the app has allowed 7 times the number of native speakers to be reached.

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