Duolingo volunteers honoured by President of Ireland for opening 2.3 million new doors to the Irish language

Conradh na Gaeilge DuolingoThe seven contributors who created and translated the popular Irish course on Duolingo are to be honoured by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, at a special reception to be held at Áras an Uachtaráin today (Friday, 25 November 2016).

Since the Irish course was launched just over 2 years ago, over 2.3 million people have used Duolingo to learn Irish. This means that Irish is now amongst the 10 most popular languages offered by Duolingo, with the majority of new learners located in the United States.

Cóilín Ó Cearbhaill, President of Conradh na Gaeilge says:

“Conradh na Gaeilge congratulates the seven contributors and the Duolingo team on their tremendous achievement. The results of their efforts are extraordinary with 2.3 million people learning Irish over the last two years. We are seeing a direct impact through the increased interest in our work in promoting the Irish language at home and abroad. The door to the Irish language opened by Duolingo makes learning Irish easier and more fun than ever before.”

Oisín Ó Doinn, Irish Research Council Scholar, and one of the contributors to the Duolingo Irish course says:

“Having been involved with the Duolingo Irish course from the past two and a half years, I am delighted to see that so many people have benefitted from this free language learning resource. The fact that an average of 3,000 people a day have begun using the Duolingo Irish course since then shows the massive worldwide interest in our native language, and it makes all the hard work we put in worthwhile.”

Gina Gotthilf, Vice President of Growth at Duolingo says:

“In the four years since we launched Duolingo, we've launched 87 different courses to provide free language education to over 150 million learners. We are proud of the work invested by the contributors who created the Irish course, and especially excited to play a part in reinvigorating this beautiful language and helping create new Irish-speaking communities for the 21st century.”

Representatives of Duolingo, Conradh na Gaeilge and the course contributors will attend the reception at Áras an Uachtaráin on Friday morning to meet with the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and to talk with him about their ongoing work for the Irish language. Conradh na Gaeilge will be launching a special award scheme in 2017 to recognise special contributions to the revival of the Irish language.


  1. 2.3 million people are currently learning Irish on Duolingo (correct as of 25 November 2016)
  2. Irish is one of the top 10 most popular languages in the world on Duolingo.
  3. The Duolingo Irish course was launched just over two years ago, and the course was created by seven voluntary contributors with the support of the Duolingo team.
  4. 53% of those learning Irish are based in the US, 23% in Ireland, 10% in UK, and 5% in Canada.
  5. In the four years since Duolingo launched, 150 million people have participated in over 87 different courses.
  6. The Irish course was announced on St. Patrick’s Day 2014, and officially released to Beta on 25 August 2014.
  7. Duolingo was named as overall App of the Year by Apple in 2013 as well as the most downloaded Education App on Google Play for 2013 and 2014.
  8. An independent study conducted by the City University of New York has shown that 34 hours of Duolingo equate to a full university semester of language education.



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