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One in four people in Wales want to learn Welsh, Duolingo survey reveals

23 Nov 2021 3 minute read

One in four people in Wales want to learn the Welsh language, a survey from Duolingo has revealed.

According to data that the global language learning app company has shared with Nation.Cymru, the figure is at 26%.

The new research has also revealed that 11% of people in Wales, which has a population of 3.1 million, can confidently speak a second language. It says a third of Welsh adults (39%) have grown up in a bilingual household.

Duolingo’s research also found one in five (20%) believed ‘everyone abroad spoke English’ when they were at school age.

The Welsh have also been found to carry the most regret when it comes to their school days, with the highest number in the UK (91%) wishing they’d paid more attention in language classes.

69% of Welsh parents say their child is learning a second language, while 30% of parents said their child learning a new language has inspired them to learn one too.

The findings also reveal:

  • 53% of those living in Wales could order a drink in a foreign language but not hold a conversation
  • 39% have been embarrassed by their lack of language skills while abroad
  • A third (33%) of those surveyed have been put off working abroad due to their lack of language skills
  • 32% of people surveyed only know swear words in other languages

Colin Watkins, UK Country Manager at Duolingo said: “Contrary to popular belief, language learning doesn’t need to be a challenge. Involving the whole family with Duolingo and switching a few simple words and phrases into conversation can make all the difference and make the experience fun for everyone – no classroom needed!”

‘Language coaches’ 

With an ambition to raise awareness of the benefit of language learning, individually, and as a family, Duolingo has partnered with twin brothers and language coaches Michael and Matthew Youlden – who between them speak 25 languages.

They said: “A second, third, or even fourth language helps people to focus better, solve problems more effectively as the brain is better equipped to switch easily from one task (or language) to another, improve memory and even connect with others more easily. As the old adage goes – the more languages you know, the more of a person you are.”

“Getting other family members involved is definitely one of the most fun and effective ways to pick up a new language. Learning a language as a family improves the level of immersion needed to truly grasp a new skill.

“If you think about it, in what context do people share more ideas, nurture one another, discuss emotions and debate more so than in the family home?

“Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, there is actually no cut-off date for learning a language, so language learning really is something for the whole family. We’ve taught 2-year-olds all the way up to octogenarians thus proving you’re never too old – or young – to start reaping the benefits of speaking another language.”

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Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
2 years ago

It is never to late and always worth learning some Welsh

Katy Fowler
Katy Fowler
2 years ago

This seems a bit like an ‘advertorial’, but I can’t see it mentioned as such? How about an article with Say Something In Welsh? They’re home grown, and awesome!

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