More than a million people have taken on a Scottish Gaelic course on the language-learning app Duolingo. 

A total of 1.12m people have started learning the language with the help of the popular app which first launched its Gaelic course on St Andrew's Day in 2019. 

The course itself was developed by a group of volunteers in Scotland, including teacher Ciaran MacAonghais and architect Martainn Mac a’ Bhaillidh.

Now Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture, is taking over further developments of the course.

The same groups of volunteers will develop the course as part of Sabhal Mor Ostaig’s team.

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The move is part of a wider initiative by Duolingo to move from a volunteer-based model to having courses managed in partnership with external bodies such as the Gaelic language school, which is based on the Isle of Skye.

Sabhal Mor Ostaig principal, Dr Gillian Munro, said: “This exciting new partnership is a great opportunity to align Duolingo’s Scottish Gaelic language content with our own Gaelic language courses at Sabhal Mor Ostaig.

“The success of Scottish Gaelic on Duolingo demonstrates the growing demand to learn Gaelic both in Scotland and internationally, and we would like to pay tribute to the dedicated volunteers for developing such a great course – ceud mile taing dhuibh.”

According to Duolingo figures, there are currently 431,000 active learners on the course.

Of these 37% are in the USA, 25% in the UK and 6% in Canada, with the remainder, spread across the globe.

Colin Watkins, Duolingo UK manager, said the fit with Sabhal Mor Ostaig is “perfect”, adding: “We’re confident the course will go from strength to strength.

“We encourage everyone to start learning today.”

Learner Dr Mark Maudsley started using Duolingo to help his language skills in 2019 when he was studying on Sabhal Mor Ostaig’s distance learning Gaelic beginners course from his home in Shetland.

Describing the course, he said: “When I was living in Shetland and learning Gaelic via distance learning with Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Duolingo was a great help.

“I would learn new words and grammar every day on Duolingo, and my Gaelic came on much faster as a result.

“I’m now on Sabhal Mor Ostaig’s full-time immersion course (An Cursa Comais) on campus, and using my Gaelic every day.

“Duolingo really helped prepare me for this course.”

The app’s Scottish Gaelic course is available for free on iOS and Android, and at