Welsh has become the fastest growing language in the UK on the learning app Duolingo, as the number wanting to learn the language has soared during the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the 2020 Duolingo Language Report, the number of new learners on the app shot up by an astonishing 44 per cent.
To date over 1.5 million people have started learning Welsh on Duolingo, and in terms of growth, this put it ahead of Hindi, Japanese, Turkish and French.
The report also describes Welsh learners as some of the most serious and dedicated in the world.
The language has now become the ninth most popular to learn in the country, which puts it ahead of Portuguese.
There had been an acceleration in people using Duolingo overall and the report puts this down to the coronavirus pandemic.
The report says: “Welsh learners are also some of the most serious in the world, ranking third for most dedicated with the longest learning streaks (just behind Esperanto and Norwegian learners) and third for hardest working in the world, measured by the average number of completed lessons.
“The shift is down to people wanting to learn Welsh to connect with the country and see Welsh thrive as a language.
“This is partly driven by education, with 23% choosing school as their primary motivation – but it is also much broader.
“Many people now want to learn because they have an interest in Welsh culture and heritage and want to brain train, like the Russian teenager who saw Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and decided to learn Welsh because she fell in love with it.”
The report also said: “By examining data drawn from 13 million downloads in the U.K., we can for the first time, and at scale, analyse what people are learning and why, to show how language learning is changing in the U.K.
“In short, many more Brits are learning languages, and learning a wider range of languages. A shift in technology, culture, and accessibility has coalesced to give U.K. learners free and easy access to language learning.”