Duolingo to 'pause' updates on its Welsh course from November

Over two million people have started learning Welsh on the Duolingo course since it was launched. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Duolingo, the language learning app has announced it is to "pause updates" to its Welsh course from next month.

The National Centre will stop creating content in November with "limited resources" being "channeled into enhancing high-demand courses like Spanish, French and German".

A spokesperson told ITV Wales: "Those languages serve a larger audience in the UK and worldwide.

"Welsh, already one of our most comprehensive courses, will remain free for all, and continue to be the go-to for people wanting to begin learning Welsh and those seeking to improve their skills.

"For learners who might have completed our course we encourage them to explore the newly launched languages gateway which offers numbers other Welsh learning resources."

Over two million people have started learning Welsh on the Duolingo course since it was launched. There are 659,000 active learners.

A spokesperson for the National Centre for Learning Welsh said: “Even though Duolingo has decided to pause development of the Welsh course, along with several other languages, the course, as it stands, will still be available. 

"The Centre will continue to encourage its learners to use Duolingo, as a valuable way of practising and revising.

“Should Duolingo change its policy in future, the Centre would be happy to support development work on the Welsh course.”

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said: "Duolingo is a valuable resource which can help learners on their journey to become Welsh speakers, alongside other language learning opportunities.

"In light of this news, I will be writing to Duolingo to ask them to consider how, together with the National Centre for Learning Welsh, we might support the continued development of the Welsh course."

The UK's Shadow Tech Minister and Labour MP for Pontypridd, Alex Davies-Jones has written to the company saying the decision to halt the updating of the course is "extremely disheartening."

Since that letter, Duoligo has said it is now offering to meet with Ms Davies-Jones and Mr Miles to discuss moving forward and supporting the Welsh Government with its Welsh language targets.

A spokesperson from the company said: "Duolingo's Welsh course is not going anywhere - it will remain free for all.

"We're incredibly proud that Duolingo is one of the most popular ways for people to learn Welsh, and we want to continue to do our part towards the Welsh Government’s goal of 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050.

"Given the outpouring of support over the past week for our course, we’ve reached out to the Welsh Government to understand how Duolingo can continue to support Cymraeg 2050."

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