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https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland

Tree 2.0

alexinIreland
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Dia daoibh!

Fantastic news! Duolingo gave the green light for Tree 2.0 of the Irish course a few days ago! This means that the tree is now fully editable once again!

Do you have any suggestions of words/skills/grammar concepts you'd like to see in the new tree? Are there any issues that spring to mind that you'd like to see fixed in the new version? Let me know here!

Things We Can Do

  • Change the order of skills, words or lessons.
  • Remove problem words, lessons or skills.
  • Add brand new words, lessons or skills.
  • Basically, we can change any aspect of the basic course :)

Things We Cannot Do

We cannot add features such as:

  • A words tab
  • Gender labels
  • Speech recognition
  • Flashcards

These are up to the Duolingo team :)

Also note that we are taking care of the audio at the moment also, so no need to suggest that ;)

I look forward to hearing your feedback!

Slán :D

2 years ago

207 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ueck1
ueck1
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First of all, I would like to thank everyone on the Irish Team for making this wonderful course. I have worked on it almost every day since it first came out, and loved every minute of it. That being said, I think the tree could really be improved by adding more exercises for the imperfect tense and the conditional. The current lessons don’t really provide enough practice.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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Conditional 2 is already in the works :D We'll have a look at the imperfect. We might at least expand on that skill rather than adding an additional skill on it. Thanks for your suggestions :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dubhais
dubhais
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I'm impressed that so many people here have gotten far enough in the course to notice that the conditional is not as substantial as the other tenses (although technically it's a mood). It's somewhat of a sensitive issue with school learners in Ireland, so I suppose we may have been too gentle, but I agree with Alex that a new skill would be in order.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfLuFHdUG6k

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/djzeus01
djzeus01
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I was surprised not to see any requests for more practice with the genitive. I found this by far the hardest aspect to learn, and I think a Genitive 2, etc. would be an important addition. Thanks, and good luck!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jillianimal

Oh yea that too.

They should definitely at least have a 2nd skill for plural forms.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/proinsias123

I agree. The genitive has been one of the most challenging aspects of learning Irish for me.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mwasson
mwasson
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Ditto. It'd be great if there were some way, using the tree structure imposed by Duolingo, to teach declensions and weak/strong plurals. That is: I think using the genitive isn't too hard, but knowing what the genitive is can be quite difficult.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

I seemed to get the genitive quite easily, but I still sometimes fumble around with it and say, for instance, "madra na uisce" instead of "uisce na madra" when trying to say "the dog's water". A genitive 2 would be quite a nice addition.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Prony-dH-Bray

If i am not mistaken:

Uisce na madraí = the dogs' water (more than 1 dog, the water 'of the dogs')

Uisce an mhadra = the dog's water (the water 'of the dog')

[Amusingly (to me): madra uisce = otter ;) ]

To cover eclipsis/lenition:

Uisce na bhfear = the men's water

Uisce an fhir = the man's water

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gp6am
Gp6am
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I have just tackled the first set of lessons on the genitive and am having lots of problems because, along with the genitive case, a whole bunch of new and unfamiliar niuns were introduced (bialainne, scoil, etc) at the same time. Not being familiar with the gender, plural forms, etc of these new nouns under normal circumstances, when the genitive forms were thrown into the mix, I was left totally confused.

Would it be possible to change the tree so as to introduce these nouns earlier, or else wait until after we've already had a crack at absorbing the rules of the genitive case first before attempting to teach them?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/proinsias123

Direct and indirect relative clauses skill and grammar

The copula and its uses skill and grammar

More grammar on the uses of the verbal noun, like forming the perfect.

Idioms

Declension of adjectives grammar

More information on how to construct your own questions

Modal verbs grammar and skill

Phrasal verbs grammar and skill

maybe some notes on how the different dialects differ from the standard. Like maybe devote one skill to each of the three main dialects, highlighting their main differences, or something

More conjunctions with added grammar

The subjunctive mood skill and grammar

prefixes skill and grammar

suffixes skill and grammar

Constructing complex sentences. Like maybe you have to use the copula and a relative clause and conjunctions and the genitive all in one sentence. And you tell us how these different skills interact with each other and change according to their role in the sentence, or something

Habitual present skill and grammar

That might be too much, but I'm just coming up with everything I can think of. Anyway , thanks for all the hard work and trying to keep Irish alive!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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Let me go through these ideas one by one :)

Direct and indirect relative clauses skill and grammar

Nice suggestion! It's definitely going to be considered.

The copula and its uses skill and grammar

As above

More grammar on the uses of the verbal noun, like forming the perfect.

At least 1 more verbal noun skill is guaranteed.

Declension of adjectives grammar

Adjectives will be getting more focus. I'd also just like to expand the amount of adjectives taught :)

More information on how to construct your own questions

Interesting idea...would you be able to expand on what types of question you have difficulty with? Questions using "cad/cé/cathain/etc."? Questions using "An/Ar" and a verb?, etc.?

Modal verbs grammar and skill

Irish doesn't really have many modal verbs, per se (notable example: féad), but I get what you mean. A skill on the equivalents would be useful (like caithfidh mé, ní féidir liom, etc.)

Phrasal verbs grammar and skill

I like this idea. It will require some tidying up as some phrasal verbs are already scattered throughout the course, so I'd like to gather these all together before making this skill.

maybe some notes on how the different dialects differ from the standard. Like maybe devote one skill to each of the three main dialects, highlighting their main differences, or something

We already have bonus skills based on this. Each dialect has a bonus skill :) I prefer this way because it doesn't "force" every student to do the skill for every dialect if they're not interested in a particular dialect. Lingots aren't hard to come by, so they can easily just purchase the skill for the dialect(s) they're most interested in.

More conjunctions with added grammar

Additional conjunctions will be added, and notes will definitely be added to the existing conjunctions skill. I don't think I'd like to add a whole other dedicated conjunctions skill because I tend to find these a bit boring in other courses. One possibility would be to add an extra lesson or two to the conjunctions skill that is there and move it down a few rows in the tree so there is vocabulary available to use for it. Or alternatively, we could just add conjunctions in various skills when necessary.

The subjunctive mood skill and grammar

Yeah, a subjunctive skill would be a good addition. It would definitely be added to the end of the existing tree anyway :)

prefixes skill and grammar

Not too sure how this would work as a skill but we'll play around with the idea in the Incubator and see how the skill works out.

suffixes skill and grammar

As above

Constructing complex sentences. Like maybe you have to use the copula and a relative clause and conjunctions and the genitive all in one sentence. And you tell us how these different skills interact with each other and change according to their role in the sentence, or something

So, maybe like a "Sentence Builder" skill or something? I like that idea! It would be a good way to make sure students can put together different aspects of their learning into a sentence. I'll work on it :)

Habitual present skill and grammar

One hundred percent agree. As a matter of fact, I've already made a dedicated skill for the habitual present of "bí" because it seemed to be causing confusion among students (understandably).

Thanks for all your feedback! Hopefully my answers are helpful! (It's really all I can say on each one at the moment...It's early days still!)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jackmchugh12

Love all the suggestions and i second them all! Maybe also another adverb skill? and also a skill about the vocative case?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/proinsias123

Thanks for taking the time to reply and consider my suggestions! I don't understand what you mean about bonus skills, though. I don't see an option to purchase them in the lingot store. How do I find them?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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Sorry, that was my fault! By "we already have bonus skills", I meant "we already have bonus skills in development". They're not available yet, but there are currently 8 being developed. They will be available in the lingot store once released.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/proinsias123

Haha thank god. I would have been very angry at myself if I went all this time without knowing about additional skills. That will be a great addition though.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/worstquestions
worstquestions
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Dang, the most I've seen on other languages so far is three. The more skills the better!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PfifltriggPi
PfifltriggPi
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Eight? That is impressive. I did not know you could have more than three.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lycaonpictus
Lycaonpictus
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Eight bonus skills? That's so exciting!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mwasson
mwasson
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Regarding your question about questions: I think how to form An/Ar questions is pretty clear and covered well, but I'd like more practice forming the "C"-word questions. It took me a while to realize why I found "Cá" questions so much easier than other "C"-words, especially "Cad": Cá will always have a form of bí, while other ones might or might not be copula-like only. As the copula is tricky normally, it'd be great if there was more coverage of Cad/Cé/Cathain etc. The Cá coverage is already excellent.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Something about the perfect: The "I have x" structure is not nearly as common in Irish as it is in English.

Bheadh mé ann = I would be there/I would have been there

Phéigh an coiste é sul má tháinig mé - The committee had discussed it before I arrived.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/proinsias123

I see. But It seems hard to know when something should mean would be and would have been, and what other words could be used in the same way. Your second example seems pretty straightforward though. Maybe its the been that's throwing me off, I don't know.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Yeah, it's really one of those things that comes down to context, as well as what just sounds best in English. You'll pick it up with practice. Also, there comes a point where you do stop trying to translate and just read/use the target language, and that makes it a lot easier too, since you're not trying to compare everything to English.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mazzaru

the key to fluency ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/milero429

This is the best and most exciting online news I've read all week; I'm delighted!

Some fantastic suggestions being made, so I don't have much at the moment to add to the conversation in that regard.

Thank you, Alex, for including us in the dialogue, and for all the time and effort that you continue to put into making this such an accessible course for learners.

Many thanks, too, to regular members like scilling and galaxyrocker who so patiently and concisely help those of us who stumble and need some extra help. I, for one, am always very grateful for your insightful contributions.

One thing that springs immediately to mind: I'm a fluent English speaker and was an excellent English student in school, but it's been almost 30 years since I had to diagram sentences, and trying to remember what terms like "passive", "perfect tense", "vocative", " conditional", "modal verb", "subjunctive", etc... means that I spend a lot of time trying to infer, or google definitions and examples to refresh my memory.

If possible, a very brief example in the tips and notes section of each relevant lesson of what these terms for parts of speech refer to would be hugely appreciated for those of us who are (cough) on the more, shall we say, mature spectrum of the learner base. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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I like this suggestion a lot, and it would be easy to implement! Perhaps we could add a glossary of grammatical terms when each one is introduced so all the jargon is explained for students that don't have previous experience with learning grammar (or those who haven't studied grammar in a while ;) )

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gp6am
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You actually had to diagram sentences? Wow! Seriously, though, a whole generation (at least) of Americans were taught very little grammar, so we definitely need some remedial education in order to tackle Irish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SeanMeaneyPL
SeanMeaneyPL
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Some time in the 70s (I think) grammar "disappeared" in English schools too. Self-expression was and remains all the rage. My two thirty-something children still come to Dad when they want to know what an adverb is, or a past participle. I know grammarians argue the toss about the validity and/or fluidity of these labels, but all I can say is that having some grasp of English grammar, as instilled in my 60s education, has helped me a great deal in tackling other European languages, including Irish. Parsing sentences? Ask a pensioner!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
freymuth
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I didn't realize the English (British?) school system was so lacking. When I was in a public (ie, state-funded) school in Texas in the 1990s, we definitely diagrammed sentences at the front of the class. I remember memorizing all the prepositions at one point, too.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SeanMeaneyPL
SeanMeaneyPL
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Apologies, Freymuth. When English people say English, they often mean what others would call British. There are centuries of argument and dispute about the nuanced differences. Describe yourself as English and could be taken for white middle class English, working class nationalist or someone who doesn't know or care about the difference. If someone is described as British, they could be a naturalised Briton. A native born Briton from England is more than likely to call himself English And we haven't got to the Scots, Welsh and Irish yet. As far as language is concerned, British people call their language English. They call what is spoken in America (the US) American English. They call the accented English spoken in Ireland "Irish" but I suspect that is because they are unaware that there is a real Irish language....

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heathermagoo
heathermagooPlus
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☘☘☘Totally ecstatic to think Tree 2.0 and expanded audio are on the horizon.☘☘☘

Many thanks to Team Irish for this lovely course.
Without it I would never have discovered the Irish language.

So many great suggestions already listed!

And of course, I'm sure you'll peruse all the comments in the tree itself. Many, many points have been clarified there by the knowledgeable (GRMA) and those comments highlight where the shoe pinches.

A few points not yet mentioned:

ROOT vs STEM --Distinguish at some early point between Root and Stem (it's there, but just wasn't explicit enough for me). I was very slow to grasp the difference between the root (dictionary form) and the stem (the form to which verb endings are added), when working with Conjugation 1 and Conjugation 2 verbs. As a result I wasn't very surefooted in forming the regular verbs on my own. Once I started working with the dictionary this point cleared up for me.

Past Tense --Maybe it's just me, but Verbs: Past 1 felt a little dense. I would have arranged the lessons within that skill to form a pattern: Regular Verbs, Irregular Verbs, Negation/Interrogative. The aim there would be to group the regular verbs together to get comfortable with the pattern of forming the past tense, then to memorize the irregular verbs in the past tense, and finally, when I was firm with the verbs in the past tense, to eclipse or lenite them in the question and negative patterns.

One small housekeeping item. --Some of the Duolingo Irish paradigms use the term "autonomous" and some use the term "passive". You might want to revise them so they all say either "automonous" or "passive" or "autonomous/passive", or whatever you choose, just so they are all consistent. (Probably no need to go into much detail about the difference between autonomous and passive. But I will tell you that once I grasped that distinction, it made it easy to understand intransitive verbs in the autonomous, which seems to be sticking point for most beginners.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dubhais
dubhais
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I think moving the imperative lesson to much earlier in the course would help with the root/stem problem. I know there is an unwritten rule in all languages courses of teaching the present tense first, but I wonder if this would work as the first verb lesson. All the commands are high frequency in everyday life, too, as well as being the "dictionary" form.

Good point. Further to that, autonomous is a more accurate description. It's technically active rather than passive, but it's often translated as the passive in order to make idiomatic sense in English.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heathermagoo
heathermagooPlus
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Fitting the imperative in somewhere between present and past tense would be a creative!!! way to spotlight the root (dictionary form). I could handle the present tense with shaky understanding. I just memorized the forms. But by the time I hit the past tense, I realized I had to get serious and sort out what was going on. :D :D :D

Knowing that the autonomous is actually active voice with an unspecified subject (which can conveniently be translated as the English passive for transitive verbs) takes all the mystery out of using it with intransitive verbs. That's a good thing.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
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Absolutely agree that highlighting the imperative sooner will help with root recognition! One of the "Teach Yourself Irish" books does that, and I certainly found it useful.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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ROOT vs STEM

Yes, I think this will be easy to do. Perhaps we could add a glossary of grammatical terms when they are introduced so the jargon is fully explained.

Past Tense

Like other 9 and 10-lesson skills, the past tense skills will be divided into skills of 6-lessons or less :)

One small housekeeping item.

We're going to standardise our terminology with "autonomous"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heathermagoo
heathermagooPlus
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Has Team Irish given any thought to how Duolingo could be used in schools? With your new soon-to-be improved version, teachers might jump at the chance to use something that engaged students' attention.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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Are you aware of schools.duolingo.com? When it comes to schools, Duolingo likes to have a combined approach for the whole site rather than each course catering for schools individually. That being said, it might be a good idea for me to head over to the Educators forum and ask around for any teachers already using the Irish course in class.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mwasson
mwasson
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Glad to hear you're breaking up the huge sections; they're brutal. Admittedly that's mostly just psychological--it all must be learned eventually. However, it'd be nice to be able to unlock the "strengthen" practice mode for each section sooner.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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It'd be nice to be able to unlock the "strengthen" practice mode for each section sooner.

I'm not sure I get what you mean. The "strengthen" mode is available for each skill as soon as you complete it. You can also use the "strengthen" button from the home screen and this will give you a selection of weak words from several skills. And, of course, you don't have to wait for a skill to lose its strength bars before practicing it through the "Strengthen" button within the skill itself.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mwasson
mwasson
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Sorry, I was unclear: by having smaller sections it'll be easier/faster to get the "strengthen" mode (as a secondary benefit). In particular I find the timed practice useful, and by reducing section size I'll be able to use it on a more focused set of questions.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

Good choice with autonomous.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Super-Svensk
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I really liked the course! It was made very well, and I thank the entire Irish team for their efforts! Here are some ideas for Tree 2.0:
- skills in smaller chunks
- more practice for verb tenses (especially imperfect/conditional)
- subjunctive verb tense
- more vocabulary in general
- more practice with the copula and all of its forms
- relative clauses (with stuff like gur and go, I think!)
- a skill focusing on bí/tá with all of its forms and tenses
- Lenition/Eclipsis 2 for extra practice
- more verbal nouns
- more practice with contractions (like san, den, etc)
- emphatic pronouns
- more practice with féin

Overall, great course and thank you!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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skills in smaller chunks

Definitely! I've already split the present tense over 5 skills instead of the original 3. None of these have over 6 lessons. I'll test these out and see how to look/feel and then I'll do the same with the other tenses and other longer skills if it works out well.

more practice for verb tenses (especially imperfect/conditional)

Of course! Conditional 2 is definitely on its way. The imperfect skill at least get a few extra lessons, and then we'll see if it could do with a whole other skill too.

subjunctive verb tense

Yes :)

more vocabulary in general

I love vocabulary :P It's the most fun to learn and the most fun to teach, so you'll be seeing plenty more vocabulary! (The word count has already gone up from 1711 to 2000!)

more practice with the copula and all of its forms

(Quote from above) "A skill on the copula is a good idea, but we would have to consider where it to put it. If we put it early on (somewhere in the first checkpoint), it wouldn't be very fleshed out (I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it just might mean that we'd have to add another copula skill down a long to demonstrate more uses when more vocabulary is available)"

relative clauses

Noted :) It's something we'll focus on, but I'm not sure how we'll introduce it yet (will we give it a dedicated skill or will we incorporate it into a different skill)

a skill focusing on bí/tá with all of its forms and tenses

So far at least, I've made a skill dedicated to the habitual present of because that's the form most people have trouble with.

Lenition/Eclipsis 2 for extra practice

Yes!

more verbal nouns

Verbal nouns 2, coming right up!

more practice with contractions

No answer for you now, but I'll add it to the suggestion board.

emphatic pronouns

Yes, I think a skill on these will be added

more practice with féin

Again, no answer for you now, but I'll add it to the suggestion board. Of course there'll be more sentences with féin in them so you'll get practice that way, but I don't know if we'll expand/create skills just for this.

Thanks for all your suggestions!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Super-Svensk
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Thanks for all your hard work! I'm looking forward to Tree 2.0!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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I’d include certain one-word exercises as being problematic (particularly in certain skills, e.g. Verbs: Conditional), since when the exercises are presented in the “Select the missing word” format, it often happens that more than one of the presented choices are grammatically correct, but only one of the answers is recognized as being correct, and the lack of context forces one to guess which grammatically correct answer is the intended correct answer — see the second thread in this discussion for an example of the problem.

If you don’t have the ability to select which possibilities are presented in the “Select the missing word” format, then I can only suggest that such one-word exercises be replaced with multiple-word exercises, so that sufficient context will be presented in that format to eliminate having to guess which grammatically correct answer is the intended answer.


Another possible problem area is with ambiguous sentences, e.g. this exercise, where the English sentence can be understood in two ways — one in which “home” is an adverb, and the other in which “home” is a noun — and the resulting Irish translation depends upon the intended English meaning. This doesn’t occur as often as the problem above does, though.


Based on the content of the first 15 months of the Irish Discussions area, I’d say that the most generally useful additions would be 1. additional focus on when initial mutations are needed, and 2. a skill dedicated solely to the copula; those just starting out are often puzzled by e.g. portán vs. phortán vs. bportán, and those a little further in are frequently confused as to e.g. why Is fear é should be used rather than Tá sé fear.


A nice additional skill might be “Names”, which would 1. introduce the vocative case; 2. present the differences between male surnames, unmarried female surnames, and married female surnames; and 3. offer a sample of given names along with their genitive forms.


EDIT: Another problem area is whether this course is teaching only the Caighdeán, or if it’s teaching features of all of the dialects. For example, should the “Mark a̲l̲l̲ correct translations” variant of the “Experiments are done in the laboratory” exercise only treat … sa tsaotharlann as correct (per the Caighdeán), or should it also treat … sa saotharlann as correct (per non-Connacht dialects)? If the latter is the preferred action, then the dialectal variations from the Caighdeán should be included in the appropriate Tips and Notes.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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I’d include certain one-word exercises as being problematic

I completely agree. I don't know who made those exercises (they're most prominent in Verbs: Conditional and there are a few in Verbs: Imperfect) but they are very problematic and we always get reports on them. I think most of them have been removed now, but some tests need to be run to see if any of them are still being displayed. Since this doesn't require tree versioning for it to be fixed, I'm working off the original tree for this one so users don't have to wait for Tree 2.0 for a fix.

Another possible problem area is with ambiguous sentences

Again, this doesn't require tree versioning to be fixed so again I'll be working off the original tree for this one. Some ambiguous sentences aren't a big deal and we can just add the alternative translation (For example, "I put" could be past or present depending on the context of the rest of the sentence). If we find some sentences that are overly ambiguous, we can replace them with sentences that have more context.

  1. additional focus on when initial mutations are needed, and 2. a skill dedicated solely to the copula; those just starting out are often puzzled

I was considering adding a Lenition/Eclipsis revision skill a few rows after the current Eclipsis and Lenition skills to give students more practice and since it would be later in the tree, we'd have more vocabulary to play with and we could demonstrate more situations. A skill on the copula is a good idea, but we would have to consider where it to put it. If we put it early on (somewhere in the first checkpoint), it wouldn't be very fleshed out (I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it just might mean that we'd have to add another copula skill down a long to demonstrate more uses when more vocabulary is available)

A nice additional skill might be “Names”

We actually already have a Names bonus skill in development:

(It's actually complete, even though it's not showing up as gold in the Incubator). It makes use of the vocative, but I'd also like to introduce this in the base tree. I don't think a full skill on given names and surnames in the base tree is needed, since it might not be something that would appeal to a lot of students (that's why we have a bonus skill for it), but we are teaching a few more given names in the base tree to at least demonstrate the vocative case and their genitive forms (Pól won't be alone in the new tree :P)

Thanks for all your suggestions!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dubhais
dubhais
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Mea culpa. I think I probably made most of those one word sentences. I did not envisage Duolingo would construct multiple-choice exercises like that with more than one correct option. In the Incubator, we only see the sentence and its translation. Duolingo generates the exercises itself. Some of these issues only get picked up later through reports. My rationale at the time, which would have been pre-release, was that it would vary the difficulty and get people used to the conditional in Irish, which is conjugated separately.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
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I would add that single-word questions with multiple iterations are ridiculous, especially when the words aren't particularly transferable. My wife quit shortly after "Eilifintí?" "Eilifintí!" If there's something in there about how oíbrionn na eilifintí san oifig trí laethanta seachtaine, then we can see cases, plurals, verb conjugation, etc, but eilifintí?

eilifintí...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gp6am
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Yes -- I have been wondering why Duo seems to be fixated on those elephants. After all, the English and Irish words are very similar to each other and much more easily remembered than sionnach / fox and ron / seal, which hardly ever seem to come up.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/krazyceltickid

I love how active you guys in the community and appreciate all your hard work. What I struggle with most are Lenition and Eclipsis. Considering their importance, would it be possible to expand those sections?

Also, super excited for the bonus sections!

Thanks everyone!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dubhais
dubhais
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I definitely agree. I don't think this skill could be placed early enough in the course and I doubt there is a single lesson that does not make some reference to this fundamental concept. I'm sure that if it's not grasped early on, it will make the remainder of the course quite frustrating.

The difficulty with teaching the initial mutations is that they occur in certain environments. Would more exercises help, or would you prefer a different methodology e.g. sentence fragments like "in Dublin" "i mBÁC", or consonant clusters e.g. "In B" "i mB"?

I think we have focused solely on using real sentences throughout as opposed to the examples above, but I suppose we could trial something more abstract to reinforce the concepts at an early stage in the course if that would help.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/krazyceltickid

Love how involved you guys are!

I think what would benefit me, personally, most would be if within the Eclipses and Lenition sections that each rule had its own lesson. That way I could garner a concrete grasp of the individual rules. Consonant clusters would be great as an early practice maybe as Eclipses and Lenition 1. Then, Eclipses and Lenition 2 could have sentence fragments and then Eclipses and Lenition 3 could have full sentences (kind of like how there are varying steps of Prepositions).

Putting a larger focus on these two core concepts and spacing 1, 2 & 3 throughout the course would really help solidify my grasp on these rules.

Thoughts?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GaelBeal
GaelBeal
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I think working with sentence fragments would be very helpful in these cases as they bring the circumstances urú and séimhiú are used in into the spotlight.

On a related note, I strongly feel that when vocabulary is introduced for the first time (except in set phrases/seanfhocail) it should be in the nominative with the article. Learning nouns' genders is next to impossible otherwise and that is one of the things that learners (me very much included) mess up most

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rmcode
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Great news, I've had a lot of enjoyment from learning this course and I even managed to survive the lessons at Colaiste na Rinne summer school as a result of following the Duolingo course. I'd definitely vote for more imperfect and also more continuous present, is that what 'tá mé ag dul' would be defined as? Go raibh maith agaibh for all the hard work.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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Dia duit! We'll definitely be expanding on the Imperfect skill. The sentence "tá mé ag dul" uses the verbal noun ("dul") and this is used with "ag" to express the progressive. Hopefully we'll add another skill on the VN...it's tricky for English speakers and it is very important, so it deserves more attention :) (Ó, dála an scéil, táim ag tnúth leis an gcúrsa Breatnaise!)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dquedenfeld16

First! :D

I think a numbers section near the beginning would be cool.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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That's definitely something that could be done! The current Numbers skill is a bit late in the tree, and it would be useful for learners to at least know how to count to 10 or to 20 from an early stage. I'll add it to the list of possible changes. Thanks!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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Would you make a Christmas skill? I would love to see that!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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Don't worry, I've got you covered ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Robert_Heslop
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This seems like a really interesting one especially since Ireland is my neighbour country and I do have heritage from Ireland. All I know is my great grandma was from Lake Áthlone.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GaelBeal
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On this note, would a bonus lesson on the Gaelic festivals (Imbolc, Bealtaine, Lughnasa, Samhain) be worth making? The exercises could describe some traditions/myths surrounding them and I'm sure that learners abroad would go mad for it

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

A mathematics skill. I don't need to know how to do differential calculus in Irish, but I would like to be able to say "two plus two is four".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moloughl
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There is actually a mathematics book written in Irish and suitable for secondary school students at senior level available from http://www.logicpress.ie/2002-2/.

Reading it some years ago and marvelling at the wonderfully succinct way it expressed things rekindled my interest in Irish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

Go raibh maith agat.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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A dó is a dó sin a ceathair.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

How would I say "four minus two is two"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/proinsias123

a ceathair lúide a dó sin a dó.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

Go raibh maith agat.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jillianimal

SO EXCITING :D

Most of the area's I was thinking of were already covered by someone but what's left off the top of my head:

1) more superlatives & adverbs & more use of them

2) verbal nouns divided into specialized skills (passive form, using object pronouns...)

3) use sound bytes of the recordings for when you hover over the words (at least when you first start learning them & the more complicated ones)

4) a lesson/bonus about old celtic holidays sound like it would be fun

5) more complicated sentences as the lessons go on containing previous grammar skills & expressions foreign to english so we can get used to them (like how one preposition can also mean intend to); just feel like we would get more out of it than still mostly sticking to relatively simple present tense sentences after you hit the half way mark

6) less bearlachas if possible (or at least also the alternative to them)

7) try to get duo to change their mind on the Words & gender idea D:

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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1) more superlatives adverbs more use of them

I'll see what can be done :) Superlatives and comparatives can easily be introduced alongside new adjectives, and an additional adverbs skill is a possibility.

2) verbal nouns divided into specialized skills (passive form, using object pronouns...)

Verbal noun is definitely getting a lot more attention

3) use sound bytes of the recordings for when you hover over the words (at least when you first start learning them the more complicated ones)

This is more of a technical issue for the Duolingo team. It would require a lot of work, so I don't know if it will ever happen. We'll start at least by replacing the current audio and then we'll see if further improvements can be made, like hover-over pronunciation.

4) a lesson/bonus about old celtic holidays sound like it would be fun

I've got you covered

5) more complicated sentences as the lessons go on containing previous grammar skills expressions foreign to english so we can get used to them

I'm definitely trying to do this already in the new skills that have been added. I'm trying to include a variety of tenses, plenty of genitive, etc.

6) less bearlachas if possible (or at least also the alternative to them)

This is something we'll look at, but we'll also have consider the frequency of the anglicised version vs the "pure" Irish version. If the anglicised version is much more common, then I think we'll have to stick with that, but we will look at it on a case to case basis. But no matter if we use a "pure" Irish version or an anglicised version, both will be accepted (e.g. fón and guthán)

7) try to get duo to change their mind on the Words gender idea D:

I'll work on this, but it isn't something I can guarantee will be done. The issue is the difference between the system used to make courses for in-house languages (German, French, Spanish, English) and the system used for Incubator languages (Irish, Dutch, Swedish, Catalan). The in-house languages have a lexeme tagger that allow contributors to mark each lexeme with various pieces of information such as noun gender or part of speech (adjective, noun, adverb, etc.). This tagger makes the words tab and flashcards possible and makes them nice and tidy. Incubator languages don't have taggers like this, so a words tab or flashcards system is not easy to make. A stripped down words tab is possible, but the likelihood of it is unknown. I think a gender label system would be relatively easy to make. At the moment we have a simple way to add hints, so a slightly modified system could be possible. (You might wonder why we can't add gender labels with the existing hints system, and that is because if we did so for words like "bean" and we added a hint "Gender: Feminine", the system would think "Gender: Feminine" was a valid translation of "bean" and it could show up in "tap the pair" exercises on mobile.

Thanks for the suggestions!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

> This is something we'll look at, but we'll also have consider the frequency of the anglicised version vs the "pure" Irish version. If the anglicised version is much more common, then I think we'll have to stick with that, but we will look at it on a case to case basis.

I agree with checking which one is used most often.... But compare it to Gaeltacht speech, please. Don't compare it to which one learners use.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dubhais
dubhais
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While there are almost certainly a few sentences still floating around that owe a little to much to English grammar rather than Irish, the charge that béarlachas is an endemic problem confined to our course is not accurate.

I think some of our learners would be surprised if they were to eavesdrop on a conversation in the Gaeltacht. Even before their first lesson, they could probably pick up quite a few words, as these would be English words or even phrases.

This is certainly also true of other European languages to a lesser extent, but all adult speakers of the Irish are bilingual. The only monolingual Irish speakers these days are pre-school children, and a recent study showed to no-one's real surprise that even in their early school years, their command of English exceeds that of Irish. Here is a link to some media coverage of that study: http://www.rte.ie/news/2014/1120/660919-native-irish-speakers/

Like most language courses, I suppose we are presenting a slightly idealised, more standard form of speech, which does have its place, but it's never going to be a perfect reflection of Irish as you may hear it spoken on the "street" or more likely "bóthar", given the rural nature of the Gaeltacht. I think we would break the Incubator (TM) with apostrophes if we were to try to attempt something like that.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Oh, I realize the course can never be a perfect reflection of Gaeltacht speech; I'm not claiming that it should be. I'm not even claiming that the "pure" Irish form needs to be used; I'm just asking that the chosen form reflects native speech as opposed to that of second-language learners.

To give a slightly exaggerated example, for 'I was man', I would never suggest using the t/a form (sorry, no fada atm), even if learners did use it, because it's not reflected in native speech.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dubhais
dubhais
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Indeed. It's a fada or accent you mean, right? Yes, the use of a conjugation of bí there would be a grammatical error and is not something I'd like to see in any course. As an aside, I don't think I've ever heard anyone, learner or otherwise, say anything similar before, but I suppose that could be a selection bias.

I was referring more to what some learners perceive to be béarlachas, which is for them a mixture of vocabulary and phrases that are "too" similar to English. This often takes the form of a well-intentioned but somewhat misguided quest for a non-existent pure form of the language that may never truly have existed, as English wasn't the only point of contact with other languages historically and language had to have its origin in another language.

In response to your concern, I suppose I would make a further distinction between learner's and Gaeltacht speech, and civil service or "official" Irish. The machinery of the State uses "technical" vocabulary that would be unknown to learner and Gaeltacht speaker alike, both of whom would only know the English word. Nonetheless, government publications and probably the news that derives from them will use such terms.

On the assumption that our learners are native speakers of English, we would probably choose to teach this form, which does not exist in Gaeltacht speech but enjoys an arguably higher form of existence in the media and publications. As many of our learners may not have the opportunity to visit Ireland, I hope this approach will allow them to access such resources, even though such vocabulary may be completely alien to the "best" i.e. "oldest" speakers in the Gaeltacht.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moloughl
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Béarlachas isn't confined to using single words or even phrases. It also involves the way sentences are constructed. Some Irish sentences presented in Duolingo appear to be just a direct translation of the English sentence rather than an Irish construction. The two languages express things differently. Take the proverb: "No man is an island". The nearest equivalent in Irish might be: Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.

Gaeltacht speech isn't necessarily a grammatically correct form of the language, no more than the English spoken in England by many English people is. In addition Gaeltacht people are bombarded with English from all sources so it is difficult for them to resist using English words/phrases when speaking Irish.

To me Irish is a very expressive language and as Duolingo are doing much for the language it would be great if they would help to preserve its richness by using native constructions in addition to the anglicised ones. In this regard there is a new resource which has recently become available. It is an Irish/Irish dictionary with some explanations in English. It is available as an e-book at minimal cost as well as in paper form.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

Fón is what native speakers say most often. Béarlachas rarely is due to word choice, native speakers often use English words, but rather due to choice of syntax. Like using Tá + verbal adjective + agam to translate the English perfect rather than just the past tense.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dubhais
dubhais
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I would agree. I think many commentators are on record as noting that syntactic as well as idiomatic errors due to the influence of English are the most damaging to the integrity of the language. Nonetheless, there is also a terminology crisis in the language, and the tendency for preference for an English word where an Irish one already exists, which taken together fall under the rubric of béarlachas.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sigmacharding
sigmacharding
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"A feature I found highly effective in the German 2.0 tree- quite simple- restructuring.

NO skill had more than 6 lessons- skills that previous had more than 6 lessons were split and moved to later parts of the tree.

Why did this work?

long skills can be quite frustrating and disheartening.

The language was learned quicker- being able to divide the tree in this manner meant more effective acquisition of grammar- seeing new structures of how the language actually work- Dont believe me- take a look at the new German tree- it is fantastic- I hope the other Duo trees will follow suit. "

In short- Remove any one/two word exercises. Once learned they are frustrating during revision.

Tree should be slightly rearranged (Some grammar skills (verb tenses) taught sooner)

  • skill length limited to 6 lessons- longer skills split and placed in different parts of the tree as in German.

  • It would be awesome if for every skill there was both a grammar and vocabulary point rather than separated the two (Although obviously for some points pure Grammar skills are needed)

  • Complex senses- relative and subordinative clauses- subjunctive etc.

Also here is a list of Vocabulary pretty much essential in language learning (in English at least)- many of the words taken from the frequency they appear in songs. https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-pI60_BAp10UzRJbFJMZEE2Umc&;usp=sharing

Thanks again for a terrific course!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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Some longer skills will definitely be split into two separate skills to keep things interesting. I know from firsthand experience that it is very frustrating when you've just trudged your way through a 10-lesson verbs skill and then you have to face into a 10-lesson preposition skill. I think we might put a cap of 6 or 7 lessons per skill.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sigmacharding
sigmacharding
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Two more suggestions if I may:

More Verbs (I love verbs!- Nouns can be picked up on the spot but verbs really help with precision in language I find)

Also THE LEAVING CERT :)

Not that we would want to put the frights up anyone but it could actually be quite nice to have quotes from the drama, the awful poetry (as well as the good ones), descriptions from the old sraith pictiur (It would be extra fun if some of the older ones could be used as images- myself and some of my friends used to have fun with the foreign kids at school and pretend they were irish comic books- all in good fun of course- I love the foreigners= looking forward to learning Polish).

A lot more conversation phrases: Try to narrate a day of your live (as you spend the day) and then attach the phrases to the description. That way we have a phrase for everything which happens in our day and when people ask us to speak irish we can say something which is happening right now :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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More Verbs

More verbs will definitely will be added (as will more nouns, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, etc.)

THE LEAVING CERT

It's a creative idea, but I don't really think so. Firstly, the fast majority of our users are not in Ireland (only about 9% of our users are in Ireland, according to the latest figures), which means an even smaller percentage are in and around Leaving Cert age. If we were to add this to the base tree, I think we would bore, confuse and alienate a lot of our users, and I'm not sure if it would make a good bonus skill either (bonus skills are designed to be fun and challenging...I'm not sure if fun is something you associate with the LC). However, we could sneak in quotes from some popular poems, plays and novels. Overall, it just doesn't really fit in with Duolingo and the way the courses work, but there are plenty of other online resources for Leaving Cert Irish if you need them)

A lot more conversation phrases

Yup :) One of the new skills that is already complete aims to do just that. It teaches some essential sentences that you need early on such as "My name is...", "Nice to meet you", "I don't understand" and so on (kind of like an extension of the Phrases skill). Similar sentences will also be added throughout the course.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
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I don't know how much consideration went into choosing the verbs already in the 1.0 tree, but were the most common ones sought out? I know a lot of verbs in English don't necessarily correlate to verbs in Irish, but maybe there's an available list of the 100 (or whatever number is appropriate) most common verbs in Irish that can be used as a guide.

I felt a lot of the verbs chosen for the first rendition were very limited in their scope and therefore not highly practical, but that suspicion might stand up to careful analysis.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
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And to add to what I said earlier, maybe a lesson on verbal phrases that use cuir? It goes far beyond "put", it's such a versatile little verb!

I'd also like to add that although I think there are a lot of minor things that can be improved in the course, I'm really glad it's here. I wouldn't be here if I thought it were a waste of my time :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I'm concerned that it's going to take ages to get all this stuff ready - though it sounds like you already have some of the work done :-)

There is one skill that I don't see mentioned - Gender. A skill that offered some guidance on how to assign it, (even though it's not an exact science), as well as how gender affects the mutations applied, and how it follows through to adjectives, would be helpful, especially for native English speakers who might have very little practical experience with gendered nouns.

I think that the irregular verbs might warrant a whole skill to themselves. It could actually come before other tenses have been introduced for regular verbs (because the whole point of the irregular verbs is learning the rules that apply to other verbs doesn't help), but that might be confusing.

A couple of people have mentioned superlatives and comparatives - I'd like to see more of those too.

I'd also like to see dialect addressed as a specific issue. There are a couple of issues with this - you don't want to confuse learners by presenting them with all of the variations, but don't want to exclude students who have already studied a particular dialect, or who have come to learn Irish because of family connections in a particular part of Ireland. On the other hand, you also have to deal with the fact that Ireland is a small place, and you will encounter dialectic differences if you ever try to use Irish in Ireland - you have to recognize both Conas atá tú? and Cén chaoi ina bhfuil tú?, Cad as duit? and Cé as thú? and Cárbh as duit?. So I think that even beginners need to be informed that there are different dialects in Irish, that Duolingo will concentrate on one specific dialect, but provide Bonus skills for people interested in a particular dialect. And the basic phrases section should include the different versions, and explain why there are at least 3 different ways to ask "where are you from?".

I'd like to second Scillings suggestion of a bonus skill for names, but I'd also like to suggest a skill on placenames too. There are only a handful of placenames used in the course, and I think it might be helpful for people to see how many Irish language placenames that actually mean something get transliterated to English, a few are actually translated (though this is more likely for street names than place names) and some have different, usually Viking derived, names in English versus Gaelic names in Irish.

I'd also like to see the notes on Eclipsis include some more about the DNTLS DTS rules - it doesn't warrant a whole skill, but it is regularly mentioned in the questions, and might be helpful for learners if the notes explained it.

For vocabulary, I think that the food section really needs beefing up (!). I think people are more likely to want to say "fish and chips" than "vegan", for example :-) (Ach ar an aimsir seo, b'fhéidir go bhfuil píotsa níos úsáidí ná iasc agus sceallóga!)

Finally, for a Bonus skill, Irish has a lot of very evocative names for things - smugairle róin and muc mhara come to mind.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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There is one skill that I don't see mentioned - Gender.

Gender definitely needs to be addressed in more depth, but I don't feel like a dedicated skill would really work (especially if we were to lump in mutations and adjectives in one...it might be a bit much). Instead, I'd prefer to gradually introduce the concept (and patterns, mutations, adjectives, etc.) over the first checkpoint or so :)

I think that the irregular verbs might warrant a whole skill to themselves

I totally agree :) Even if there was a dedicated skill for the present tense only, it would at least make students familiar with the 11 verbs that are irregular (so when they see them in the future, they know they are irregular), but an Irregular verbs skill for each tense could also be done :)

A couple of people have mentioned superlatives and comparatives - I'd like to see more of those too.

These will definitely be seen in new adjective skills.

I'd also like to see dialect addressed as a specific issue

Dialects will be mentioned and explained (carefully) when instances arise, but like you mentioned, we are going to keep most dialectal differences to the bonus skills. But of course, we'll try and make a note every time a dialectal variant occurs in the base course.

I'd like to second Scillings suggestion of a bonus skill for names, but I'd also like to suggest a skill on placenames too.

Funny you should mention that! It's actually a bonus skill that is being worked on (it's about 20% complete). It will teach the names of the counties that aren't taught yet, the names of the provinces, names of major towns in each province, and famous locations and landmarks. It is going to be a bonus skill because I feel like learning 32 county names (in both English and Irish for many users!) may not interest everyone, but anyway, lingots aren't hard to come by!

I'd also like to see the notes on Eclipsis include some more about the DNTLS DTS rules

The DeNTaLS-DoTS rule applies to lenition and, yes, this rule will be mentioned in the notes of the new, second Lenition skill (we're actually out of space for new notes in the current Lenition skill :P)

For vocabulary, I think that the food section really needs beefing up

All 5 lessons of the current Food skill are already full :P Instead of making a very long skill so early in the tree, I've made a Food 2 skill later in the tree (it's complete!). It includes a lot of food items that were missing earlier in the tree like chips, sausages and ice cream.

Finally, for a Bonus skill, Irish has a lot of very evocative names for things

Hmm...I'm not sure if we could make a bonus skill purely based on these (I'm honestly not even sure if we can make more bonus skills!), but at the very least, smugairle róin will make an appearance in the new Animals 2 skill! And now that you mention it, I'm sure we could find space for muc mhara too (after all, we now teach deilf too, so why not?)

Thanks for all the suggestions!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeirdreNiDhuinn

Definitely would like more on the "complicated" stuff like tuiseal ginideach & modh coinniollach. In my case these were glossed over in school so I feel much weaker on those than in other areas.

Also a small thing on the app version: The exercises where you need to match single words with their English translations often have a séimhiú or urú attached (I'm guessing taken from a sentence in one of the other exercises). This looks strange without the "an","ag an" etc.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

More sentences detailing the wacky misadventures of Pól.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Werenro
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First of all, I never thought that I will study Irish language before I encountered Duolingo. I am fond of Ireland since high school and I am happy that I can get more near to the culture through the language.

I am surprised how fast I am learning the language, but I would love to learn more how to respond to questions. I know Irish doesn't have responses like "Yes" or "No" but the verb that was used in question. I am not done with the tree yet so it may appear later in the tree and I just don't know it yet but more sentences with that feature would be helpful.

I also wanted to request bonus Christmas tree, but I saw in the comments that You are already working on it! (Great Christmas present, if I may say.).

And I don't know if You have comparative and superlative adjectives skill, but it would be good to enrich vocabulary by being able to compare two entities or groups, or grade, for example, how fond are you of something or how old is something.

I apologize if these things are already in the tree or if someone has requested it. I love this course and I am veeeeery happy to find out it will only grow from here on.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dubhais
dubhais
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I think one of my main aims for the course was to increase accessibility for Irish, as there are fewer learning resources available for other languages. We are really grateful to Duolingo for having faith in us that the course would be popular despite the low-visibility of the language that it teaches.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

If I'm not mistaken, you answer questions just with full sentences - For instance, you'd answer "Do you run?" ("An ritheann tú?") with "I run" ("RIthim"). I may be incorrect and I would like someone to confirm or deny it, but I think that this is how to answer questions (and I think that I translated everything correctly, but I'll want confirmation on that as well).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/otsogutxi
otsogutxi
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It would be cool to have an Irish Idioms skill. I could only imagine Irish flirting:)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
freymuth
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Careful, we'll end up with "The eyes on your head do have shining upon them." ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jayr
jayr
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Great job on the course.

I would like to see conversation as a new section. People in the Facebook groups can't hold a simple conversation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/crussmor
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This is great news! I would love to see a bonus skill on idioms and sayings. Perhaps more vocabulary on things like the environment, globalisation and city/ urban vocabulary might be useful too.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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Environment

A Nature 2 skill could include this kind of thing. I was actually considering adding words like "pollution" to the tree just yesterday!

globalisation and city/ urban vocabulary

This is going on the suggestion board for now. No guarantee yet :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/centonola
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This is very exciting! Hooray! I've been loving the course so far, and the prospect of it getting fine tuned made my day.

I have a suggestion regarding verb skills: I would love to see the imperative and the verbal noun moved up closer to the beginning of the course, and the habitual present moved farther down. - The imperative is a great way to meet a new verb, since you're learning the root form without having to worry about endings (or even subject pronouns). - The verbal noun is also nice to learn because it's unchangeable, and it seems to be more of an equivalent to present tense in English than the present habitual. (I read that there's even the theory in linguistics that English got its preference for the "I am X-ing" form--unusual in Germanic languages--from the Celtic languages!) - One textbook I'm working with even teaches the past tense before teaching the present habitual. It makes sort of sense, since it can be formed very simply once you've learned the imperative/root form. Might that even be a great way to introduce or reinforce lenition? - I think the present habitual (I hope I have the grammatical term right) wouldn't suffer by being moved farther down. By then, learners will have settled into the language a bit more, and can take in the two verb groups and the special meaning of the form as distinct from the verbal noun.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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The imperative really could/should be moved up earlier in the tree because it is so simple to form, so I think that's something we could do. The verbal noun could also be moved earlier, but not too early because it has to at least be after the genitive skill. Personally, I don't think the present habitual needs to be moved (we don't exactly have to teach tenses in a particular sequence. We can always rotate between having a present skill, then the next verb skill is past, then the next is verbal noun, etc. instead of having 3 present skills and then teaching a new tense)

Thanks for your suggestions!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dubhais
dubhais
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Although I am not the authour, there are definitely a few more than that in the course.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fingolfin1346

First, let me say how grateful I am to all of you on the Duolingo Irish team. I have used Duolingo virtually every day for over a year (between Irish and German) and it has kept me practising when no text book and not even Tuairisc.ie or RnaG could give me motivation. Téann bhur gcuid flaithiúlachta go croí ionam.

I am absolutely delighted to hear about some of the skills that have been added, especially names, mythology and the Celts (Will lightsabre be an acceptable translation for Claíomh Solais? ;-)), and Irish places. I had hoped some of these would make it in.

I completely agree with the more popular suggestions and can only second them:

More on the genitive.

More on the copula, especially using it in different tenses.

More on the imperfect and the conditional.

More verbal nouns.

The idea of a “sentence builder” skill. (Sentences never get too complicated and could be made a bit more challenging towards the end of the course)

Moving the imperative to early on to teach the dictionary form of verbs.

A few things I would suggest:

1 More about gender in the tips and notes, if not a skill by itself. Despite being essential for understanding mutations, it got almost no attention in my schooling. I’d like to see Duolingo avoid that. Also, since Irish doesn’t have gendered articles, it can take learners (at least if I am representative) a while to get the hang of it.

2 More on the autonomous form. Perhaps add “Ná caitear tabac” since it is one of the most commonly seen phrases on Irish signage. Adding táthar and níltear would be welcome.

3 Vary the tenses of the sentences towards the end of the course. Learners get a lot of exposure to the present tense. If they’ve made it to the lower part of the tree they should be able to handle switching between the past, present and future without too much difficulty.

4 Perhaps more use of phrases involving verb + le. There are so many of these: bain le, buail le, cuir le, déan le, éirigh le, fág le, féach le, gabh le, imigh le, lean le, lig le, luigh le, rith le, scaoil le, scar le, seas le, tabhair le, tar le, tarraing le, téigh le, tit le, tóg le.

5 Fantasy vocab. Ok, so I obviously have an interest in this but since many learners will start reading Irish via children’s books or folktales (collected or retold), it wouldn’t hurt if they knew words such as spell, transform, magic, witch, magician, fairy, etc (Though the mythology bonus skill may cover some of this). The German tree added a fantasy section and we can hardly have them outdo us...

6 More practical directions, perhaps. “Can you tell me how to get to X?”, “Go straight ahead”, “It’s on the left”, “Take the third exit”, “I wouldn’t start from here if I were you” etc.

7 Phrases for learning from native speakers: “How do you say?”, “How do you spell?”, “What is the plural?” “Is that word male or female?” “Please repeat that?” “I didn’t hear the last word.” etc.

8 As mushy as this may sound, I would like to see more terms of affection and more vocabulary for talking about emotions. You don’t have to go as far as Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin’s “Is Tú Mo Chiaróg” but “A chuisle”, “A thaisce”, “A stóirín”, “A mhuirnín” etc. would be some pretty nice additions to learners’ vocabulary. It would also help them to understand more Irish song lyrics.

Apologies if any of the words/phrases I have suggested exist somewhere on the current tree.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

Maybe allow the usage of an apostrophe and an "s" as an alternative for the word "is" in English. For instance, if I were to translate the sentence "Ólann an cat an uisce" to English in my speech I'd say "The cat's drinking water" as opposed to "The cat is drinking water". It might just be a quirk of my dialect of English unique to only me, but it'd still be nice to be able to be able to answer it as I speak in real life.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

"The cat's drinking water" means the drinking water that belongs to the cat. You might elide the "i" in "is" in speech, but to do so in writing, without very clear context to avoid confusion, would not be helpful at all.

(I'm not saying that you should never elide the i when writing English, just that it would be a really bad idea to support that in Duolingo in cases where it could be mistaken for the possessive apostrophe).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
freymuth
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I'm Eikoopmit on this one; ambiguity is rampant in English, and declaring one phrase where a word could mean two completely different things to be unacceptable while allowing others doesn't make sense. "The cat's out of the bag", "the cat's in the cradle", and "this cat's on a hot tin roof" are all perfect examples of this elision and are what make English English.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Eikoopmit may have picked a particularly bad example - "drinking" can be a verb (is drinking) and an adjective (drinking water), so that the phrase "the cat's drinking water" is ambiguous in a way that "the cat's drinking" and "the cat's water" aren't.

I'm not sure how much of an issue this is anyway - I use contractions all the time when completing the exercises, and I don't remember every having anything rejected because of a contraction.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

It happens with me quite often. If you ever get a sentence with a noun and then the word "is", I recommend you try it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I just got Níl do mháthair ramhar and "Your mother's not fat" was accepted.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

That's odd. Maybe they have the translations for some sentences but not others and I just get very unlucky.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
freymuth
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Fair enough :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mazzaru

jaysus lads this post is mental. Bursting with ideas and improvements that is so great to see. Well done all of yee. I didn't read all of it, however I'd like to say for beginners like me we need more english to gaeilge translation rather than gaeilge to english. I am translating way to much gaeilge to english at the beginning I don't know about the rest of the tree but at the start we need to write as much gaeilge as possible. I love your work guys keep it up and could we have duolingo in gaeilge ?

GRMA.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gp6am
Gp6am
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I'm going to disagree with you a little bit here. You're correct that we need to practice putting the Irish on, but I find I do better at that after having had the Irish beaten into my brain by lots of repetition first. Otherwise, by the time the same phrase or sentence I got wrong turns up again, I have forgotten the correct way to say it in irish, so that I keep making the same mistakes over and over and reinforcing the mistakes instead of learning from them.

Is there any possibility the developers of the underlying Duo architecture can program it, after giving us the correct answer to something we got wrong, to immediately provide an opportunity to try the same question again?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mazzaru

I totally agree with you we need irish repititions, Writing down everything is also good practice. However the aim is to speak and understand gaeilge and have materials in gaeilge, I find that translating gaeilge to english is making us still think in english rather than translating ENG to Irish make u think in gaeilge what do you think ?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gp6am
Gp6am
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When I see or hear Irish, I deliberately try to immediately form a mental picture, a non-verbal image of what the Irish means and only after that allow myself to start calling up the English words for what I am seeing. Unfortunately, it is more or less impossible to do this when translating from English into Irish. More "cuir gaeilge ar seo" with pictures would definitely help.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/larryone
larryone
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I know I'm a bit late to this discussion, but thought I'd chip in my 2 cents. I'm excited about many of the suggestions above, but with one thing to add.

Seanfhocail.

One of the things I love about Irish is how idiomatic it is. (similarly with Bangla - another language that is important to me) I used to love hearing all of the Seanfhocail when I was in school. Not sure how well this could be done in lessons on Duolingo - not sure where it might fit in - but it's something I'd love to see included as I think it really demonstrates the richness of everyday speech in Irish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
freymuth
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Great idea! This sounds like something that could be added to the list of bonus skills, if that hasn't already been completed. Other languages (French, Spanish, maybe others) have an Idiom skill (comparable to seanfhocail?), so that seems like a plausible route.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fr224
fr224
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First of all, great course!

But I'd like to have more focus on more commonly used verbs and adjectives. I don't know if I've gotten exercises asking for "I can" and I get "I want" or "I need" rarely. In the verb skills that I've done, I don't usually get "I think" or "I understand" as often as some other verbs. Also, when I learned the word for "conscientious", I had to look it up because I don't think I'd ever heard it before.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DarthPontifex

More bonus skills. Flirtations, slang (everyday Ireland or internet) words, insults, cussing. Anything like that would be fantastic.

Thanks for all the hard work! Can't wait to hear the improved audio!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

Insults and cursing? Yes please!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

Astronomy. Not as a main skill in the tree, but maybe as a bonus skill so that I can talk about supernovae and whatnot as Gaeilge. You have some skills in nature about astronomy, I noticed, such as https://www.duolingo.com/comment/11631080 , but I recommend making a three-ish thingy bonus skill just about astronomy and moving sentences like that to the astronomy bonus skill, but that may just be because I really like space stuff and don't want my space stuff mixed in with forests and leaves.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

Go raibh maith agat!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GaelBeal
GaelBeal
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You might also be interested in this http://www.uahirise.org/ga/ They also do a podcast (although I don't know when the last episode was)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Plamsy
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I think there should be at least 3000 words

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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3000 would be a nice number to reach :) I think it would make us the largest course by word count! I won't make any promises at this early stage, though!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Daiana-1602
Daiana-1602
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The most important thing for newbies is a quick guide to pronunciation. It helps a lot to understand why the spelling is so difficult to grab at the beginning. A short section for "Cén t-am è" would be nice as well.

Anyway I truly appreciate all your efforts to creating this impressive language course. Go maith raibh agaibh.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
freymuth
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I would also like to see a greater variety of nouns in the preposition lessons. Tá brón ar comes up a lot, but there must be other emotions that can be used with this construction, right?

I'd also like to add how happy I am that this beautiful, weird language is getting so much positive attention!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eard_Stapa
Eard_Stapa
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I am very excited to hear this and very appreciative to all of the contributors. I am glad to hear that better/more audio is on the way because I have found that to be one of the most limiting aspects of this course; I like to say that I can read and write in Irish but not speak it.

I will say though that Irish is a step above some of the other courses in the "Tips & Notes" section for each course so I hope that quality stays the same. Spanish, for example, has almost no information about most of the higher lessons, which means you have to seek out external sources. For the casual learner of this course, I have found that nearly everything I need to know can be found in the "Tips & Notes" articles.

One thing I will suggest that I have not noticed anyone else comment on is preposition combinations which are different in Irish from English; for example in saying someone is thankful of someone else or proud of someone else or any other number of sayings, the preposition is often different and I have trouble keeping track of them (I honestly can't recall what is needed for those phrases off the top of my head as I type this). A few of them are mentioned in the "Tips & Notes" but not all of the ones that come up in the lessons are explained there. I find that I often miss the question because I put the wrong preposition (or, even more frustratingly, the hint is wrong). Either a specific lesson on these or just some additions to the "Tips & Notes" sections would be very helpful!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndrewMTO
AndrewMTO
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I would love to see the Ulster Irish vocabulary and grammar better represented. As I had been learning through Ulster Irish before Duolingo, I find some things strange and a little jarring.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
freymuth
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I don't know if you're still taking suggestions, but I've recently noticed some words that don't appear very often. I've redone the "Prepositions 3" lesson several times in the last week to try to keep it full strength, and I've never gotten most of the third person plural words like umpu,tríothu, or tharstu. I don't recall coming across uimpi, tríbh, tríthi, thairis or thairsti either. Is there a way to make sure these words come up in the new tree?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeirdreNiDhuinn

I would really like for the Irish version of grammar terms to be given in the notes as well as the English, eg tuiseal ginideach, firinscineach & baininscineach. A lot of the notes I have from other sources only use the Irish so concepts can be difficult to recognise. Also nice to know the terms in Irish!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/coconutlulz

Any update on Tree 2.0? It has been about a year.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

It's been over a year (the original post was in November 2015)

AlexInIreland, who appears to have been the main mover behind this, is no longer involved with Duolingo. (You can see that this thread was originated by a "deactivated user"). I don't know if the remaining contributors are still working on Tree 2.0, but I know that some of them are still following up on "Reports" of suggested alternative answers, as I've had feedback from some of my suggestions recently.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/otsogutxi
otsogutxi
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Hi! I wanted to make notes for the Irish course when I start it, are you going to re order the tree or just add new skills to the end?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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There might be a little bit of reordering of the current tree. Most new skills will be added to the end of the current tree (at the moment, there are only 3 or 4 changes made to the original tree but there are 8 or 9 skills added to the end)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/otsogutxi
otsogutxi
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When do you think you'll be finished?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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It's impossible to say right now. I'd like to be finished by the new year, but I don't know if that will be possible yet, since it is not yet clear exactly how much new stuff is being added and how much work there will be.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/szeraja_zhaba

I've only finished 1/4 of the course, but I'm struggling with the orthography. It still hasn't clicked in my mind. Maybe you could add something for understanding the orthography?

Also, sometimes the reader pronounces words not as written. For example, I can hear 'léithi' in 'Is maith léi aisteoirí'. I've found 'léithi' in a dictionary http://www.teanglann.ie/en/fgb/l%C3%A9ithi as an alternative variant of léi, but Duolingo doesn't accept such forms even when they're clearly heard. Maybe it could be possible to allow entering what's pronounced?

Also, I'd also like more bonus skills. I really liked how 'Ireland' skill taught me about the existence of iománaíocht. I never knew about it before. Maybe it's possible to have more bonus skills with such not-so-useful but interesting things that exist in Ireland?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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Maybe you could add something for understanding the orthography?

Duolingo's system isn't really suited to directly teaching orthography in isolation. The system of adding words and making sentences with those words doesn't lend itself to an orthography skill, but there are plenty of other places to learn Irish orthography and I'll be sure to share some links when I get the chance.

Also, sometimes the reader pronounces words not as written

I'm wouldn't worry about this to much right now, because a new voice is on the way and issues like this should be resolved.

Also, I'd also like more bonus skills. I really liked how 'Ireland' skill taught me about the existence of iománaíocht

There are 8 bonus skills in development and these will be available in the lingot store once completed. Also, Ireland 3 is in development in the base tree.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dubhais
dubhais
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That's probably closer to how I would pronounce it, but it's quite rare to find it written as such outside of dialect-specific writing. The prepositional pronouns have a wide variety of pronunciations in the different dialects, but the convention is to write them in one way. While we should be able to accept a few of them as alternatives, especially if they're glossed, we would most likely stick to the most common written form.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PookaGar
PookaGar
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I scrolled through as many comments here as I could, and while I don't think these were directly covered, apologies if I'm repeating someone else. Two Things and a Question:

  • Generally, the Tips sections could be improved across the board (and maybe this is not even pegged to the version). There are many cases where an obscure grammatical point has come up and only been clarified in the comments by some superstar users. This would be a good opportunity to make sure that if there are exceptions to a rule being taught, they are not dropped into the lesson without explanation.

  • Related to that, new grammatical points sometimes show up before they are formally introduced. The one I noticed most directly was the present progressive (which could be introduced earlier, especially for those of us who have to physically restrain ourselves from using it when translating to English ;P); for a user who hasn't reached that unit yet, the sudden appearance of ag dul can be pretty jarring.

  • Aside from these: how will the tree restructuring affect users who are still working through the old one/have finished it? I've never been through one of these before... 0__o

Seconding most of the suggestions below, especially the genitive, idioms, and lenition/eclipsis; and I think [everyone's] comments are reference enough for the usual gripes about audio mismatches, ambiguous sentences, wonky (overly literal or peculiarly dialectal) English translations, and strange definitions. Despite all that, GRMA for your work on this course! (Much as I complain, I wouldn't keep coming back every day if I didn't appreciate it...)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/davidcwalls
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I can't add much to the other comments, so I will add a very little:

Please get rid of linn=pool. This was very confusing for me. I had learned linn='with us', then on word-matching exercises (starting very early in the tree), by process of elimination, I was left with linn=pool. I don't know how common the word linn (in the pool sense) is, but I don't think I have ever seen it in a sentence on DL, and it would clear up confusion for beginners.

And I have to join in the copula chorus: more on recognizing the copula and distinguishing its word order from other structures would be helpful for me.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Visitors to Dublin who visit any of the Viking related historical sites will be told that the name comes from Dubh Linn, "black pool" (even though in modern Irish we'd say linn dubh).

Linn snámha does come up on Duolingo, and I might even have come across linn fola in some of those sections where the police are fighting, or there is evidence being collected :-)

Homophones exist - you wouldn't be doing anyone any favours by pretending that they don't.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/davidcwalls
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You are quite right. Perhaps an alternative would be to specifically introduce linn=pool as vocabulary, with example sentences, at around the same time linn starts showing up in pair-matching exercises. I encountered it so early that I couldn't even make my way through an Irish-English dictionary. So I just thought it was a bug until I watched a video that mentioned Dublin from Dubh Linn.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patbo
patbo
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Perhaps you can do a bit more on the more interesting parts of the syntax? For example, it seems to be pretty common to use relative clauses to change the word order for emphasis. A few exercises on that (and explanations on when it's done) couldn't hurt. I think for the basic forms I know how to do it, but not always, and often I'm also unsure whether it would be a good idea to use this structure or not.

Another thing that might be worth teaching how "bí + i" can be used instead of the copula in places where the copula doesn't work. You learn all these nice structures and finally it makes sense to you and then you suddenly need the verbal noun or something of the copula and are lost. :)

Well, I guess the general pattern in what I'm really thinking of is some grammatical features that don't consist of new word forms, but just additional ways how to express things and build sentences.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mazzaru

what about duo lingo gaeilge tree 2.0 on git ?

https://git-scm.com/

Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.

that would be great to give suggestions and replying everyone messages. duolingo's board is not really made for handling such a big project. I think the contributers should have a look at this great tool from the open source community to develop a platform for all the users of the gaeilge course to give feedback and propose their point of view and the matter, then the contributor would have the new tree organised and everyone will be able to see the progress what do yee think ?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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How about this? https://trello.com/b/pvE7V1Pp I just made it in the last 15 minutes, so it's a work in progress. I like using Trello because I have experience with it already, but thanks for the suggestion (you inspired this board :P)

EDIT: This Trello board is no longer in use...sorry! Stay tuned to our Incubator page (https://incubator.duolingo.com/courses/ga/en/status) for more regular updates!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mazzaru

Why not, it is simple might just do the job. Git is challenging, handling the project locally and remotely is confusing + there are command lines to know even if there is GUIs for it. Furthermore it is more for contributors than users, I think trello gives us a good start in making suggestions for each topic then your team can sort out all the ideas, suggestions, well done GRMA.

I guess now it s about presenting trello to everyone in a new topic.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lycaonpictus
Lycaonpictus
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This is fantastic news. Looking forward to the extended audio! There are already loads of fantastic suggestions here and I think all the big stuff has been covered so I'm just going to contribute a little suggestion. I think it would be nice if the animal vocab was extended, particularly to include some more native Irish species.

Thank you for your continued hard work!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
freymuth
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I don't think this has been brought up yet, but I think it would help if the two conjugations were separated into different lessons. Verbs ending in -eann in the present indicative could be "Verbs: Present 1" and -íonn verbs could be "Verbs: Present 2". Personally, I find such visual distinction to be helpful when trying to learn different conjugation patterns.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andywolfma
Andywolfma
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I am not sure if it's already been suggested but is there a household skill in the works, also i think that numbers should be a bit higher up.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoeyH
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I'm late to this but wanted to say comhghairdeas agus go raibh míle maith agaibh to everyone working on this program! It's no exaggeration to say it has changed my life, but that's another post. I'm thrilled to know that it's living and growing under your auspices. As an endangered language, Gaeilge is lucky to have you as some of its stewards.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CodyORB
CodyORB
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I checked out the link in another comment about the progress! Doing pretty good, so far.

What I would add are the bonus skills that other languages have, like Idioms, Flirting, and Christmas :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/onlycookie
onlycookie
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I have been making my way through parts of the early tree now and struggle with pronunciation. Thanks for putting so much work in - it's a fairly different language compared to the core European ones, which does not allow as much 'copy-paste' of ideas from other language teaching approaches. Your effort and input so much appreciated! I have read a fair chunk of this thread, but right now cannot read it all, so I'm not sure if this has been mentioned before:

Maybe it would be a REALLY good idea to put early pronunciation exercises in - together with spelling. I would find this particularly helpful, since multiple-letter combinations, to my knowledge, are VERY different in pronunciation in Irish than they are in many of the other European languages. It may make the understanding and grasp of lenition and eclipsis easier (which I only very roughly grasp at this stage). And it will certainly help with later pronunciation, understanding and spelling(!).

There may not be a language recognition available, but maybe you could put in lots of 'write what you hear' type of exercises and even allow to record yourself reading and/or repeating after an example and then play it side-by side? That would at least take the high stress out of the continuous guesswork. And it would add audio-support to all the rules and spelling :-)

I know this is a chunk of work, but it is also a pretty important and tricky part of the language to my understanding :-) THANKS SO MUCH!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thelastmehegan

Thank you so much for making this such a great learning tool! I have wanted to learn more than the phrases I learned when I was younger (particularly insults and such because I was an immature little freshman in high school at the time) and this program makes it fun and easy!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bryan.EDU

Considering how important the concepts of eclipsis and lenition are, it's a little peculiar how there are only 3 lessons that cover the two concepts.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DerGoldmann
DerGoldmann
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Same thought here, I really think more time should be devoted to eclipsis and lenition. As a new learner it's something I've struggled with.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Josh.Hogan
Josh.Hogan
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Yes! I could really use some more on eclipsis and lenition. I'm all over the shop on those skills.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/K.Hogan
K.Hogan
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I concur with Hogan.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Josh.Hogan
Josh.Hogan
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We Hogans have to stick together. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/K.Hogan
K.Hogan
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Indeed!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

The actual concepts of eclipsis and lenition are pretty trivial - they only apply to certain letters, and they modify the sound of the spoken word.

It's important to understand what eclipsis and lenition are, so that you can "roll it back" when you spot it, and recognize the the actual root word that is being used.

But the rules for when lenition or eclipsis are used, and what lenition or eclipsis means in a particular situation, properly belongs in other skills - you need to learn the mutation rules for possession in the Possession skill, you need to learn the use of lenition in past tense verbs in the Past Tense skill, and the use of lenition and eclipsis when forming questions in a skill on questions, etc.

So I don't think the Eclipsis and Lenition skills themselves need to be significantly expanded, because the concepts themselves are fairly straightforward.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Prony-dH-Bray

@Knocksedan, I agree in principle.

But from a practical point of view, I can see how some people who are struggling, not least because their base-language is grammatically challenged: Native English is often learned with little to no grammatical understanding.

So i can understand that those who are no that much grammar-inclined, could benefit from some sort of "summary" lesson on specific uses of initial letter mutation.

For instance, after the conjugation skills (past and conditional), a summary skill focus on initial letter mutations. Likewise after possessive and questions. This would re-enforce both skills, and clarify things that the students tell us are not clear to them.

If I show Powerpoint slides in a big room and people at the back tell me they cannot read the small prints, I cannot just ignore it by stating the true statement "you can read it if you come closer" or "I will send you the slides aftferwards so you will be able to read it then". End-user experience is always worth listening to, as the students who struggle with these concepts are the ones who need it the most.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

In English, we use an "s" suffix for plurals, to indicate possession, and with 3rd person singular present tense verbs. Nobody would ever suggest that people learning English need to be taught "s-suffixes" as a distinct skill, or focus specially on 3rd person singular present tense verbs separately, just so that people can get used to using s-suffixes. Yet somehow people have fallen for the idea that you need to teach lenitition and eclipsis that way. Yet it is precisely this approach, teaching learners that initial mutations are this big deal that you have to study as a whole separate category, that causes the problem. Those learners are going to focus on how hard initial mutations are wherever they encounter them, rather than just learning that they are part of the process of constructing a particular phrase in a particular context.

I'm simply suggesting that, by all means introduce the concept of initial mutations, but just as a process that is used in various places, and only teach how to form possessives in the possessives skill, how to form past tense statements, questions and negations in the past tense skill, etc, and stop making a bogeyman out of initial mutations, which just creates an extra burden for the learner. It is far better to remember that when you are negating a verb, you always use lenition, except in the imperative, rather than learning that you negate a verb with a participle, and then after you've picked out the right participle, running through your list of eclipsis rules to see if any of them apply, and then running through your list of lenition rules to see if any of them apply.

And yes, if I was giving a talk in a large room that held 300 people, but there were only 30 in the room, I would insist that the guy complaining that he couldn't hear me from the back of the room come up to the front, because sometimes the people who struggle with these concepts need to be told that they are doing it wrong, and that if they take a different approach they will have more success.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mazzaru

+1 those concepts need more in depth lessons.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/onlycookie
onlycookie
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I second that! I have read the instructions, but I don't feel that I get somewhere even close to 'grasping' it in terms of actually applying them with the rather few exercises and I have the impression it is rather important. Also - how do I know a word is female - I'm a bit puzzled. Does that come later? Is there a way of knowing? My native tongue is German, so I am quite familiar with the concept and know sometimes you just have to learn it, but I don't see a way to do so - :-/

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
freymuth
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Here is a great resource. There are a handful of complicated rules governing gender that I haven't bothered to commit fully to memory, but there's a few patterns that are more readily recognizable.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/onlycookie
onlycookie
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Now THAT seems helpful. The better since the explanations are referring to Geman dialects and their use of 'lenition', which I am to a degree familar with *haha

Thanks! It probably still takes a fair chunk of time to get that into my head, but its something to work with :-/ :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

For those of us who don't speak German, the English translation of the site above might be a bit more useful.

There's also a page on that site will some rules of thumb that will help with figuring out the gender of a noun. They're only guidlelines, so sometimes you'll get the wrong answer, but they are still helpful.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/centonola
centonola
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I agree that learning the gender of nouns in Irish isn't easy. Some of the patterns that other users mentioned can be useful, but I get nostalgic for languages like Spanish, where the ending of a word was a (nearly) foolproof indication of gender. There's no foolproof way to determine the gender of German nouns, but when I was learning German, I was taught to learn the article with the noun, and that took care of the matter. Given that Irish only has one article for singular nouns, that solution doesn't work quite as well here.

But I've found that learning the noun with the article and whatever initial mutation is required does help me learn the genders in many cases.
1) If the noun begins with a vowel, I know it's masculine if it has the t- prefix and it's feminine if it doesn't.
2) If the noun begins with b,c,f,g,m,p, lenition means it's feminine; no lenition means it's masculine.
3) If the noun begins with an s, the t prefix indicates that it's feminine, and the lack of the prefix means it's masculine.

Unfortunately that still leaves a bunch of nouns in limbo. Nouns beginning with d,t or l,n,r or sc,sm,st don't have any tell-tale signs of what gender they are. I haven't found a good system for learning them. Anyone have any good ideas?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eard_Stapa
Eard_Stapa
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You've already pointed out some of the best ways to recognize gender when the word is preceded by the article "an". In my Irish grammar book, there are also listed some common endings which might not be as distinct as Spanish endings (in my opinion) but can still give you a clue as to the gender. Just be careful, as there are some exceptions to most of these.

Masculine: -(a)ire -án -(e)acht (when the word is one syllable) -éad -(e)adh -éal -éar -éir (mostly occupations) -eoir -óir -úir -ste -ún -úr

Feminine: -(a)íl -(e)áil -(e)ailt -(a)int -áint -is/-ís -chan -(a)irt -(e)acht (when the word is more than one syllable) -(a)íocht (when the word is more than one syllable) -úil -úint -lann -eog/-óg

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/onlycookie
onlycookie
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Would you know of any page, where you could learn the word with it's declension (mutation) - where you can look them up reliably or something? This was a useful tool in Latin, do actually learn the word with it's first form (and admittedly you just learned the gender - sort of like you learn a rhyme). Not much different to learning English irregular verb conjugation I must admit *haha Having such a database would probably make it easier as well.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

The Grammar tab on foclóir.ie gives the gender, the declension, the singular and plural, with and without definite article, and the associated genitive forms.

For example, for Madra

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/39101
39101
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Siné!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/krazyceltickid

Quick question, how will 2.0 be implemented? Will it reset our current progress automagically, or will we have the option of resetting our current progress to start over with the new tree?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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It doesn't really work in either of those ways really :/ It's kind of like they lay Tree 2.0 over the current tree, so skills that remained the same remain gold if they were already complete, new skills are incomplete and existing skills that have been added to or new skills that contain words you already learned are partly completed, meaning you might have to do 2 or 3 lessons :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/krazyceltickid

Hmm, maybe I could just go in the settings and reset Irish and start over with the new tree.

I'm going to ask my next question by prefacing that I have been following the progress of this course in the incubator since its inception. I am quite familiar with Soon™ :P

How do you plan on implementing these changes? Will you be editing one section at a time, or release 2.0 all at once? Will 2.0 include the bonus skills from the Lingot Store?

And for the big whammy . . . when do you project the changes to be implemented? Is this a six month project, a year long one or more?

Can't wait, you guys do such a good job :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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Will you be editing one section at a time, or release 2.0 all at once?

All the Tree 2.0 changes will be released at once (just like how the French and German trees were updated in recent months)

Will 2.0 include the bonus skills from the Lingot Store?

Bonus skills are independent of Tree 2.0 (and independent of base trees in general), so they could be released before, after, or at the same time as Tree 2.0.

When do you project the changes to be implemented? Is this a six month project, a year long one or more?

I don't think it would be wise to make an ETA right now ;) It is still unclear as to how much we'll add and how long it will take to add all of it. I can't imagine it taking a year, though!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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I can’t imagine it taking a year, though!

Six months later, is your Trello board still being updated to reflect the current state of Tree 2.0 development? (At this writing, the “New Audio” card there is found in the “In Progress” column rather than in the “Complete” column, despite the release of the new audio in late April 2016.)

EDIT: Ten months in, AlexinIreland has become a deäctivated user. See here for any status updates by the remaining course contributors.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eard_Stapa
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There haven't been any updates to the Trello board since May 14. Can someone give us an update on when to expect the new tree? I've been keeping everything gold for some time now so I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and am anxious to see what the new tree adds.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ngarrang
ngarrang
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I had given up on Irish on here. The adding of letters before or after the first letter of a word was just too much for me But, I struggled through. I felt I had finally learned the Duolingo want/need difference, but then came across a sentence where both forms were accepted as correct for a sentence about wanting something. It was a while ago, so I forget the details. I about blew my lid. After being hammered on the Duolingo distinction, to have a test question where both were acceptable was the last straw.

Has the specification of want and need been change in the Irish 2.0 tree?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

That's not a "Duolingo distinction". Tá .. ó can be read as want or need depending on the context.

Way down on the FGB entry for Ó you'll find this section:

(Want, need) Cad tá uait? What do you want? Níl do chomhluadar uainn, we don’t want your company. Ní raibh uaidh ach sin, that was all he needed.

Even in English "want" and "need" have overlapping meanings - there are some circumstances where you can use either word.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ngarrang
ngarrang
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My issue was the use of teastionne, or how ever it is spelled. Many lessons in here would only accept one or the other. Want was just one way, Need was the other. The two did not meet.

Except when I countered that one question where all of a sudden both want and need teastionn/o were both valid.

It made no sense to me and was the last straw. Learning Irish was difficult enough, with that differentiation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moloughl
moloughl
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You have a point. Up until fairly recently whenever a sentence containing want/need had to be translated I would put Tá ... ag teastáil uaim and it would be rejected and the answer Tá ... uaim given as the "correct" version. I reported it pointing out that Tá ... uaim is merely a contraction of Tá ... ag teastáil uaim. Both are now accepted and also Teastaíonn ... uaim.

I first encountered Tá ... uaim on my first and only time in the Gaeltacht when we invariably were asked every morning Bhfuil tuilleadh tae uait?. I thought this odd as we had learned in school An bhfuil tuilleadh tae ag teastáil uait? I figured the native speakers had dropped the ag teastáil when speaking among themselves but understood it to be there. We sometimes drop words in English when speaking but our listeners still know what we mean.

Over time Tá ... uaim seems to have gained the upper hand so that now it is given in the dictionaries. In a school dictionary compiled in 1958 is given teasta as a verb meaning "want, absence of". In the same entry it gives teastáil as "wanting, needing" and an example teastaíon uaim (one n) as "I want". Ó Dónaill's entry for teastaigh is here

Since you have achieved a lot by getting up to level 8 it seems a pity to abandon Irish. In my experience of learning difficult stuff there is a lot of pain and anguish for a time until at some point one gets over a hump and it becomes easier thereafter.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ngarrang
ngarrang
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I have opened up room in my online learning schedule and I think I am going to make another go at Irish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moloughl
moloughl
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Delighted to hear it. Go n-éirí go geal leat

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
freymuth
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Due to feedback from users, I'm pretty sure both translations (ie, tá...uaim and teastaíonn...uaim for "I want..." and "I need...") are now accepted as correct. I'm also certain this has been the case for several months now.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ngarrang
ngarrang
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It was a change, then, after I walked away to focus more on Spanish. Thank you for the update.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DivineToast

So far everything's been great!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rada_sparklez

I started the irish but didn't finish it, yet.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CodyORB
CodyORB
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No problem with the course! Thank you so much!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eard_Stapa
Eard_Stapa
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Is there anywhere we can go to watch the progress of Tree 2.0 similar to the way you can check on languages in the Incubator?

I would like to start Swedish some time next year but I don't want to start it until I have a better handle on Irish so I'd hate to start Swedish and then have Irish 2.0 released a week later.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
alexinIreland
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At the moment, I'm trying to get this Trello board going, so you can track our progress there: https://trello.com/b/pvE7V1Pp/irish-tree-2-0

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mazzaru

you should create a new topic to get interest

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SilverDolphin218

Go raibh míle maith agat to all at Duolingo for creating the Irish course- it's great to have a way of keeping up my Irish course abroad! It's helping me re-learn Irish. I think that you should have a speech activity as well, like in some of the other courses, where you click the microphone and say the words. Maybe you could also add conversations later on in the tree, so that we can listen to the words in action, and then maybe we could try to translate the conversations?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I have always assumed that the "microphone" exercises relied on the operating systems ability to interpret speech, via Siri, Google Now and Cortana. If that's the case, I wouldn't expect support for Irish any time soon, and if it does turn up, I'd expect it to be very dialect sensitive.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SilverDolphin218

Nevertheless, I think it would be a good idea, if possible. It's not very often that one gets the chance to speak Irish, so with the microphone at least people would have the chance to say the words and phrases. I hope it's possible!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

If I'm right (and I haven't used that feature, so I don't know how it works), then it's a feature that Duolingo isn't in control of, and I'd be (pleasantly) surprised if Apple, Google or Microsoft decided to devote the resources necessary to add spoken Irish to their lists of supported languages.

On the other hand, if I'm wrong, and Duolingo doesn't rely on the Operating System for speech interpretation, and Duolingo has to devote it's own engineering resources to add that feature, I think I'd prefer if those resources were devoted to adding features like Flash Cards, or even Bonus Skills.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eard_Stapa
Eard_Stapa
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Either way it's out of the Irish volunteers' hands, as they pointed out in the original post. I would love it too but I'll be happy enough to get some improved and expanded audio so I can repeat after it on my own. Right now I try to say every sentence out loud but without an audio guide I know I'm pronouncing most of it incorrectly.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gp6am
Gp6am
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The Philo-Celtic Society website has an on-line guide to pronunciation, including sound files, that may help you get started. http://www.philo-celtic.com/starting-to-learn.html

You might try searching Meetup.org for an Irish language conversation group that meets near to where you live.

If all else fails, you can always listen to RTE Radio, which even offers a free mobile app.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Huffdogg

Apologies if this was mentioned elsewhere and I missed it, but in terms of the very beginning of the course, it seems extremely odd to me that variations on "have" appear in detail BEFORE a description of "to be," considering that the former is constructed from the latter. I can't imagine why that is, or that it's necessary.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I'm not sure where you're getting that, but "to be" and the copula are covered in the Tips & Notes of the very first Skill Basics 1. The way Irish deals with "to have" isn't covered until the 3rd skill Phrases

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Huffdogg

Well I'll be damned. I must have just flubbed up the order I looked at this stuff. Thanks so much for pointing out that it was me, and not the program, that was out of order.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

No problem - if it's true that the vast majority of users of Duolingo are using one of the App versions of Duolingo, where they don't have access to the Tips Notes anyway, maybe it doesn't really matter what order they're displayed in :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dovyuruk
Dovyuruk
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Hey :) I love Irish. It reminds me of magic and it's like I'm reciting some spell everytime I try speak it xD Though, some Speaking exercise would be awesome. Also, Bonus skills? Maybe names of drinks other than Beer, you know? xD Or maybe, some "History" would be cool, too :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
freymuth
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, uisce, bainne, caife, and tae are all drinks taught in the course that aren't beer.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dovyuruk
Dovyuruk
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Alcoholic xD Drinks are on the Irish, man. Maybe there's stuff you can't translate into English. Though, in all seriousness - something about idioms and culture and history would be cool. I mean, names of fancy Irish drinks, Idioms, some tiny absurd facts from History. Generally, math sounds cool, but I dunno, I don't want that for Irish :) Oh! What about writers and literature? So much is from the area of England, Wales and Ireland. It'd be cool :3

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

fíon crops up even more often than beoir and uisce beatha makes a few appearances, and fuisce in responses, I believe.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GaelBeal
GaelBeal
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Firstly, I would like to thank the team for their work and I hope that AlexInIreland's absence is not a result of anything terrible happening in his personal life.

I realise that this is a veeery late addition to the discussion but since I'm not sure where else to put it I'll write it here in the hopes that somebody on the team will see it.

Suggestions:

• A full skill on the synthetic form of the verb (foirm tháite) - chuireas, rinneas srl. Although this is not common in standardised writing, it is hugely important for understanding Irish poetry and literature. Not understanding this makes it even harder to understand TG4 and RnaG and it also makes the Munster dialect almost impenetrable as it is used more commonly there than the analytic (normal) form. It also adds flavour to the language as (unless I'm mistaken) it is sometimes used to be colloquial. For these reasons, and because of how extensive it is, I think it requires at least one whole skill in the main tree.

• Interjections and fillers - cogar, goile, muise, dheara srl. These are hard to grasp on your own and are never taught in schools yet they add so much to a learners' ability to express themselves. They also add to a sense of quintessential "Irishness" that I think a lot of learners are looking for. Depending on Duolingo's policy, curses and insults could also really be attractive, even if only mild ones are included.

• Similarly, Irish abbreviations (#=thaisce, 7ain=seachtain, 7=agus, as well as the traditional ones like .i. , srl.) and slang would add a lot that Irish students don't learn in school.

• The vocative and subjunctive would be a good idea (I imagine "go raibh maith agat" confuses a lot of people without it), and the autonomous form should be fleshed out for all cases (and number in the negative imperative - ná caitear tobac vs ná chaith tobac)

• I agree with the people calling for seanfhocail, similes etc. (chomh dubh le pic). They compose so much of Gaelic idiom not to mention they really help when it comes to remembering vocab. They also provide a good way to introduce new words in the first place, so I'd like to see as many in among the exercises as possible.

• ...Scottish Gaelic? (and Manx?) I was really pleased to hear that there are bonus skills coming out for the specifics of each dialect (I hope the foirm tháite will feature heavily in the Munster one) and my mind quickly wandered across the sea. Now I might be dreaming (that's why I left this till last) but it seems worth suggesting anyway: how about a series of bonus skills for the other Gaelic dialects/languages too? They would require a lot more time than the Irish dialects because of their orthographies (especially Manx, yikes!) but there are definitely people who still hold that they're all part of one Gaelic language. They are unlikely to ever get duolingo courses of their own and this would let people of Scottish descent benefit from this course too, as well as improving inter-Gaelic understanding. The skills could use these resources as a basis: http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/~oduibhin/#maoil

Thanks again and I hope we hear more from you soon!

1 year ago