More than one million people are actively learning Irish on Duolingo according to data from the language app.
A recent report (June 2021) listed Irish as the 16th most popular language to learn on the app, with 1.10 million users actively learning the language.
In December 2020, according to Duolingo Irish was the fastest growing language and the number one language to learn in Ireland.
Noah Higgs, an Irish language teacher who has contributed to the Irish section of Duolingo, told RTÉ Radio One's Morning Ireland that Irish has become so popular on the app thanks to the Irish diaspora around the world who want to learn about the tradition and the language of their ancestral homeland.
He said that the COVID-19 pandemic probably helped thousands of people with Irish ancestry who had been putting off learning Irish, arguing that the pandemic has given them the opportunity to learn the language properly.
Higgs said that a number of Irish people have also started using the app to complement what they learn at school.
The Irish language teacher said that Duolingo was the perfect tool for anyone who wanted to start learning Irish or for anyone who wanted to refresh their knowledge of the language they last learned in school.
He said that a person's success on the app depends on how much time they spend learning the language in addition to their own language skills.
The app continues to release new languages for users to learn and this year Yiddish, a West Germanic language historically spoken by Ashkenazi Jews, was added to the database.
Duolingo, which was founded in 2011, is the most popular language app in the world and allows users to learn the basics of new languages through interactive features, including listening and oral tests in addition to grammar and vocabulary exercises.
*Originally published in 2020. Updated in 2021.