Over one million people are learning Irish in the US, thanks to the Duolingo language learning app, and the creators of the course are being honoured in Áras an Uachtaráin today by President Michael D Higgins.

With over 2.3 million people now using the app to learn Irish, over half of them are based in the US, with a further 23% in Ireland and the remainder spread across the UK, Canada and the rest of the world.

“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,” said Oisín Ó Doinn, one of the seven founding contributors to be honoured today.

“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 makes all the hard work we put in worthwhile.”

The Irish course, one of 87 language courses on Duolingo, was launched just over two years ago and is already among the top 10 most popular languages in the world on the free app.

 “We are proud of the work put in 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,” said Gina Gotthilf, Vice President of Growth at Duolingo.

Studies have shown that 34 hours of Duolingo is the equivalent a full university semester of language education, and the results are already being noticed in terms of Irish.

“We are seeing a direct impact through the increased interest in our work in promoting the Irish language at home and abroad,” said Conradh na Gaeilge President, Cóilín Ó Cearbhaill. “The door to the Irish language opened by Duolingo makes learning Irish easier and more fun than ever before.”