A HUGE number of Scots Gaelic learners have been revealed by Duolingo.

The popular language learning app has said that 1.8 million people had started learning Scots Gaelic since it launched on St Andrews Day 2019, with 519,000 people actively learning the language today.

The Scots Gaelic Duolingo course – which features bite-sized, gamified lessons – grew by 17% in 2023, up from 12% in 2022.

Rebeca Ricoy, Duolingo’s lead in Europe, commented: “Duolingo’s course is the perfect introduction to anyone wanting to start learning the language. It’s completely free, so there’s nothing stopping you.

“We encourage anyone who wants to take their learning further to look at the many advanced courses available including Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s An Cùrsa Inntrigidh course, or their immersion option, An Cùrsa Comais.”

Ricoy also challenged Scots to hit the 2 million mark by World Gaelic Week in February.

The National:

She said: “Do I think Scots can rise to the challenge and get to 2 million by February? Hogmanay is the perfect time to start a new year's resolution!”

The course was announced in Glasgow’s at The Royal National Mod in 2019 and launched to the public on St Andrews Day in the same year.

In one week, the course had more people learning than there are native speakers alive today, and reached over a million in a few months.

Learners come from all over the UK and internationally, with the course proving popular in Canada – including Nova Scotia where there is a Gaelic speaking community – the US, Australia, New Zealand and India.

READ MORE: Scottish Gaelic needs more than learners on Duolingo to survive

Originally created by volunteers – including a school teacher, architect and student – the course was taken on in March 2022 by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture, who have added to the course over the last year.

The new figures were released as part of Duolingo's annual language report which was published on Monday and features an analysis of language trends from across the world.

Last year, Duolingo helped a group of Scotland supporters sing the Ukrainian national anthem ahead of the World Cup qualifier at Hampden.