Duolingo: Language app boss to help Welsh language goal

The buttons of the app Duolingo
Duolingo will stop updating its Welsh course as it channels resources into languages that are more popular with its users

The boss of a language learning app which is pausing its Welsh course hopes to still help with promoting the language.

Duolingo said it would no longer update the Welsh course and redirect resources to more popular courses.

It comes despite the company saying in 2020 the language was the fastest growing in the UK.

Luis von Ahn said his team hoped to support the Welsh government target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050.

A petition against the language learning app's decision was launched by users who feared the course would stagnate.

In a letter to Alex Davies Jones, Labour MP for Pontypridd - who had expressed concerns about the move - Mr von Ahn, Duolingo's chief executive, said someone from Duolingo would be in touch with her and Welsh government Education Minister Jeremy Miles.

"We have not take this step with respect to any of our other paused courses, and while we cant make any commitments at this stage, it is nevertheless my sincere hope that we can find a way to continue to help preserve and grow the treasure that is the Welsh language," he wrote.

He added the decision to pause developing the course "was not an easy one" but that they faced "significant challenges" to updating it to the standard they would have liked.

The app plans to focus on languages in higher demand including Spanish, French, and German.

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

"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."