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  5. 1 million :)


1 million :)

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!

This number blows my mind every time I think about it. I mean, 1,000,000 people is hard to even start to comprehend! What is even more mind blowing is that this number was reached in just over a year!

Let's try and put this into perspective, shall we?

1,000,000 people is equal to:

  • The capacity of over 12 Croke Parks
  • Just under the population of Dublin
  • 1/6 the population of the island of Ireland

And probably most impressively, 1 million people is equal to:

  • 7 times the number of native speakers of the language jaw drops

If that doesn't sufficiently blow your mind, I don't know what will.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you that tried out the course and for learning the beautiful language of my country :)

The course has come a long way in a year, but there is a lot more to come from the Duolingo Irish course ;)

Go raibh míle maith agaibh

Bhur gcara, AlexinIreland

I’d also like to thank PaulCulloty and 1999Josh for their wonderful posts :)

September 14, 2015



Comhghairdeas libh alexinireland, Lancet, dubhais, odoinn and laura.doherty. You've put together an excellent course that has helped a lot of people take their first steps in Irish or come back to the language after a false-start in school. Duolingo was instrumental in helping me to relearn Irish, something I had being saying I would do for the last 7 years. It gave me the motivation to do some learning every day and a community where I could ask questions or just share snark about some of the sentences.

Thank you for seeing the course through some teething problems and putting it on a firm foundation. And thanks for putting up with our frequent complaints. Despite occasional grumbling, the Irish Duolingo forums are some of the friendliest on the internet with some exceptionally helpful and knowledgeable people.

Beidh mé faoi chomaoin agaibh go brách.

Regardless of what percentage of the 1,000,000 keep up Irish, that so many people have taken the plunge and at least had a go learning it is a a huge boost to the language. Even if only 5% are new learners who keep at Irish in the long term that's 50,000 new people speaking the language. (Next step Duolingoers, start teaching your kids Irish!)


although I'm not learning Irish, it would definitely be amazing to see Duolingo sort of "revive" the language. If all the learners who are active taught their children and their children spoke it well, it could really help the Irish language in the future.


If DuoLingo manages to revive a dying language they'd go down in the history books.


If they do, they totally deserve it!! :D


Alex a chara, an bhfuil duine éigin gur féidir leo agallamh a dhéanamh le RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta faoi seo inniu? Fachtna - fachtna@rte.ie


I completely agree about the DuoLingo Irish forums being one of the friendliest forums on the internet; I myself have seen several forums for various purposes on other websites and I can assure you that they are generally more hostile. The most hostile one that I managed to find would have to be the D&D forums (whenever I ask for advice on how to get a player to stop acting chaotic evil in a party full of good players I often get "you're just a bad DM; if you were a good DM he wouldn't be chaotic evil to begin with", often more harshly worded), but that's besides the point and a ridiculous tangent.

Even more impressive than one million people choosing to learn a language is that it's one million people who aren't jerks choosing to learn a language. It's so hard to find even ten nice people on the internet with similar enough interests to go onto the same forum, but a million people? That is really impressive.


That started as a praise for DuoLingo and turned into a rant about how most people are jerks. I have no idea how I got so carried away.


Hehe, but at least it was a very TRUE rant ;)


Again, very true... sighs


Comhghaideas libh! My family lost its Gaeilge within two generations of coming to Meiriceá. When I was a child m'athair told me of how an teanga was nearly extinct. I believe that this progress shows that people don't want the language to die and every day more people have the opportunity to learn through your effort. More and more people are looking for videos online and ways to join groups to further the language. For many of the diaspora, you have given us back something that our families lost a long time ago. I can proudly say that I have more Irish than anyone in my family for the last hundred years. From the bottom of my heart, Go raibh míle maith agaibh agus slaínte mhaith!

[deactivated user]

    It hope to teach my future children the language and help bring it back to the diaspora in America.


    Tá athas orm ^_^

    There should be a survey on duo on how many of the users took Irish in school vs no prior studying, dabbling vs serious learner, reasons for learning, duration of learning, what they want to do with this knowledge, etc.

    Would just love to see more detail on this group.


    A regular (perhaps annual) Duolingo census would be fascinating. It could be helpful for Duolingo for keeping track of learners and I personally wouldn't have any problem if they were to sell/make available the data for researchers.


    Well done! One million is really incredible. May it continue.

    I really enjoy doing the course (even with its foibles), it has really helped me brush up on my Irish and surprised me by how much I still remembered, even after twenty years away from Ireland.

    I've also been doing it with my wife and children and we watch TG4 and read Irish language books together (for chidren). Its a fun thing we do together and my kids love it.

    Thank you so very much.


    Comhghairdeas libh! Is there any news on the new voice for Irish?


    Go raibh míle maith agat! Last we heard (which was just a few days ago), the voice artist had just completed the audio for the base tree and was just finishing off the bonus skills :D


    Irish-themed excitement intensifies


    :D I've been putting off my Irish tree experience for the new voice (well, not solely for that reason; primarily because I really don't want to mix up my Gaelic and my Irish :P). I'll have to take a wee dip when it comes along :)

    [deactivated user]

      I don't blame you about waiting, regarding mixing up Gaeilge and Gàidhlig. After I finished my Irish tree I reconnected with my old Gàidhlig Skype partner and for the first few meetings I want completely stumbling over myself trying to keep the two straight. Haven't done much studying of Gaeilge since but I want to get back to it. Just need to make sure my Gàidhlig is strong enough for that. ;)


      Great news, as I had stopped with my Irish tree when lots of the sentences had less than ideal pronunciations. Can't wait to begin again!


      Same with me! I'll definitely advance on the tree when the audio is available :)


      Thank you Alex for putting this course together! I can finally learn the language of my heritage! I look forward to continue my Irish studies and help revive this beautiful language!!


      Question for Duo: How many people taking the Irish course seem to be coming from IP addresses inside Ireland itself? I imagine there must be a number of learners who took Irish in school once, didn't keep it up (or never picked it up much), and are now using the opportunity presented by duolingo to refresh it or have another go.


      According to an Irish Times article last year (when there were 143,000 participants) 64% of the Irish course users were based in the US, 9% in Ireland, 9% in Britain (the article doesn't make clear which heading users in Northern Ireland fall under), 6.5% in Canada and 3.5% in Australia. The final 8% are a fairly cosmopolitan bunch. These percentages may have changed since then of course.

      Article here


      Thanks for the info!


      Nice profile picture.


      I second what Fingolfin has written. :) There are always nice people explaining things we don't quite get, and also making the course has required much effort. Go raibh maith agaibh! I am not very far with my Irish studies. When I've completed one or two trees, I can concentrate on the other ones. And that's probably when I'll actually start learning Irish.. And I can't wait to know more ^_^ This is really wonderful!


      Comhghairdeas!! Thanks for the great course! Can't wait to learn more and maybe be able to visit your beautiful country again :)

      Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.