Words by Katherine Witts
Duolingo will channel their resources into more popular courses such as Spanish, French, and German.
The company announced on October 24th that they will be ‘pausing’ updated content on the Welsh language courses, despite the company stating Welsh was the ‘fastest growing language in the UK’ in 2020.
The updates will be paused once the National Centre for Learning stops creating material this coming November.
Duolingo will be using their resources to fund language such as Spanish, French, and German.
However, by a major company like Duolingo cancelling further updates on the Welsh language course, this begs the question of how will the language be affected?
“they are not taking the Welsh language seriously as a credible language.”
Speaking to Lucy, a freelance blogger who used the app to ‘recap’ on her Welsh language skills after finishing education, she stated:
“[By] Duolingo discontinuing the Welsh language on their site is not great. Welsh is a genuine language which is spoken still in parts of Wales and even in Patagonia in South America. I feel that by Duolingo doing this, they are not taking the Welsh language seriously as a credible language.”
When asked if she believed this would discourage users from learning the language due to limited resources, the Welsh blogger emphasised that “this will put off people in Wales and maybe even other countries from wanting to learn any Welsh, even if it is just the basics.
She continued: “People do say that we have Welsh signs which barely any of us can read. However, it’s a part of Wales heritage that we have a language that is just ours.”
The Welsh language is cherished within Wales as often the language is spoken in both English and Welsh medium schools.
According to the Welsh Government, in 2020-2021, 24% of primary aged children and 20% of adolescents in secondary school are either bilingual or speak Welsh fluently (Welsh Government, 2022).
Charles, an A-Level student currently in Welsh education, expressed his confusion on the matter:
“I don’t see the point of them discontinuing Welsh, especially as they’re keeping fictional languages like Klingon and High Valyrian.”
“They’ve also made a point to keep dying languages updated like Yiddish but won’t keep Welsh which is still spoken.”
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