2016 is going to be a big year in Ireland. It is the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, a prominent event in our history, to say the least. There will be a general election here this spring (the first since 2011) and that could possibly result in a new Taoiseach, Tánaiste, cabinet, and most certainly, a new set of TDs. There'll be a census here later this year (it will be interesting to see how the numbers of Irish speakers has changed since the last census, and also compare demographics with the 1911 census: the last before the Easter Rising). And, for the first time, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will both play in the UEFA European Championship in France this summer!
So, as you can see, 2016 will be a big year for Ireland, but hopefully, it will be just as big a year for the Irish course and Duolingo. Yes, I know we're almost a month through already, but I think it's about time I updated you on all that is going on and what we hope will happen in the coming year.
Let's start with the usual 4 update areas:
- 1) Reports: Nothing new to report here! As per usual, the reports drift between 1 and 2 per 100 users, which is a nice stable number.
- 2) New Audio: We gave the Duolingo team the go ahead with the new audio about 1.5 months ago, so it shouldn't take much longer. Each audio clip must be assigned to it's corresponding sentence, so when there are over 3000 recordings, it can be quite time consuming! Patience from all sides is key at this stage, but rest assured! We will update you as soon as we know more about when exactly the new audio will be launched.
- 3) Tree 2.0: The word count and skill count in Tree 2.0 has steadily been creeping up. Already we have jumped from 1711 words in 64 skills to 2030 words in 88 skills, plus 8 bonus skills (and not all new skills are complete!). It is taking a while to get a plan together for Tree 2.0, but once a skeleton exists, the whole process should be much faster and smoother. Besides, creating this tree version is inherently easier because we have so much feedbacks and many ideas from our current users! In the past year and a half, we have received a lot of feedback from you, and thankfully, it's mostly positive, but like every course, there's still a long way to go! There are several areas of the course that can be polished, and several areas that can be expanded, so now's our chance to do so! That brings me on to my next point...
4) New Contributors: I invited a new contributor a little while ago, but unfortunately we didn't get a response. This was a little disheartening, but alas, the search goes on. What we're looking for can basically be narrowed down to x criteria:
1 - Native or proficient speaker of Irish and/or English 2 - Duolingo user (i.e. has learned/is learning a language here) 3 - Active in forums 4 - Has at least 1 hour a day to dedicate to the Incubator
That's what we're looking for in general. Hopefully we can add 2 contributors (or more). Preferably, at least one will be a native Irish speaker, and the other can be either a native Irish or English speaker. Currently we only have around 45 applications. I suppose that's what happens when your course teaches a relatively small language, but still, we hope some more will come in and we will have a larger pool to choose from! Also, we recently received an application to become an Alpha Tester. This isn't something we have thought about adding, but there is the possibility that one will be added as we come to the end of developing Tree 2.0.
The New Stuff
Time to talk about some new stuff!
- 1) Irish Immersion: This isn't an official immersion tab for Irish or anything (unfortunately, the chances of such a thing ever existing here are slim), but if you are desperate for your Irish-fix, you can get it (unofficially) here. I am neither encouraging, nor advising against its use, but it's there if you want to give it a go.
- 2) Irish grammatical terms: One suggestion we got a few weeks ago was to add the Irish translation of grammatical terms to tips and notes. I really liked this idea because it's a quick way to pick up a couple extra words, and they are often used in textbooks or online instead of or alongside the English versions, so over the coming days, you will see a translation key of grammatical terms at the end of tips and notes. It's not a major addition, but hopefully some of you appreciate it or find it useful.
- 3) Welsh: With the Welsh course now in Beta, several of you may be wondering if Welsh and Irish are closely related, mutually intelligible, or even similar at all! After all, they are both Celtic languages! But, no, they are not mutually intelligible, and are quite different. Irish is a part of the Goidelic branch of the Celtic languages, along with Scottish Gaelic and Manx, while Welsh is a member of the Brittonic branch of the Celtic languages, along with Cornish and Breton. If you have completed the Irish course, or are working through it, and you decide to start Welsh, you will see several similarities in vocabulary such as cáis and caws (cheese), lán and llawn (full), Albain and Alban (Scotland) and even scoil and ysgol (school), and you will also see that initial consonant mutations, VSO word order and a distinction between present habitual and present progressive exist in both languages. Other than that, Irish and Welsh are mostly different. They look very different (Welsh is filled with y, w and ll, while Irish has lot's of accented vowels, and h's) and they sound very different. I recommend you go and try the Welsh course to see the other side of Celtic languages, and support a fellow minority language!
Thank you for this post! I have completed the Irish tree a while ago, and I'm keeping it golden (working on it every other day), but I know I have a whole lot more to learn. So I'm very much looking forward to the new audio, and to Tree 2.0 of course.
A big thank you to the whole team for your effort and dedication!
Thank you so much for your support! And thanks for your continued use of our course :D
Speaking of Tree 2.0 ... I've been wondering what that is. Is it another kind of tree with whom I can continue on learing Irish after I've finished the one that I started learning at the begining?
No, it'll be an update and expansion of the existing tree. There will still only be one Irish Tree, just as there is only one German Tree, which has already gone through it's 2.0 revision.
People who have already completed the Irish tree will find that it is no longer complete, as there will be new skills added, but they won't have to start from the beginning, as the skills that they have already completed will still be marked complete.
Ahhh Tuigim!! Go raibh míle maith agat!! Bhuel, then I am glad to know that I'll be able to learn more Gaeilge.
I'm looking forward to that - the more Irish I can marinate my brain in the better :) I took classes at Gael Linn and Conradh na Gaeilge while working in Ireland around the turn of the century, but there aren't a lot of opportunities for reinforcement in New Zealand (although I felt very pleased with myself being able to translate a gravestone inscription for my sister last year). Duolingo is great for clearing the cobwebs.
Thanks Alex! This is a great update:) This year will be a great year. Ireland are actually in a major football/soccer championship! When was the last time that happened?
Too soon, guys, too soon. I know it's been 7 years, but I don't think we're ready to talk about Thiery Henry just yet :(
Ahhh; the notorious Hand of Gaul. I felt badly for my French neighbours here; they took quite a slagging from the locals for a good couple weeks after that.
"...over the coming days, you will see a translation key of grammatical terms at the end of tips and notes. It's not a major addition, but hopefully some of you appreciate it or find it useful."
I do, and I will, for sure! Go raibh míle maith agat!
Thank you. I took a break from Irish mostly because of the audio. I am looking forward to the new tree and all the changes. Sounds like the Irish team is really working hard. Good luck in seeking new team members.
I am very appreciative of all the hard work that goes into designing and building this web site.
Aggh! More people telling me to learn Welsh! I only have so much self control, people!
I will, after Irish.
So good to hear about this! The grammatical terms translated in the notes sounds like a good idea. It got me wondering if we could see more translations in the notes, like an english & Irish version of all the tips. It could be almost like a less interactive but still mini-immersion for the Irish learners.
That's a cool idea but we'll have to wait until the character limit for tips and notes to be increased or lifted, because many skills are completely full or almost full, so there's very little space for extra info :P
as much immersion as possible is what's needed :) just seeing the sentences and paragraphs of all Irish will be great!
I just did a review of the genitive section and decided to take a look at the tips and notes again to refresh myself. Wow - the new grammatical definitions and examples are presented superbly! Well done to the team members responsible.
Sounds like you've already done quite a bit of work towards Tree 2.0. Already 32 new skills (even if not fully completed) is awesome. I guess I should start to get a solid knowledge of the existing skills so that I'm ready for the challenge when the new tree comes out. :)
Are you working towards a specific goal with Tree 2.0, or are you going to just add stuff and at some point decide that you feel it's time for a release? And are the new skills mostly appended at the end of the tree or is the focus on more in-depth lessons on the existing topics?
Are you working towards a specific goal with Tree 2.0?
At the moment there is no concrete goal. I'd love to reach at least 100 skills, and 3,000 words, but nothing is set in stone for now.
And are the new skills mostly appended at the end of the tree or is the focus on more in-depth lessons on the existing topics?
It's a mix of both, really. Most new skills are added at the end, or near the end of the tree (with a handful of exceptions). Existing topics have also been expanded on, and some topics have been split into shorter more manageable skills.
Go raibh maith agat, that sounds great. It will be an exercise in patience for us, but it seems it will absolutely be worth it. :)
It could make for a nice skill, but unfortunately the infrastructure for actually releasing bonus skills in courses like Irish isn't ready yet and it isn't clear if it would be possible to have the infrastructure ready by then, and there is also the added issue of recording audio for the skill, but I will add it to our ideas page anyway, and maybe we can include it elsewhere in the course (and there's always next year!)
can bonus skills (current events, history, etc) still be added without audio but only words then eventually add the audio because its great to be at least introduced to the words and structure:) thanks
I was just going through the French course (taking a break from Irish to refresh a language I studied two decades ago) and got up to a point where I saw that I could buy bonus lessons for lingots and it was the most excitement I've had on this site in awhile. It doesn't much matter if there's audio for the bonus stuff; I think plenty of us would gladly accept merely written/read lessons for some extra stuff and work on our own to determine pronunciations. Having a lesson for slang/idiomatic language would be especially nice.
Having only started recently and not knowning yet where the current Irish tree is at, I am missing the audio for a lot of the introduced words. Is that going to be changed with the new tree? I find it difficult to memorize the spelling and than later add the pronunciation. Also, audio is often missing for the sentences - but this has been mentioned - probably will get fixed with the new tree?
All up, I am sure it is really difficult to put such a tree up for a language that - in comparison with French, Spanish or German (or English) has had a lot less people over decades work on details of comprehension, problems and easier access to understanding. Very grateful for your work!
No, the new Tree 2.0 won't have audio for every sentence -that's a technical limitation, because without a Text To Speech engine to speak words "on the fly", only pre-recorded sentences will have audio. There will probably be more recordings than now (though we won't know until Tree 2.0 is released), but there will also be more sentences. If you find the lack of audio particularly challenging, you can often find the pronunciation of the root form of a noun in the pronunciation database on teanglann.ie, which is an almost indispensable companion for the Duolingo website.
Developing the Irish course shouldn't be significantly more difficult than French, Spanish or German - written Irish is very well documented, and the learning theory is that of Duolingo - all of the languages covered by Duolingo take broadly the same approach to teaching that language.
I am more worried about the part where new words are introduced at the start of new units. Lots of units do not have the audio for the new word. I basically have to wait until the words are somewhere said in a sentence later to get an idea what they sound like. That is what I find challenging.
I have not found this in Spanish at all and only rarely in Swedish. I understand that this is difficult to implement under the circumstances, but it would be of great help! Either way, it's already pretty cool!
It only takes time and effort to increase your level; the sooner you start, the sooner your level will increase.
I am so excited to hear about these updates. As someone with a strong Irish background, I have actually been waiting for Tree 2.0 to emerge so that I can connect with my heritage. I have been waiting to begin the Irish course until the issues with the audio were fixed and the tree expanded so I could get the most immersive experience - and I'm happy to hear it's coming along! Any idea about when said updates will be completed?
Any idea about when said updates will be completed?
It's tough to give a concrete date atm for Tree 2.0. The new audio should be here within the month (that's my own estimate, based on previous experience). New contributors will be added as soon as the perfect candidate appears!
The new audio is a bit like nuclear fusion, which has been 20 years away ever since the mid 60's. The new audio has been only a month away for at least the last 5 or 6 months :-)
Unfortunately it is mostly out of our control seeing as Duolingo takes care of the audio, and with an ever increasing number of courses, the time they can dedicate to each varies greatly. Since we are literally at the last step, it honestly can't take much longer. We'll achieve our nuclear fusion faster than you can say "fusion of light weight atomic nuclei such as hydrogen or helium" (OK, maybe not quite that fast...)
will duolingo add any current event, relevant, history, etc words or skills as extras ??
Thanks for a very informative post. Thank you for the work on Irish course 2.0 (and previously 1.0), I can't wait to start on new skills.
I cannot help as a contributor however I am happy to be an enthusiastic user :-)
Go raibh mile maith agat a Alex! May I inquire as to what is preventing Irish from getting its own Immersion tab?
It's because Duolingo is no longer focusing on Immersion and translation as its income source. Instead they're focusing on offering high quality education, along with certification and various other areas that come along with that. Feel free to try the unofficial version, but an official one is very unlikely since Duolingo just aren't investing time and resources into expanding immersion any more :/
I had no idea it has anything to do with revenue... Why are they maintaining it for other languages? Just because it's already there?
Also, off topic, but are we going to have any verbal inputs in the future?
Yeah, that's basically it. It doesn't require much maintenance, time or resources to keep the existing immersion there, but it would require more resources, maintenance and time to expand it to other language pairs.
Speech recognition and exercises are completely independent of us contributors, and the technology is (AFAIK) developed by other companies. Since there is no voice recognition software available for Irish (at least no widely available one, or one that meets certain standards), it's unlikely we'll see speech recognition soon (but it could still happen!).
Thanks everyone for contributing to the Irish course on Duolingo, It has made for some great reading. Also thanks very much Alex for providing the 2.0 Irish Tree. It will be extremely welcome !!
Yes! Thank you all for your hard work! I am so excited for all of this, especially the improved audio! happy dance
copy that.. some are ok though maybe someone should check the available forvo audio to see if it is ok enough to be used here
I keep seeing "Tips and Notes" mentioned and I can't see them. I'm using the web-based version on Chrome. Is there a way to see them? I am really enjoying the course but could really use more information on the grammar and initial mutations.
Unfortunately, someone at Duolingo HQ decided to run a test to see whether the Tips & Notes are necessary by denying them to a random selection of new users. We can only hope that the test finishes soon, and is declared a failure, but we have no way of knowing what exactly is being measured by this test, and if /when it will end. Some people have reported creating new accounts to get access to the Tips & Notes, but you could just ask questions when you need something explained.
(Rather than creating multiple accounts until you get one that works, if you open a Private browsing window in your browser, and skip the tour and try out Basics-1 before you create an account, you will either see the Tips & Notes, or not. If you do see them, then you can create an account in that session, and that account will have access to Tips & Notes. If you don't see them, close that Private Browsing window, and open a new Private Browsing window, and try again. By using Private Browsing, you throw away any cookies that Duolingo gave you when you close the window, and you get a fresh chance in the Tips & Notes lottery).
Thanks for the private browsing tip and the step-by-step instructions. They worked beautifully. In case this feedback gets to HQ: it's great to have centralized, organized information on particular topics, rather than having to redo a lesson to read through the comments or sift through the discussions. The learning community here is great but so is a tip sheet.
Please accept this lingot; now I'm abandoning my streak and my little lingot stash to go use the account that actually works.
Other note to HQ: worth gaming the system to get to the tip sheets. That said, if the Irish Portal discussion had all the info on the tip sheets, I could go there instead, quite happily.
My guess is that Duolingo doesn't care that people think that Tips & Notes are useful. They're probably just interested in seeing whether the accounts that don't have access to Tips & Notes do any better or worse than those that do. Because it doesn't actually matter if people think they're useful, it only matters whether access to Tips & Notes improves outcomes. So abandoning an account without Tips & Notes and continuing with an account that does will send the message that access to Tips & Notes improves outcomes - but it will probably be only one datapoint in a very large sample.
I know, OLD discussion, but still, we who need those tips and notes use google to find tips and notes outside of duolingo. Thus, there test is already invalid as people do know how to use a search engine to find what duolingo arrogantly ignorantly does not want to provide under the pretence "it isn't necessary". They should go to school and learn how to teach. Teachers know what is necessary and what isn't. Signed someone who watched teachers in action, studied education (but not degreed) and was taught how I personally need to learn in order to learn the material for real - by a special education teacher.
I have had another idea, which may be very helpful to people, it certainly would be for me.
In suggestion pop-up (when you hover with your mouse over words), it would probably be VERY helpful to add the gender to every noun (for lenition and other purposes) and potentially a separate learning unit (tree branch?), where one could JUST focus on learning gender and the genitive forms, in order to be able to actually apply the rules later. I constantly look up words and their gender, because knowing the rule that female nouns are lenited does not help, if I am not aware which ones are actually female. My progress is exceptionally slowed because of the lenition and eclipsis problems I have and one of them is based on not knowing the gender for any word basically.
Also, I would think adding the plural form of each noun in the suggestion section (mouse hover) may be a similarily helpful thing.
Not sure how and if this is possible, but I have seen it in other languages and would find it particularly helpful in Irish for these purposes!
For learning plurals and providing a sound grammar base, Swedish, for example, has a whole section dedicated to learn the singular with the plural. While the Swedish plurals are nowhere near as irregular as the Irish ones (as far as I can judge at this stage) I would think it would be helpful to have regular sections, which teach nouns with their gender, along with its (nominative) plural and genitive singular. It may feel a little overly grammatical, but it's giving a sound foundation for progressing!
Either way - I know how much work goes into clear, easy and step-by-step knowledge improvement (I have long term experience in manual generation) and love your efforts and progress!!!
Are you sure you've seen suggestion pop-ups in other Duolingo courses contain gender information? My understanding is that the way that Duolingo is architected, that isn't currently possible.
I find that I have a better than 4 in 5 chance of getting the gender of a noun right by following these guidelines. There are still exceptions, but at least these help with unfamiliar words as well as familiar ones.
Absolutely certain! For shoes in Spanish it says:
Shoes Gender: Masculine Explain (which you can click and it opens an explanation)
In one of those popup that come up if you hover with the mouse over a word in the left section (the bit to be translated etc).
The line with Gender is also in grey, rather than in black. I find it very helpful on occasion, even though Spanish is basically intuitive with gender for most things. What exactly do you mean with 'Words tab' - I'm not sure what you mean? And thanks for taking the time :)
Some languages provide a Words tab where users can see a list of the vocabulary that they have learned so far.
I just went back to read the Tree 2.0 thread, because I was pretty sure that it said that it's not possible to put the gender on the hints. What I didn't remember is that Alex explained that this is a limitation of all the incubator languages - when Duolingo expanded beyond the initial languages that they developed themselves, in house, they used a slightly different version of their software that doesn't support adding gender to the hints. So you can see that in Spanish, but not in Irish. That's an architectural decision by Duolingo that impacts most of the languages available on Duolingo, not something that the Contributors to the Irish course have any control over.
That is somewhat sad, because it would largely extend the usefulness of the hints. But well, if that's the case there really isn't much you can do, is there?
I haven't seen the Words tab yet. May go and explore. Do you know if Spanish has it by chance (so that I don'T go chasing ghosts?)
Go raibh maith agat a Alex for this update and go raibh maith agaibh to all the Irish team for all the work you do. I'm working my way slowly but consistently down the Irish tree and I'm very proud of the progress I'm making. What an exciting year ahead of you!
Hi I've just started and am finding it difficult because there's no pronunciation. Even if there was phonetic in English it would be helpful. I'm so excited because I'm living in Australia atm but want to return to Ireland and live in the Gaeltach (sp?) Thanks for your input:)
Another thing I found would help me and hopefully others: I am currently learning the verbs section V: Pres1. I find that words with similar meanings or similar initial spellings (like similar letters at the start and learning words like 'listening' and 'hearing' together) in one and the same lesson are rather difficult to pick up (first lesson has 3 different words starting with 's' and one with 'f', lesson five has listening and hearing ). It may be a good idea to separate them into different lessons. Also, in this section I find there is rather limited variation for some words (like some exercises only occur twice as 'translate this English into Irish', whereas others appear FAR more frequently in this most challenging (and teaching) part of the exercises (see lesson 1 'siúl). It would be easier to retain the vocabulary if there were maybe 3-4 words in a sub-section, but these trained a lot in ALL directions and with all persons, rather than training some much more than others. Or you could have two sub-sections for each set focussing on certain aspects more in depth. Either way, more sentences, even if short ones, to actually get it working in all directions would help a lot! Also, I have not found the infinitives of the verbs anywhere, which makes it rather hard to learn to derive the 'stem' of a verb. I would think that it would be a GREAT addition to add the 'infinitive' of verbs to the learning pool and potentially 'form stem from infinitive' as an exercise just as well (if the latter is possible).
I am aware that this note, as 'simple' as it sounds, will trigger a lot of reworking, if implemented. I would think it'll be great though! Thank you!
Also, I have not found the infinitives of the verbs anywhere, which makes it rather hard to learn to derive the 'stem' of a verb. I would think that it would be a GREAT addition to add the 'infinitive' of verbs to the learning pool and potentially 'form stem from infinitive' as an exercise just as well
Irish doesn't have infinitives. The second person singular imperative is used as the "root" (or perhaps it would be better to say that the second person singular imperative always takes the same form as the "root") which is the form that the word will be listed under in the dictionary.
As for the frequency that you encounter particular exercises, I think that that's just the way Duolingo works - someone else might get a slightly different frequency, depending on Duolingo's judgement of how you are performing in a particular skill.
Hmm... The lessons are always in the same order with the same content for me, no matter when I do them. I would be surprised if that particular content and order would vary between people? Like, I could learn them by heart, if I wanted to... Or do you mean once I finished the unit and keep practicing the whole unit? I usually get much more content then, but that only applies after I finished the lessons and got reasonably confident with the vocabulary. At the moment I repeat the lessons until I at least remember most of the words and changes happening (with this particular unit, I have re-done exercises at least 10 times already and still am not confident with the vocab, this is why I wrote the comment), so that I have a base for practicing everything in a humble-jumble mix. :-/
With respect to the infinitive: If they don't have an infinitive, the mentioned dicitionary root-form would be just as sufficient (admittedly, I over-read this and just assumed the dictionary form WAS the infinitive) and this form would serve the exact same purpose? I mean - basically, I have to see what the conjugated form is like, find out which conjugation it belongs to backwards, then derive the present tense stem from it and then add the ending that is appropriate for the form I need right. And I would have to re-do that for any new tense learned that derives a different stem from the root form. Learning the root form (or infinitive in other languages) sooner or later, along with some specific forms to get things started, would save a lot of hassle I believe?
It's been a while, so I just re-did verbs:1 twice, and yes, I got the same sentences both times, but in a different order, and with a bit of a change up in the type of exercises (some were English to Irish in one run, and Irish to English in the other, or a "Mark all correct" exercise). But I got 6 verbs in that first lesson: feic, ith, léigh, scríobh, siúl, snámh, and of those 6, 4 are "first conjugation verbs", which are single syllable verbs, where the root form is the same as the stem:
feicim - feic
itheann tú - ith
scríobh sé - scríobh
snámhaimid - snámh
léigh and siúil are "second conjugation verbs". Second conjugation verbs are a bit more complex - if they end with "igh" or "aigh" the ending is dropped. If they end in "-ail/-il", "-ain/-in", "-ais/-is" or "-air/-ir" the additional vowels are dropped, so we get siúlann sé from siúil. (This is explained in the Tips & Notes for Verbs:1 if you have access to Tips & Notes).
I'm not sure that you're doing yourself any favours by redoing a lesson 10 times - you might be better off seeing the same mutations happening across a wider range of verbs, so that the conjugation changes become 2nd nature, and allow the memorization of the actual verbs to happen slightly more slowly. Trust Duolingo on this - when it unlocks the next lesson, go ahead an do it, because you'll be re-using some of the knowledge that you were exposed to a previous lesson, and getting to strengthen it in a slightly novel way, which is better for learning than just hammering away at the same thing 10 times in a row.
Unfortunately, not re-doing them a couple of times means I have no clue what the word means and therefore cannot translate it in either direction. Then I have to look each of them up in the hints every single time and there I am told what write exactly, which sort-of defeats the purpose. And if I just browse through the seven lessons of this particular unit and then try to sort it, that is a hell of a lot to pick up at once, if I don't know the meaning of the new words at least roughly by that time. If I don't know the root or stem, obviously I cannot conjugate it either. So the best way I can see is to at least get the 'stem' or 'root' with the meaning learned within the lesson itself. Which, in turn, means to re-do it until it's settled in the brain. I guess the 'léigh' and 'ith' are probably from the 'Leimid' and 'Ithim' verbs? I don't recognise them (even though now you mention them it makes sense) and had to think which ones you meant, hence my suggestion to put the stem or root form 'somewhere' so one could connect them with the conjugated forms and use them (and make it easier to look them up in dictionaries later as well and so on and so on). Leim and Ithim (so the stems 'léigh' and 'ith'?) are not new in that lesson, but are trained old vocabulary in all their conjugated versions and hence are not a challenge in that lesson at all. They may serve as an example, but not more there. The new words in the first lesson (for example), however, are starting with scrio, snamh and siúl as well as feic. This makes three words with the same starting letter. Siúl also only occurs very rarley-at least when I do lesson one. Whether there are more sentences once I finished the lessons of that section I do not know, I'm still getting a grasp on the new vocabulary (and some conjugation bits, but that's actually secondary). I am not sure how you get the different orders, this may have to do with the fact that I re-do them in the same window and you may not? Not sure, but I've done it plenty of times now and at least for the first 5 or 6 I seem to get identical orders.
Either way, I personally think introducing one conjugation at a time and rather different words (in meaning and spelling) in an individual lesson would be good. It may not look difficult at all, when you know the words, but I find words particularly hard to remember if in the group I learn many start with the exact same letter or have very similar meanings. But if this is too much trouble, that's OK as well. I just do them a fair chunk more often until they stick. Just thought it would make it easier for learners and you'd appreciate the idea :-)
I'm still getting a grasp on the new vocabulary (and some conjugation bits, but that's actually secondary).
Actually, I think the conjugation bits are the whole point of the Verbs skills. The actual verbs themselves are just vocabulary like the vocabulary in any other lessons. It doesn't matter whether any individual exercise has snámhaim, snámhann or snámhaimid - it's pretty obvious that the root is snámh.
If you see the conjugation bits as primary, you must acknowledge that the current format does not allow to train conjugation without knowledge of the vocabulary and the spelling of that new vocabulary/root itself. If it says 'translate "I swim"' I cannot do so, without knowing that the root for 'swimming' is 'snámh', becaues if I type 'siúlaím' I obviously get it wrong, my brain registers 'wrong' and I get frustrated. The root to conjugate I CANNOT know without knowing the word and meaning. So if there are several that are hard to learn together, I will always take longer to pick up the vocabulary, have a harder time to focus on conjugation and have to peek which 's' word it actually is in order to 'try' to conjugate, thereby defeating the purpose as it is already conjugated in the tips. I have not asked for less 'snámh' words in one lessen, but for more of the snámhaim, snámhann or snámhaimid in ONE exercise in order to train it, but in a separate lesson from scríobh and siúl, so that I have to focus less on the vocabulary, but can focus more on the conjugation. I think this is totally in line with what you just said, even putting more emphasis on it, but only it appears I cannot bring it accross and I am not sure why. :-/
A great big thanks to you, Alexinreland, and to all who have worked so very hard and contributed so much to this course. This has been a wonderful addition to my other retirement activities and one of the most rewarding. I'm really looking forward to next tree and the audio!
Indeed, 2016 is promising to be a big year... although I don't know how the government will stabilize, given that they're all fighting about the past. Oh well, at least the 1916 things are fascinating! As for the Irish course, I look forward to the new one- and can only hope it comes before the summer, as I'm going to the Gaelteacht, and it's Duolingo I'm using to brush up on my Irish! :)