https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland

New Irish Audio is Now Live

  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

Dia daoibh,

Thanks for all your patience while some issues were ironed out with the implementation of the new Irish audio.

All users should now have the new voice! Feel free to leave your feedback here, on my stream or in sentence discussions.

Slán!

2 years ago

352 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/cdub4language
  • 22
  • 21
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 10
  • 3
  • 3

Working great for me at the beginning of the tree :-D So excited!! Only downside I see so far is that it's a little quiet, so I have to have the volume cranked to hear the audio precisely, which makes all the other sounds quite loud. For the moment the loud "ta-da!" sounds fit my mood though ;-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Batsteve
  • 21
  • 18
  • 18
  • 15
  • 15
  • 15
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 6
  • 5
  • 3

Seconded for sounds that are too quiet to be entirely comfortable--substantially more quiet than the previous voice. Currently using Firefox on Ubuntu linux. Otherwise, I enjoy the new voice.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cdub4language
  • 22
  • 21
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 10
  • 3
  • 3

Google Chrome on mac myself, though I'm assuming it's a universal problem. Heading over to settings turn off sounds so I don't wake up the building...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheRCPanda

Yeah, Chrome on Windows 10 and it's quiet for me as well :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wolfewench

Same problem - using it on Android.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gliddon

Same problem with both my Samsung Android, and online with Firefox.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amanadiel
Plus
  • 25
  • 25
  • 21
  • 17
  • 9
  • 4
  • 1176

It's quiet enough I can't really tell if the pronunciation is better! This is in Firefox on Windows 7.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DevSodagar
  • 23
  • 7
  • 6
  • 280

I love having more voiced sentences! But have to agree it's too quiet (Chrome on Mac)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I don't think you have more voiced sentences - if anything, there are lots of sentences that were voiced before that aren't voiced now - I'm getting one or two "Type what you hear" exercises with no audio in almost every exercise that I do.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RuthLawrence

same here with 'type what you hear': nothing. It renders it useless to me. I have been reporting them, though

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alphalyrae
  • 20
  • 15
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 6
  • 5

I was having the same issue, but I've just discovered you can turn off the sound effects if you click on your duolingo name then select 'settings'. Very useful when I'm practising in communal areas of the house!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pruechelan

I find it much too quiet. I hope that there may be someway to adjust the master volume. for others with this issue you can turn off the notification sounds entirely in the settings, but the fact that we can't adjust the volumes of each individually is very frustrating.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OliverCasserley

I can barely hear the speaker ( on 28/04/16) Now on 29/04, the new speaker is very very low but the previous speaker is perfect in volume. Have my volume at 100% and I have great hearing thank God.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pruechelan

Yeah, I'm HoH, and I already have a hard time, with the audio in general on Duolingo, so I've had the audio off most of the time doing Irish now.

Although I check it regularly to see if it's changed, it was slightly louder today but still not loud enough to hear for me.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heathermagoo
Plus
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 20
  • 20
  • 15
  • 13
  • 11
  • 11
  • 9
  • 3
  • 2

Hurrah! The beautiful, revised audio is here. Three cheers for Team Irish!!!.

Many intriguing ♪♫♬ new sounds ♪♫♬ in the inventory.

I'm finally going to nail caol/leathan.

*If Firefox is truncating the sentences, give it a try with Chrome or Edge.

*Update: Volume fixed

Many thanks to the voice artist (and everyone involved in the recording). That must have been a massive undertaking and I'm going to work hard to sound just like you. :D :D :D

Also I really appreciate all the comments/corrections everyone is offering. I'll be referring back them as I work through the tree again.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HappyEvilSlosh
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 22
  • 21
  • 17
  • 16
  • 13
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 7
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

I'm also getting the truncation error in some sentences in Firefox/Debian Stable.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DarthPontifex

Thanks for working so hard on this! What sort of regional dialect does this new speaker have?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/talideon
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 22
  • 20
  • 13

They sound like they're from the North West, possibly South Donegal. That possibly might strike fear into the hearts of many people from their Irish aural exams, but they don't have some of the strong Donegal-isms that cause people issues. About the most I've heard is final consonant dropping, which isn't a big deal. Extant Mayo and Donegal varieties sometimes drop final consonants that other dialects preserve, an example being 'teach' (house), which often has the final /x/ sound (represented by 'ch') dropped.

The speaker pronounces Irish quite similarly to how my grandmother did, who was one of the last speakers of the Sligo variety of Irish, so this makes me quite, quite happy.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Cool fact about your grandmother speaking Sligo Irish! That's really interesting

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PfifltriggPi
  • 20
  • 16
  • 16
  • 15

So this is Ulster accented Irish?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/talideon
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 22
  • 20
  • 13

At most, it's somebody from the NW speaking An Caighdeán Oifigiúil, with some local flavouring. It's not Ulster dialect, that's for sure! As I wrote, it's quite similar to how my Grandmother spoke up in Sligo - the county essentially still had a Gaelteacht where I'm from in the south of the county up until the middle of the century, after which it faded away and was practically gone by the '60s. There were still some native speakers around in the late '90s, but they're all dead now. I only wish I'd the same interest back then in the language as I do now. :-(

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

No, it's not Ulster accented Irish. Talideon's point is that the speakers pronunciation may be informed by South Donegal/Mayo norms but there's no easily discernable accent.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Two quick examples that indicate that this speaker does not have what would typically be considered an "Ulster Irish accent" are the pronunciation of áthas in this sentence and in this sentence. The Ulster pronunciation of á is usually quite distinct. You can hear that her pronunciation of úsáid in this sentence has a narrower á than is typical in Connacht, but not quite as narrow as is typical in Ulster.

Another example that leans towards the North West, would be her pronunciation of crann in this sentence.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

That "very strange "r" sound" is actually a regular phonological change in Ulster and Connacht Irish. It's n > r / C_ (that's not /s/)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I'm well aware that it's regular in Ulster an Connaught - that's why I noticed that she didn't exhibit it in De ghnáth, despite that fact that other clues suggest that she might.

She does pronounce it in cnoic.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

Another point of comparison is the pronunciation of talamh here — an Ulster pronunciation of talamh would sound like talú, but her pronunciation is closer to tala, as talideon noted.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

And her inniu in Inniu, anocht agus amárach is also Connacht, rather than Ulster.

(Interestingly, the pronunciation that I learned in school was closer to the Ulster pronunciation, though I was also familiar with the Munster pronunciation).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

And to throw another one into the mix, the Connacht and Ulster examples of de ghnáth on teanglann.ie both exhibit that very strange "r" sound (that also crops up in words like cnoc and cnámh) but this speaker definitely sounds an "n" sound in De ghnáth, codlaíonn mo mháthair ar maidin agus oibríonn sí gach oíche

(Her íonn is clearly distinguishable in both verbs, and her oibríonn is clearly Connacht)).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/idshanks
  • 14
  • 11
  • 5
  • 4
  • 2

Could you elaborate on some of those Donegalisms (or else point to a resource which does so)? I have a lot of Donegal-based, Irish-speaking family, so it interests me greatly :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/talideon
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 22
  • 20
  • 13

That's something you could spend forever on! Thankfully, the Wikipedia article on Ulster Irish is very good: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Irish

In summary, Donegal Irish is a little closer in some ways to Scottish Gaelic (yet unalike in others) than the other dialects are in terms of grammar, vocabulary, and turns of phrase. Donegal Irish has more 'tense' sound to the vowels; tends to shorten vowels in unstressed syllables, so the 'length' is a matter of quality rather than both length and quality as in other dialects; prefers lenition where other dialects would use eclipsis, and has a tendency to drop phonemically short unstressed vowels at the end of words. In Donegal and in North Connacht, slender consonants are realised in a different manner to more southern dialects, so you find slender 'd' and 't', for instance, sounding like 'j' [dʒ] and 'ch' [tʃ] in English.

The realisation of the slender 'r' is slightly different in Donegal and North Connacht. In Irish, the slender 'r' is a voiced alveolar fricative tap, so it sounds almost like you're pronouncing an 'r' and a 'j' at the same time. It's very much like the 'rz' in Polish, if you've heard that. Further south, the fricative part dominates, whereas further north, the 'r' part dominates, with the tap almost, but not quite becoming a trill. You can here the difference here: http://www.teanglann.ie/en/fuaim/abair - I have had speakers of Munster Irish correct my pronunciation where I've pronounced it similarly to the Donegal Irish speaker pronounces it there, which is very, very annoying and makes me want to correct their 'misplaced' stress just to annoy them back. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gliddon

I find the regionalism of Irish fascinating, but--not being in Ireland--almost meaningless in practice. If I'm ever in a situation where I'm actually speaking Irish with a native speaker, I'm certain my English accent will be thick enough to cut with a knife. I'm also certain I'll be forgiven for not adhering to regional rules. Who makes up these rules, anyhow? ;-)

I'm watching old episodes of "Ros na Rún" on YouTube to accustom my ear to the multiplicity of accents. Some of the characters' accents are pretty blurred...others crystal clear...but it does give me a sense of just how fluid the pronunciation of a simple "Go raibh maith agat" or "Slán agat" can be.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elorac72
  • 22
  • 15
  • 14
  • 13
  • 10
  • 10
  • 3
  • 3

Ah, that explains why it suddenly sounds different.

I'm not qualified to judge pronunciation, but it sounds clear to me, though too quiet. Any chance of turning the volume up? Turning my phone volume up enough to hear it (in a quiet living room) makes the chime at the end of the lesson awfully loud.

Also, does this mean that we'll be getting more of the course content covered by the audio? I'm really struggling with how to say things because there just aren't enough examples to figure out the rules by trial and error. Having looked for some rules elsewhere on the net I'm starting to get it, but it would have been really helpful to be able to match the way a word is spelled with the way it is said from the start.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cdub4language
  • 22
  • 21
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 10
  • 3
  • 3

Have you used Abair? Select a dialect/voice, copy/paste a text, then choose speed and synthesize. This has helped me loads with matching text to speech.

http://www.abair.tcd.ie/?lang=engpage=synthesissynth=gdview=listenspeed=Gn%C3%A1thluaspitch=1.0xpos=ypos=colors=default

Videos with subtitles on youtube help too, especially if they aren't too fast like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSaGgiKjLqE

My assumption is that they probably won't request new audio until they finish Tree 2.0, so they can request all at once, but I'm just guessing here.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elorac72
  • 22
  • 15
  • 14
  • 13
  • 10
  • 10
  • 3
  • 3

Thanks, I'll have a look a that - will be useful for reviewing things at home.

I do a lot of the new lessons my phone while commuting though so it's not particularly convenient, and there's something about linking the sound, the spelling and the picture at the same time that helps words sink in. The Portuguese course has a lot more audio for the individual words, so I hope they manage to do that for Irish when they update the tree. (Ironically the Portuguese isn't very helpful to me either as they use Brazilian pronunciation so I've been advised not to use it for European Portuguese - hopefully the next language I try I'll be able to make full use of the audio!)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cdub4language
  • 22
  • 21
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 10
  • 3
  • 3

I understand that human-recorded audio will not be put on the single-word exercises with images, unfortunately. We have the same issue with Esperanto.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elorac72
  • 22
  • 15
  • 14
  • 13
  • 10
  • 10
  • 3
  • 3

I didn't notice the lack so much in Esperanto - its pronunciation is far less difficult for an English speaker than Irish!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sheshesh
Plus
  • 22
  • 16
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 6
  • 174

As a non-Irish speaker, this new voice is very hard for me to understand. From the beginning, I have been keeping notes (very detailed, almost scary notes!) and I find this thread interesting because so many say she sounds more like a natural Irish speaker. But, I have found in my notes that most of the old pronunciations are OK as well. For example, the new voice pronounces leabhar with a "Y" sound, like Connacht, and the old voice sounded much like Munster. My plan is to just "start over" and go with learning the words as pronounced by the new voice. For those of you who are seasoned Irish speakers, do you think starting over will help me gain a better ear for the language? Thanks for your input :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/avrichard
  • 14
  • 14
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3

The old voice didn't sound like Munster exactly - she sounded like an English speaker who had learnt from a Munster speaker (for example, she said inniuV for today and stuff).

Probably the majority of the old voice's pronunciations were ok, but there were plenty of sounds she didn't pronounce anything like a native would. This one is much better in that regard... They just need to fix the volume issue.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EscapedAlone

Sorry to be grumpy but I'm hating the new audio. The volume issue is a nightmare, I have to keep turning my speakers up almost as far as they will go to even begin to hear it, then I'll suddenly get a sentence in the old audio and get deafened, as well as by the tones. And if I do manage to hear what she's saying I can't understand a word. I'm sure this is more accurate as to how Irish people actually speak, but it's much to quick and garbled. When you are trying to learn a language you need to hear things pronounced slowly and clearly. Really unimpressed.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CynthiaRose20
  • 21
  • 20
  • 15
  • 15
  • 11
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8

I miss the old voice. I don't understand anything the new person is saying. Maybe I just have to get used to the accent.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/talideon
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 22
  • 20
  • 13

Their pronunciation is much, much closer to how actual Irish speakers speak.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PfifltriggPi
  • 20
  • 16
  • 16
  • 15

YEAH! Yes! I am so excited! Go raibh maith agaibh!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/davidcwalls
Mod
Plus
  • 25
  • 25
  • 22
  • 12
  • 8
  • 4
  • 2032

It sounds great, thanks! Now I've got to relearn how she says things for the audio-only exercises. But, I am happy to do so, especially since I don't have to check teanglann/forvo/abair after every item anymore.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DarthPontifex

Oh jaysus, I thought I was going mad! It started working for me between one lesson and the next, and I was sooo confused.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I got a "Type what you hear" exercise (An ghealach) that didn't have any audio, just silence. (This may have been a temporary issue, as I see that the speaker icon has now been removed from the discussion page for that sentence).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

I had a few of these, and reported where I found them.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/djzeus01
  • 15
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4

So I'm not going mad, and it's not an internet connection issue! Thanks. OK, I'll just report them from now on.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bemk92
  • 25
  • 14
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 3
  • 758

Nope, not going mad, not having internet issues (or at least, that's not the source of this particular issue).

Looking at this from a systems design perspective, I'd say this could be fixed within a week, if they have the automation set up correctly.

If they don't .... well, let's wish the volunteers good luck, and just sit there being patient.

This would actually be really interesting to know. @developers/course builders/admins: Do you have a big red: "Regenerate exercises" button that should only be pressed in the event of bulk changes, such as is the case with these audio changes, and are we now waiting for a cache to sync up, or do you have to go through all of these exercises by hand, figuring out which ones are broken and fixing them one by one?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bemk92
  • 25
  • 14
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 3
  • 758

I haven't had a single one of those phrases lacking audio in the listening exercises, so I suppose they've either worked very hard, or have proper automation in place.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Nope, I'm still getting them - I reported 2 or 3 this morning (and I only did 2 lessons).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/becky3086
  • 22
  • 16
  • 9
  • 8
  • 5
  • 4

I got one just yesterday. I did report it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dfpeterson
  • 23
  • 22
  • 22
  • 1258

I just had this issue as well. They were both in the Education module (I think one was "an abairt" I forget what the other was, but I submitted errors for both).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I see someone else had a similar problem with An seachadann sibh?.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jack.hanley

I've had many of these also.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kevolutionary
  • 21
  • 19
  • 15
  • 13
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4

Cén fáth?! The new audio is so quiet an unclear. What was wrong with the old one? I can't understand anything now. Is there any way I can get back the old one?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/talideon
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 22
  • 20
  • 13

No, and you're genuinely better off without it. The old audio was very, very misleading. This new audio isn't. If you learned pronunciation from the old audio, you would sound very, very odd and have difficultly understanding other speakers.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

As someone who learned Irish in school, (quite a few years back), I'd have to disagree. While there were some very definite mistakes in the old audio, the vast majority of learners of Irish in Ireland sound a lot more like the old speaker than the new speaker (I'm not saying that's a good thing, but there was nothing "odd" about the previous speaker, in that respect).

While this speaker clearly speaks better Irish than the previous speaker, I've already encountered a number of sentences where I would have difficulty transcribing what she is saying, either because of the speed that she speaking, poor enunciation, or an unusual pronunciation, (1, 2, 3) despite repeated listening, which isn't ideal in a teaching environment. (Clearly, in real life you do have to deal with all these situations, but I don't know that you're thrown into those situations in other Duolingo courses).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

Those sentences are pretty clear native-sounding Irish. I don't consider any of them to have poor enunciation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

I hope that my listening skills will improve over time — I’ve listened to #3 several times, and siad in that exercise still sounds like sibh to me. Perhaps I’ll learn to distinguish them better as I hear more of the new recordings.

EDIT #1: Also, orthu sounds like ort to me in this exercise.

EDIT #2: The linked discussion in edit #1 above with the orthu vs. ort comparison (the exercise was Tá cónaí orthu i dteach ollmhór i ndeisceart Bhaile Átha Cliath) has apparently been removed.

EDIT #3: Do sounds like mo to me in this exercise.

EDIT #4: Duit sounds like “debt” to me in this exercise.

EDIT #5: Na sounds like ma to me in this exercise and this exercise.

EDIT #6: Uaim sounds like uainn to me in this exercise.

EDIT #7: Éan and díon sound like éam and díom respectively to me in this exercise.

EDIT #8: The exercise Tá púdar uaim has a recording of Tá púdar agam.

EDIT #9: sounds like na to me in this exercise.

EDIT #10: The exercise An í sin an timpiste? has a recording of Is í sin an timpiste? (with an interrogatory intonation).

EDIT #11: The exercise Tá an tSín san Áise has a recording of (what sounds to me like) Tá cónaí ar na naimhde san Ísiltír.

EDIT #12: The exercise Ag an bpósadh has a recording of Na póstaí.

EDIT #13: Móin sounds like “moon” (with a broad N) to me in this exercise.

EDIT #14: Bolcáin sounds like bolcán to me in this exercise.

EDIT #15: Bhláth sounds like bláth to me in this exercise.

EDIT #16: Márta sounds closer to Máirtea to me in this exercise.

EDIT #17: M’anraith sounds like mo anraith to me in this exercise.

EDIT #18: Cad sounds like Tad to me in this exercise.

EDIT #19: Itheann sounds like Ichim to me in this exercise.

EDIT #20: Do sounds like mo to me in this exercise — it’s the reverse translation of #3 above.

EDIT #21: Another case of siad sounding like sibh is in this exercise.

EDIT #22: Úsáidimid sounds like úsáidim in this exercise.

EDIT #23: M’uncail sounds like mo uncail to me in this exercise.

EDIT #24: Bhí sounds like to me in this exercise.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

In Irish due to the tongue being brought right up to the teeth for broad d, it can sound like v occasionally for learners, you're not the first I've heard say this. Just to let you know that is "siad" as it would be naturally pronounced.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

Yes, I think that you’re right: the velarization is key. When I try pronouncing siad with a velarized dental D, it often sounds like sibh. My guess is that when that happens, my pronunciation comes closer to /ðˠ/ than to /d̪ˠ/, and the air escaping past my tongue and teeth is what gives the /v/-like sound — not unlike how saying “thampire” (with /ð/, the voiced “th“ of “that”) could be heard as “vampire”. I think that I need to have a quicker tongue when pronouncing /d̪ˠ/.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

It's hard no doubt, I'd suggest a book from the DIAS series on whichever dialect you'd like to sound like.

Actually tell me which dialect, as the best phonological information is in academic works in Irish, which I could translate (it's trivial to do so).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

As is noted by Brian Ó Cuív and Diarmuid Ó Sé in their dialect studies. Dropping the "n" is normal amoung native speakers and hence a good model.

Make up your mind. Sometimes she drops the "n" in an, sometimes she doesn't. Unless you're arguing that it is always wrong to pronounce the "n", then the appropriate model for learners is the simplest acceptable pronunciation that most closely matches the written text.

That's not a criticism of this particular speakers ability to speak Irish, and I'm sorry that you can't seem to get past a need to defend her for something that she's not being accused of, to look at this from the point of people who can benefit most from Duolingo - in other words people who's Irish isn't good enough to understand this speaker consistently.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

Make up my mind? What?

I've been saying the same thing from the beginning, the thing the dialect studies have been saying, which is that "n" is often dropped between words beginning and ending with consonants.

Just like "I will" and "I'll", in English, except with "I'll" being a a lot more common.

I'm not "defending" her from anything, I disagree with "a'" being a bad model. Learners of English need to learn "I'll" and "I will", just as learners of Irish need to learn:

an

a'

am

ang

as forms of an. I seriously do not understand why I need to "get past defending her" and ignore three forms of "an". Do people need to get past defending anglophone speakers and never present "I'll"?

I have never claimed "an" is the only form, I've only claimed that "a'" as one of the forms of "an" is not a bad model for learners. Seriously what do I need to "make my mind up" about? Do Brian Ó Cuív and Diarmuid Ó Sé, experts on Irish, also need to "make up their minds" when they present multiple forms for "an"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

(I’m replying here because the comment that I’m actually replying to doesn’t have a Reply link.)

After listening to #3 a few dozen more times, I can occasionally (but inconsistently) identify the dental D. Since I’m familiar with /d̪/ from the speech of friends and relations around New York City, I’m puzzled by the variation. I wonder if it could be due to a playback artifact, perhaps from changes in available bandwidth.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

Might also be due to the dental d being velarised?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/talideon
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 22
  • 20
  • 13

When you're learning from somebody, you don't want to learn from a learner, you want want to learn from somebody who can speak the language natively. Learning pronunciation from a learner only serves to re-enforce bad habits.

Of those sentences, only the first one is slightly problematic, in that she speaks a little quickly. Other than that, I can't criticise her pronunciation at all. She's really clear for the most part.

With practice, it'll get easier. Give it a bit of time and see how it goes.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carey_Ann

She is speaking WAY TOO QUICKLY. Irish is no picnic to pronounce. PLEASE have the speaker SLOW DOWN.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Agreed completely, on all of this. Her pronunciation is far and away better.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kevolutionary
  • 21
  • 19
  • 15
  • 13
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4

I'm not. I can't understand what she says. It's barely audible and a different accent. The previous one was much clearer. No-one had a problem with my Irish pronunciation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ihateirony
  • 21
  • 14
  • 6
  • 193

The previous accent was probably more clear to you because it was a non-native speaker, and so it was speaking in an accent closer to English.

Nobody probably had a problem with your accent because non-native accents are common. I'd rather my accent be more close to a native one though.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

The previous voice was missing over half the phonemes of Irish and most of the other half were pronounced incorrectly, there is no way it was better or clearer.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

The barely audible is a problem. The different accent means they actually got a qualified speaker, unlike the other problem.

And just because nobody has a problem with it doesn't make it correct and native pronunciation. I'm sure you can think of many non-native English speakers who have poor pronunciation but you can still understand.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Being a native speaker does not guarantee that a speaker is a good model for learners.

Dropping the n in an is not a good model for learners. Inconsistent and/or indistinguishable pronunciation of prepositions is not a good model for learners. Idiosyncratic vowel sounds that are not easily explained by reference to typical regional pronunciation variations are not a good model for learners.

The worst part about it is that it's OK when she does any of these things, but by your own argument it will be wrong when learners make exactly the same errors, because they aren't entitled to the "native speaker free pass".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

I'm not saying that it guarantees a native speaker is a good model. Just that native speakers pronounce things correctly, by definitions, for their dialect.

The worst part about it is that it's OK when she does any of these things, but by your own argument it will be wrong when learners make exactly the same errors, because they aren't entitled to the "native speaker free pass".

That's not true at all. If a learner is making the same 'mistakes' as a native speaker, that's a good thing. It means they're acquiring the language as it is spoken by natives. It's when a learner makes mistakes that native speakers don't make, such as /k/ instead of /x/, or the lack of palatalization/velarization that issues arise.

And I haven't listened to much of her audio, so I haven't really tested for mistakes. I'm going to trust An Lon Dubh Beag and Taildeon's estimations, though, as I know the quality of their Irish study, both of the language and on linguistics.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

Dropping the "n" in "an" is a good model for learners!

Saying it's not is like saying dropping the e in "l'homme" is a bad model for French learners.

Saying "ag an ngeata" instead of "ag a' ngeata" is the same as saying "I will" rather than "I'll"

Where are these inconsistent prepositions?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patbo
  • 17
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 7
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

The German version of GnaG says that after a stressed vowel (like in "tá" in your example), (only) the "n" of the article is pronounced. This seems to match the recordings you mentioned.

I'm not sure about the right pronunciation of "an" in "an bhfuil" (though in doubt I would believe the new Duolingo speaker), but in any case it's not the article, but an interrogative particle, so the rules could be different there.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

The "n" is dropped between a word that starts with a consonant and one that ends with a consonant, I made a typo earlier. Listen to the TYI lessons and you will hear this.

This is the same as l'homme, as it is an elision in a specific phonetic context.

The only exception, is if the speaker is unnaturally speaking each word out slowly.

Ó Cuív was both an academic and a native speaker of Cork Irish.

"An bhfuil" is a seperate circumstance as is "am bun"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

First of all those examples are not between a word ending with a consonant and one beginning with a consonant as "Tá" ends with a vowel.

Secondly, in two of them "an chlann" and "an garsún", I'd try listening again, they're not using an "n", rather "ng".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

Sorry I know Irish too well, I didn't even think anybody would read it that way.

I mean:

-C an C-

In the entire TYI recordings, the female speaker always drops the n in the phonologically typical locations. The male speaker only retains the "n" in the earlier dialogues.

If you listen to a full native recordings, like Mairéad Uí Lionáird's recording of Séadna, the "n" is essentially dropped.

Munster Irish speakers do it virtually all the time, as noted in dialect studies, hence I still maintain it is a good model.

A true analogue is "I'm" and "I am" in English, except if "I'm" was said by 99 percent of speakers 99 percent of the time. Then "I'm" would be a good model.

Knocksedan's contention was that a' is a bad model. I disagree, based on being in the Gaeltacht, dialect studies and reading novels. Older novels even spelt it "a'" in those scenarios. I have seen no argument for why it is a bad model.

It might be more unclear initially, but so what? If it is what native speakers actually use how could it be bad?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

There is only one male speaker in the TYI recordings, the academic Donncha Ó Cróinín.

The reason I suggested Séadna is because it mostly consists of natural dialogue, rather than Mo Scéal Féin, which starts with a historical narrative. She often does retain the "n", as it is slow, deliberate speech. However in normal speech later in Mo Sgéal Féin and in Séadna, the "n" is not retained.

As is noted by Brian Ó Cuív and Diarmuid Ó Sé in their dialect studies. Dropping the "n" is normal amoung native speakers and hence a good model.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jack.hanley

"Dropping the "n" in "an" is a good model for learners!

Saying it's not is like saying dropping the e in 'l'homme' is a bad model for French learners.


I notice the Cork speaker in the Memrise Munster Irish course definitely pronounces the "n" in "an". Since I was told below that his Irish is high level and fully native, this makes me think that at least a significant portion of native speakers in Munster would also pronounce the "n".

Based on an admittedly small sampling, I haven't heard any native French speaker pronounce the "e" in "l'homme". I've definitely never seen any instructional materials that advised pronouncing it. Is that your experience as well?

If so, can it still be said that dropping the "n" in "an" is as universally desireable a model for learners as dropping the "e" in "l'homme"?

Or is it more like someone learning English from someone with a heavy Boston accent and dropping letters like the "r"s in "harbor" and "car". I know a guy from Boston who lives in the Western United States and the native speakers here routinely misunderstand him over this letter dropping. Conversely, we can go to Boston and they seem to understand us just fine because they know what sound that "r" is supposed to make. It's not a ridiculously terrible difference, but I'm sure the vast majority of people in the country would say (and surveys actually have said) that his accent is more prone to be misunderstood than a more neutral Western accent.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

The pronunciation of "an" in Irish depends on its phonetic environment.

It can be dropped, become "m", become "ng", for example:

an bun = am bun

an car = ang car

Dropping the "n" in certain situations in a feature of native Irish and both speakers on the old TYI recordings do it.

As Diarmuid Ó Sé reports in Gaeilge Chorca Dhuibhne (an academic description of a Munster dialect):

"Is gnáthach an consan san fhoirm 'an' a bhá idir focal dar críoch consan agus focal dar tús consan"

It is typical for the consonant of the form 'an' to be elided between a word that ends with a consonant and a word that starts with a consonant.

Brian Ó Cuív makes similar remarks in "The Irish of West Muskerry Co. Cork"

It's not really analogous to your Boston example.

It is a desirable model as it's what native speakers do.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jack.hanley

Dropping the "n" in certain situations in a feature of native Irish and both speakers on the old TYI recordings do it.

It is typical for the consonant of the form 'an' to be elided between a word that ends with a vowel and a word that starts with a consonant.


Okay, so you're not saying native speakers do it all the time, you're saying they do it in certain contexts and that academics have noted that even Cork speakers typically drop the "n" when "an" is preceded by a vowel and followed by a consonant.

Does this apply when "an" is preceded by "Tá"?

I went back and listened to all the instances of "an" I could find in the West Munster Irish course on Memrise (which apparently uses the 1961 TYI recordings of Cork speakers). In the sentences below, "an" is between a vowel and a consonant and the speakers don't seem to drop the "n". Both speakers in the recordings seem to produce it at normal strength.

"Tá an bosca lán." "Tá an leabhar caillte." "Tá an bóthar díreach." "Tá an fear tuirseach." "Tá an chlann óg."

If you are on Memrise, you might be able to hear the audio for these sentences if you click next a few times at http://www.memrise.com/course/74740/the-west-munster-irish-dialect-lesson-i/2/garden/preview/. Or maybe you already have these recordings in some other format?

So, does that mean: 1) there is a special exception for "an" being preceded by "Tá", 2) that native speakers only sometimes drop the "n" when "an" is between a vowel and a consonant, 3) that these two particular native Cork speakers just disagree with the academics, or 4) something else?

Having said that, it seems that both of the speakers in those 1961 TYI recordings drop the "n" whenever "an bhfuil" appears at the beginning of a sentence.

It sounds like the new duolingo speaker does pronounce the "n" in "an bhfuil": https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4438005 https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4552833

So, It's starting to look to me like this dropping of the "n" in "an" happens at different times in different dialects and that even within a dialect, native speakers may disagree with academics as to when it should happen.

I don't know if that's as universal as dropping the "e" in "l'homme", but I am definitely glad to have participated in this conversation and to have learned about it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jack.hanley

The "n" is dropped between a word that starts with a consonant and one that ends with a consonant, I made a typo earlier. Listen to the TYI lessons and you will hear this.


Okay, so of the 1961 TYI recordings I identified earlier there are several that should fit that rule, right? The following have "an" between words that start and end in consonants:

Tá an leabhar caillte." "Tá an bóthar díreach." "Tá an fear tuirseach." "Tá an chlann óg." "Tá an garsún breoite."

They seem to be pronouncing the "n" at normal strength in these.

If we chalk these (and the difference in "an bhfuil") up to the idea that "the speaker is unnaturally speaking each word out slowly", then that kind of goes towards Knocksedan's point about enunciation in "the context of an a standalone sentence in a language teaching situation."

I don't know, it still looks to me like the Cork speakers in those recordings thought it was a good idea for learners to hear the "n" in different places than the speaker in the new audio. It's not a bad thing, it's just that there does seem to be a difference.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jack.hanley

First of all those examples are not between a word ending with a consonant and one beginning with a consonant as "Tá" ends with a vowel.


Wait a second, in your previous post you said:

"The "n" is dropped between a word that starts with a consonant and one that ends with a consonant, I made a typo earlier."

Maybe you were reversing the described word order in this earlier description? Do you really mean this scenario, below?

First word: ends with a consonant. Second word: is "an" Third word: starts with a consonant

If so, the 1961 TYI recordings also have the following sentences where the second "an" in each sentence matches the scenario above:

"Ná fuil an bainne géar? Tá." "An bhfuil an dinnéar ullamh?" "Ná fuil an lá garbh?" "An bhfuil an tsúil tinn?"

Those are all pronounced by the male speaker(s) and they don't drop the "n" in the second "an", at least to my weak ears. They do drop the "n" in the first "an" as I described in my earlier post (and unlike the new duolingo speaker in the two recordings I posted).

The female speaker does drop the "n" in the second "an" in: "An bhfuil an tsráid fliuch?"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jack.hanley

Okay, I get what you're saying.

Out of curiosity, I did just go back and listen to Mairéad Uí Lionáird's recording of the first few paragraphs of the first chapter of Mo Sgéal Féin. It might just be my uncultivated ears. But, in that recording it sounds like she is pronouncing "an" between consonants with a voiced "n" just like the male speakers in the 1961 TYI recordings I have heard. Maybe to others it sounds like the "n" is dropped there.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

There are plenty of native English speakers with poor pronunciation that people can still understand, but that still wouldn't justify using them as a model for teaching learners of English.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

Yes there are natives who are not the best to learn from due to mumbling, poor enunciation, e.t.c.

However that is an abstract discussion. This native speaker that is actually on Duolingo speaks pretty clear native Irish

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cdub4language
  • 22
  • 21
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 10
  • 3
  • 3

Yeah, for any language... I work in France, and one of my colleagues mumbles horrendously. I'd feel sorry for the person who has to learn French from him. Another speaks super quietly. Fortunately my boss enunciates well! All native speakers, but not all equal for foreigners trying to learn French.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Native speakers by definition can't have poor pronunciation. They might in the standard, but the standard is not most people's native language. In the case of the former speaker, she was not speaking the standard or any dialect accurately.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jack.hanley

Well, my comprehension in the listening exercises has definitely plummeted. I basically have no idea what she's saying. In one sentence, she was apparently saying "siad" and I wasn't even close to guessing that.

Since completing the tree about three weeks ago, I've been listening a little to The West Munster Irish Dialect: Lesson I course on Memrise. It looks like the audio is from the 1961 vinyl records that came with this Dillon/Ó Cróinin book: http://ia700801.us.archive.org/9/items/TeachYourselfIrish/TYI1961.pdf. I'm in no position to judge the "nativeness" of that speaker in the Munster course and I understand that I'm a super low level amateur compared to most of you. But, I definitely feel like that guy is MUCH more understandable.

Is this just a dialect thing or is his Irish less native?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

His Irish is at a very high standard, fully native. You just seem to find Munster easier to understand. Note he speaks Cork Irish which is probably one of the easier dialects for an Anglophone to distinguish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jack.hanley

Okay, that's what I had suspected. Thank you for the reply. I think this clinches it: I'm on Team Munster.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kevolutionary
  • 21
  • 19
  • 15
  • 13
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4

<UPDATE> I take it all back, the new speaker is a big improvement. Being better acquainted with the language a year on, I can appreciate the authenticity of the pronunciation.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ViefCakes
  • 16
  • 11
  • 10
  • 3
  • 3

Thanks!!! It's nice to hear more actual examples, and I have no issues with volume. But it goes too fast and there's no way to slow it down :( I wish there was, because I keep making so many mistakes. Especially for longer sentences, I just have to give up.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ihateirony
  • 21
  • 14
  • 6
  • 193

Hi alexinIreland,

This is great! I've noticed a lot of people, both here and elsewhere, speculate on the speaker's own dialect (Ulster, Connacht or something in between) and what they're speaking in the recordings (Ulster, Connacht, an caighdeán or something in between two of these or all three).

I think most would appreciate knowing what dialect they're learning, so would you be able to tell us the answers to both of these questions? And if you don't know the answer, would you be able to find out for us?

Thanks!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CrommCruach

the dialect we're learning is probably a connacht dialect that's what's taught in schools in Leinster

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/coconutlulz

An Caighdeán Oifigiúil is what's taught in schools. It's not a dialect, but rather a written standard. It's based on Connacht and Munster dialects.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CrommCruach

right I see

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Note that while An Caighdeán Oifigiúil describes the written language, the pronunciation you learn will depend very much on your teachers own backgrounds, and you probably have had different teachers during your schooling - it won't be unusual for you to have some words that you pronounce the Munster way, the Connacht way and the Ulster way.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CrommCruach

yeah I've had different teachers so I say I've mainly had connacht mixed with some munster if anything but I learned how to properly pronounce it outside of school and that was through a video which was a learner

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

If anything, it actually leans a little towards Munster (such as the use of cathain, which isn't used by native speakers in Connacht) as that's where Alex is from.

Clarification: The Duolingo course itself, not the audio.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Just to avoid any confusion, as this comment is in a sub-thread asking about the spoken dialect that Duolingo is now teaching, can you clarify you're not suggesting that the new speaker leans towards Munster, you're suggesting that the written text of the Duolingo text leans towards Munster?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/John89207
  • 20
  • 18
  • 11

I think the new voice should be spoken more slowly with clear enunciation of every word, whatever dialect is being used. Speed helps no one "abair aris e go mall, le do thoil !"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidAked

This. I've given up on the audio part. I've got bad hearing. That's not duolingo's fault, but it means new sounds to me are VERY difficult. When I'm not familiar with it, it sounds really blurred (eg. "Conas ata" sounds like "Conasta" to me). About the only ones I can understand is when it's a single word. Eilifinti! Slow it down. Have good diction. Ensure that there is clear separation of words when spoken.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThDonaghey
  • 25
  • 21
  • 6
  • 267

If you're hearing "conas tá" (as you wrote above, but stressed on first and third syllables, nach é?) you're hearing it right. Slowed down it'd sound the same, only maybe more of a break between the words. Not to worry! There's value to hearing the rhythm of the language, so you won't be as confused by actual speakers. You can hear the sound of individual words elsewhere (I've posted a few here).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Yep. Conas tá is definitely how it's pronounced (when said... most who use conas would prefer things like conas taoi or conas tánn tú)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

UPDATE: As many of you have already noticed, the volume of the audio has been turned up. Thanks to the Duo team for getting that sorted :)

Regarding the bug that some of you have been experiencing where a "type what you hear" exercise is presented but no audio plays, it would help if you could name a sentence or two specifically where you see this to help Duolingo pinpoint the issue.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I just did an exercise with 3 working "Type what you hear" questions, and thought that the issue might have been fixed, but then I got this one:

The discussion for An t-alt doesn't have a speaker symbol.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

Thanks for that! A specific example will be helpful for the Duolingo team when they're resolving the issue...they always need to be able to reproduce a bug when fixing it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Ceann amháin eile:

The discussion for An luas doesn't have a speaker icon.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dfpeterson
  • 23
  • 22
  • 22
  • 1258

When I encounter those sentences I generally try to submit an error as both "Audio does not sound correct" (or whatever it says) and in the "other" I put "No audio." Not sure what is the most helpful way to flag these.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

My personal preference if sending an "Other" report as these appear individually whereas all "Audio does not sound correct" reports are lumped together as one, so it's not very specific concerning what the user actually thought was wrong with the audio...but any kind of report will do!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

If we check both boxes, do you get two reports? Like dfpeterson, I've been ticking both boxes, putting "Type what you hear" with no audio - An luas in the freeform box. Does that get lost with the other "Audio does not sound correct" reports, and would it be better to just check the one box?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

When you do that, the reports are effectively counted as two unrelated reports. Another thing that I forgot to mention is I can check the time and date a freewrite report was received at, but can't do the same for audio reports, so the freewrite is probably better

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

@Knocksedan To be honest, it really is better to fill out the freewrite report box rather than ticking any of the other options because all of them ("Audio does not sound correct", "Hints are wrong or missing" and "Sentence is unnatural") are really too vague. Sure other reports will take longer to read through, but at least they give more specific information and make it easier to solve an issue.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

It sounds like it's better to NOT check the "Audio does not sound correct" box, and just fill in the freeform box with all the relevant details, then?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

OK, I'll bear that in mind, and I'll just stick with the freetext reports in most cases.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RyRyTheMagicGuy
  • 25
  • 20
  • 10
  • 8
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

I am trying to comment on as many of them as I can to mark them for future reference, I can reference some in this thread if need be.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

It's probably best not to comment on the discussion for the actual sentence itself - your comment will remain there, even after the issue is resolved.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

And one more.

The discussion for Ná bí ciúin doesn't have a speaker symbol.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AntAlbanach

Much better pronunciations like the slender t, d and r. Very pleased. Some of them cut out after a word or so but once I waited and retried, the whole piece would play.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knoxienne
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 23
  • 22
  • 21
  • 20
  • 19
  • 18
  • 15
  • 14
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 7
  • 6
  • 1972

Nice!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I checked some of the entries on the Sentences tab. Earlier today we were discussing Ní mí samhraidh í Mí Feabhra, and a possible audio mismatch, but it seems to have been deleted - is that related to this change (the discussion would be confusing for people reading comments about the old audio, but listening to new audio)?

In Labhraíonn said as Gaeilge go héasca it sounds like she is conjugating labhair as a 1st conjugation verb - labhreann - is that just me, or is it a dialect issue?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

To me, the í sounds shorter than I’d expected, but not as short as I’d expect *labhrann to sound — I wonder if the length of the í there is a result of the interaction with the preceding /r/ sound, since I don’t perceive the same shortness in the í in Ceannaíonn sé gach rud.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Without the ability to slow the audio down, it's very hard to distinguish the 2nd syllable of her cuireann from the 2nd syllable of her labhraíonn.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

Comparing the two recordings one immediately after the other a few times, I perceive her í in labhraíonn to be /ɪ/ and her a in cuireann to be /ə/, or perhaps even /ə̆/. (Her í in oibríonn that you’d linked to above sounds like /i/, or perhaps /iˑ/ — it doesn’t sound long enough to me to be /iː/.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din! :-)

I'm always wary of written pronunciation guides for Irish, because we have very marked accent differences, even over relatively short geographic distances, that are clearly discernable in both Irish and English, particularly in vowels sounds. As such, even outside of clear differences in dialect, I'm reluctant to say that a particular pronunciation is wrong, as long as it's comprehensible. And I don't know if her pronunciation of labhraíonn is "wrong" for someone from wherever she's from, but it's definitely hard to comprehend.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

I’m not saying that the pronunciations are wrong — I’m only saying that I perceive different vowel sounds for the same letter in different words when I listen carefully. I have no doubt that I do exactly the same thing, no matter which language I try to speak!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you were saying that the pronunciations were wrong.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mcdermottc1

Agreed, there is a volume mismatch. Loud enough to hear her clearly (though still quite softly) makes the other sounds too loud, to the point where I'm a bit hesitant to continue practicing in my office at lunchtime, even with the door closed. Some dictation sentences haven't been audible at all, and some sentences have been cut off. I'll try a different browser as soon as I have time.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

I'll send a report to Duolingo to see if they can adjust the master volume :) Until then, you could always turn off sound effects in your settings so you can turn your volume up sufficiently.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mcdermottc1

Thanks! Turning off the sound effects solved the disturbing my colleagues problem!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jack.hanley

What a nice surprise! I was strengthening a skill and suddenly heard the new audio! Go raibh maith agat, Alex!

Also: I've only heard a few of them so far, but the "dh", "gh", and "l" sounds are definitely sounding radically different (from the old audio) to my uneducated ears. With this big a change, I can see a little better now why people had a hard time with the old audio.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Adie1985

Quiet or not, this is fantastic! Thank you, guys, for all of your hard work!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThDonaghey
  • 25
  • 21
  • 6
  • 267

I'm greatly appreciating the new audio, but since I'm in my third or fourth pass through the tree I'm hungry for links to sentences that have audio, so I can study those more intensively (I'd got used to trying hard to ignore the audio and would like to make up for the lack).

Where I'm having the most trouble understanding seems to be pronouns - after two days of new audio I've already misheard sibh as siad and siad as sí. That dropped final sound seems to be playing merry hell with me - if anyone has any tips for getting comfy with that in the case of pronouns I'd appreciate it! (I haven't heard her say sí yet, but even so on the iOS app I don't get page links for the sentences I misheard.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OliverCasserley

Same problem here with me--Hearing Siad as Sí. Dúirt siad (Sí to me) gur shnámh siad(clear pronunciation) of the second siad.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AideenOo

Fairly new to the program here just under two months in. I'll join the club of people who really don't like the new voice. Pronunciation is always important but when I listen to the female voice I can barely understand, even when I'm reading along. Somewhere in between the new and old voice would have been nice. I've listened to a bit or Irish all of my life and nothing I ever heard from my family (Dublin area) has sounded the least bit like this new voice. Really big shock and honestly not loving it. I'm invested now but I feel like I have to start from the beginning again so I can understand her.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/coconutlulz

I'm from Dublin is well and the reason why it doesn't sound the same is probably because this person is not from Dublin. Does someone from Cork, Tyrone or Mayo sound like someone from Dublin? Accents change across the country - yes, even in Irish.

The new voice artist is a native speaker, unlike the previous one and unlike the majority Dublin-born speakers. She pronounces the language correctly. We Dubs do not, unless we are willing to learn from those who are native.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Thank you for this comment. It's rare to see a learner of Irish realize they're generally not pronouncing it correctly. Too often you see people justify it as their 'accent', when it's clearly just English sounds.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

I agree with galaxyrocker, fair play to you coconutlulz.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I have to say that the chauvinism displayed in these two comments demonstrates why Irish has withered to it's current state. Why the hell would anyone in Ireland bother speaking the language if they're to be treated like that?

There are plenty of Dubliners, and people from other parts of the country living in Dublin, who speak clear, accurate and fluent Irish. This insistence that, they are, by definition, "doing it wrong" because they're from Dublin, and that the reason that Aideen had never heard some of the sounds of the obscure dialect that this speaker speaks is because her family can't speak Irish properly, is judgmental, offensive and shortsighted.

I hope that Aideen hasn't just walked away in disgust at the gratuitously offensive attack on her family, and will continue to persist with her studies.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

Look, saying that anglophone speakers of Irish often have an accent is not chauvinism. Irish did not wither to its current state due to comments like mine, but due to a large complex of social reasons largely completed by 1920.

Furthermore, the speakers dialect is not that obscure and unclear as far as native speech goes, it's fairly middle of the road, it's not exactly Amhlaoibh Ó Luínse or anything. It's not my dialect and I understand her completely. If somebody, like Aideen cannot understand it, then they can't understand native Irish and hence they simply cannot be considered fluent and accurate in their comprehension, and hence highly unlikely to be fluent and accurate in production.

What are the "crazy" phonemes on display by this speaker?

If simple scientific facts cause people to walk away in disgust, well what can one do?

To Aideen, for a fluent Irish speaker, this speaker should be comprehensible. If she's not, then you just have to practice and eventually she will be.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

----We all have accents - the implication of the statement that you endorsed is that people with certain accents can't speak Irish properly.---

Well they can if they learn the phonology, it isn't impossible for them. Of course there is nothing wrong with still having an accent in a language you've learned. It's just that with Irish, people think Anglophone accents are equivalent to native Gaeltacht ones in terms of correctness. They're not.

--- I don't know where you got "crazy" phonemes from - nobody else has used that description.---

Well then, if there is nothing unusual about it, then it is a typical native accent, and hence it's suitable for learners. And if somebody has not heard the sounds of a typical Irish dialect, they simply cannot have listened to much Irish and don't have a strong command of it yet.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Clearly, we're engaged in a dialogue of the deaf. We're wasting one another's time, and everyone elses. It's not as if Duolingo is going to devote even more resources to bring Irish more in line with the other languages being taught.

It probably deserves a separate post of it's own, but I'll just put it in here - there was a program on RnaG on Monday about the attitudes of people in the Gaeltachts to strangers who speak Irish, which is somewhat relevant to the issue at hand.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elenaki.a
  • 16
  • 12
  • 7
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3

"I have to say that the chauvinism displayed in these two comments demonstrates why Irish has withered to it's current state. Why the hell would anyone in Ireland bother speaking the language if they're to be treated like that?"

I think this is a bit much. I think the point was that Dubliners (probably not the technical term) in general tend to pronounce Irish with an anglophone accent because they are a) bilingual and b) their first and most used language is English, which means they tend to use those phonemes when speaking, instead of Irish. This is not a problem specific to the Irish language and definitely not Aideen's fault.

No-one is saying it is. They are just pointing out the fact that when learning, it's better to learn how to pronounce the correct phonemes if you can.

As an example for you, most of the Greek in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (if you haven't seen the movie, this won't make sense) is spoken by actors who are clearly using American phonemes. I notice, but I also notice that my Greek occasionally sounds a bit Australian. It happens with learners of every language and generally has to do with cultural background and geographic proximity.

Although I do agree that it would be nice to have a slow down option on the audio to get used to it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I think you've missed the point - the particular phonemes associated with people from Dublin, and Cork and Mullingar, Athlone, Waterford, etc, are Irish phonemes, not English Phonemes, or American phonemes, or Australian phonemes.

It's not a trivial distinction. And it's being rolled into, and deliberately confused with, a separate contention that non-fluent speakers frequently make errors when faced with certain letter combinations. In other words, many of the errors that the previous speaker (who wasn't a Dubliner) made stemmed from the fact that she wasn't a fluent speaker, not because she wasn't a "native speaker", but the line isn't drawn between "fluent" and "non-fluent", it's drawn between "native" and "non-native". If that's where the line is drawn, and fluency isn't good enough, only "native speaker" status counts, then it explicitly excludes the vast majority of Irish people who might at least aspire to fluency, but why should we bother, if only "native-speaker" status counts?

As someone who, by definition, can never become a "native speaker", and with no emotional or family connection to any specific Gaeltacht region, I have no interest in randomly picking one particular dialect, and slavishly adopting the idiosyncrasies of it's particular set of phonemes.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

You have made several responses to different people here and seem to have given up the argument. I don't agree it's a dialogue of the deaf, I just don't knowing the phonology of the language and its state in this country agree with you.

The main point is that:

--I think you've missed the point - the particular phonemes associated with people from Dublin, and Cork and Mullingar, Athlone, Waterford, etc, are Irish phonemes, not English Phonemes, or American phonemes, or Australian phonemes.--

Although this is true, it's only true in a national sense, i.e. they are Irish phonemes because they are phonemes of dialects spoken in Ireland.

However, they are phonemes of English-language dialects. Even if they are Irish, they are phonemes of the English language. They are not Irish language phonemes and hence are incorrect in the Irish language.

Now, of course a Dubliner can pronounce Irish correctly, anybody can, I know a Japanese woman who does. However to pronounce it correctly you'd have to change your phonemes from those of the Dublin dialect of English.

--- If that's where the line is drawn, and fluency isn't good enough, only "native speaker" status counts, then it explicitly excludes the vast majority of Irish people who might at least aspire to fluency, but why should we bother, if only "native-speaker" status counts? ---

Does this bother you when you learn French? A Parisian set of phonemes is more correct in French than the set from London English. Naturally. That's not offensive. You can still learn French. That's not saying "only native speaker status counts" (counts toward what?), it's just a fact.

Same with Irish, Gaeltacht pronunciation is more correct than the unaltered pronunciation elsewhere. Somebody outside the Gaeltacht can gain the correct pronunciation by emulating a Gaeltacht speaker, if they don't then they will have an accent. Again, no problem, nobody is saying that a learner is an ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ for not sounding the same as a native speaker. It's just that their pronunciation is not as correct as that of a native Gaeltacht speaker or somebody who emulates one. As is true for every language.

I don't see why a basic fact of linguistics, that your speech will not be as correct as a native speaker without emulating a native speaker, makes language learning pointless.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elenaki.a
  • 16
  • 12
  • 7
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3

I've had to reply to this one again because we've reached the limit. As far as I know, most native Irish speakers of the dialect specific to Dublin a.k.a those who would have used these phonemes and accent, have died out. Which means that everyone in bilingual, most likely with English as their first language - it's easy for their Irish to be influenced by English phonemes. I'm not sure about all the others you've mentioned.

No-one is saying that no-one is Dublin can speak fluent Irish, nor that their pronunciation is all bad. The point is that learners should learn of someone, who, native or not, is fluent and speaks Irish with a natural accent and the correct phonemes. I don't know where you see a problem in this. I for one, would like to learn this way.

As to picking a dialect - as I understand you can't really avoid it - the nature of the standard means that it was meant as a written language, not spoken. So if you don't "pick" a dialect, your Irish just sounds all over the place, with no consistency in pronunciation. I wouldn't be the best person to judge this to be honest.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AideenOo

I've been reading this post a bit as it has developed, and wow. I didn't expect this kind of reaction. I would like to say thank you to Knocksedan, I think you're the only person here who really understands what I was trying to get at. I was actually quite surprised by the abrupt response from so many to my comments on the new voice. A little too hostile for me.

My parents happened to be visiting this week and I showed them how I'm learning Irish through Duolingo, I had them do a couple activities with me. They ended up remembering a lot more than they thought they did, which was fun. Their immediate comment on the voice was that it was 'country'. Take from that what you will, I grew up in Canada so I can't claim to understand what that would mean to someone who grew up in Ireland, especially different parts of Ireland. They did grow up around Dublin, Saggart, Rathcoole and that's the accent that I'm used to hearing. My Aunt is from Blessington, some of my cousins from Greystones. None of my family sounds a thing like the voice, so why would I want to sound that way myself? I have a Canadian accent, I only lived in Ireland for the first four years of my life, so no matter what I'm not going to sound "right". I also know that it would feel strange to speak Irish with an accent that is so unlike my family. I can't claim to be a linguist, but I am a musician, and what I sound like is honestly quite important to me, just like it would be for most people. You want to sound like where you come from. Of course I would like to speak the language properly, that's not my comment, but it seems limiting that unless Irish is my first and main language, I will be viewed as being less than. I have never encountered this school of thought with any other language I have studied, or from other people who have studied languages.

What I honestly thought I'd find in the Duolingo community was a group of people who were all excited about learning a new language, and perhaps some who were looking to brush up on some old language skills from their time in school. For me it's something I've always been curious about, part of my history. I'll keep an eye on this thread, and on things to do with the Irish program. This program isn't designed to make me a fluent speaker, it's designed to give me a nice start on the language, and is a great interactive way to learn. Until I can actually get to a level when I can speak it regularly with someone who can speak fluently, I can't hope to achieve anything near fluency.

I won't be deterred by the elitism that seems to exist with some people; I'm not doing it for you, I'm doing it for me.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

Nobody is viewing you as "being less than", we're just stating a basic fact of linguistics. She sounds different from your family because she speaks it natively and your family don't. Like the accent of somebody from anglophone Canada verses Quebecers in French.

How is this offensive?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/coconutlulz

I'm not a native speaker and I am constantly making mistakes in pronunciation and grammar. I think the word you're looking for might be 'humility' - I acknowledge that my Irish is not good enough, which is why I always strive to improve it and help others to do the same.

I don't treat any learner of Irish badly at all. I am always enthusiastic to help and that includes helping people with their pronunciation. Sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that everyone speaks Irish properly is detrimental - I know I certainly don't.

Irish has withered because it's useless to most people. It's unreal that you would blame the language's state on people who are making an effort to learn it as best they can.

-- This insistence that, they are, by definition, "doing it wrong" because they're from Dublin --

That's not what I said. You are so quick to claim offence that you are missing my point completely.

It's a bit odd that you think I'm giving out about Dublin, when I was born, reared and still live here. I'm Dub to the core.

They're not "doing it wrong" because they're from Dublin, they're "doing it wrong" because they are using English phonemes. Their actual place of birth/residence is irrelevant, however - the person can be from anywhere. You will hear incorrect pronunciation from people all over the country and abroad.

Would you correct a non-native speaker of English if they pronounced 'chair' as 'care'? What about 'road' as 'raid'? 'Super' vs 'supper'? 'Desert' vs 'dessert'? Of course you would, because native speakers of English pronounce those words in very specific ways and if you are going to learn a language, you should do so properly.

Irish, in particular, relies heavily on its phonology to communicate effectively and unambiguously.

-- who speak clear, accurate and fluent Irish. --

Yes, there are some and yet there are many who do not. How do you define 'accurate'? Urban Irish often ignores key grammatical (e.g. lenition, eclipsis, t- prothesis) and phonological (broad vs. slender distinction, á- versus ái-, [x] for ch) features.

I don't really have a problem with that; a new, urban dialect is a good thing and it should be recognised as such. However, that's not what I'm trying to speak, nor is it what this course is trying to teach. If you go to the Gaeltacht with an urban dialect, you will face difficulties in communication. I know this from experience; it was precisely these difficulties that motivated me to 'nativise' my Irish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Urban Irish often ignores key grammatical (e.g. lenition, eclipsis, t- prothesis) and phonological (broad vs. slender distinction, á- versus ái-, [x] for ch) features.

And if you don't believe this, I can easily point out at least 2 scholarly papers and a pretty hefty book that talks about the difference between Gaelscoil Irish and native Irish... With the main issues being in syntactical choices and phonemes.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Your exact words were "She pronounces the language correctly. We Dubs do not". Not "non-fluent speakers of Irish often make mistakes", just a plain and simple "We Dubs don't pronounce the language correctly", which received two explicit endorsements from people whose opinions are generally held in high regard. galaxyocker has made no secret of his disdain for the Caighdeán anyway, so we shouldn't be too surprised, but it's still an attitude that is worth challenging.

I don't know why you think that "clear, accurate and fluent Irish" includes beginner errors that are common among learners who obviously aren't fluent, but if you want to set up that strawman argument so that you can prove yourself right, go ahead.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patbo
  • 17
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 7
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

Are you doing the course because it's easy or because you want to improve your Irish?

I'm in the same situation that the new voice is challenging for me, but don't I see it as annoying, but rather as a chance to improve my comprehension of different dialects and accents. I think the old voice was leaning towards Munster, and I also have an idea what Ulster sounds like, so having Connacht thrown in is probably the best thing that could happen for my Irish to improve, exactly because it's different from what I already know.

tl;dr: Yes, it's harder, and that's a good thing.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AideenOo

I don't want to improve my Irish, I'd like to learn Irish. Apart from a few key phrases and words I don't know any. I also don't feel the need to master every dialect in the country, I'd like to sound like my family, which would be Dublin area. Had I stayed and grown up in Ireland that would be the way I'd be speaking it. If I were to go back home and practice Irish with my family with an Ulster accent I have a feeling it'd raise an eyebrow or two.

Harder, when learning, isn't always a good thing. That's why beginner courses exist, you have to build on the intro stuff before you can get to the hard stuff. If a brand new learner with an excellent ear that's already used to hearing and Irish accent can't understand the audio, that's a problem. A slow down option, the ability to repeat single words, those would help, but don't seem to be available. I'm only able to cope because I've done as much as I have already. Once I encounter new content with this new voice I'm not sure how well it's going to go. Have to wait and see!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patbo
  • 17
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 7
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

Yes, you have a few good points, but I think you need to distinguish listening and speaking.

I assume that you don't only want a secret language for your family, but that you want to be able to communicate with other Irish speakers. So while you will strive to keep your own speech close enough to what you're used, I think it's very useful to hear and understand various dialects even if you pronounce things differently yourself (which means that using other resources besides Duolingo is useful, there's a lot on the Internet).

Essentially, what I am doing is looking up any word that the Duolingo speaker pronounces differently from what I would have guessed from the spelling. teanglann.ie has pronunciations for each of the three major dialects, and I always listen to all of them. You can also read up a bit on the dialect differences to speed up things, but soon enough you will know the most important features of the speaker's dialect and how they differ from the accent you're used to. The differences are generally not that big (even if they may seem so at first if you only ever heard one single accent) and they are mostly systematic, so once you start having a feeling for them, that enables you to listen and understand one dialect, but still to pronounce the word in the other accent that you want to sound like.

Your last sentence is probably the one I would agree with most: Just wait and see. I don't think that the accent of the new speaker is inherently harder, but it seems so to you because you think you're used to an Irish accent and so all Irish accents should be easy to understand for you. In reality, I'm almost sure, it isn't worse than it was for absolute beginners, but it surely does set you back a bit – and it probably just takes some getting used to the new accent and that's it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I think it's very useful to hear and understand various dialects

Duolingo doesn't provide exposure to various dialects, it only provides exposure to a single speaker. The question is whether that single speaker should be more mindful of the needs of people who are learning Irish on Duolingo. In this regard, I think that the current speaker could be improved upon. In the context of the year long process of replacing the original speaker, that's a disappointing outcome.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patbo
  • 17
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 7
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

> Duolingo doesn't provide exposure to various dialects, it only provides exposure to a single speaker.

Yes. Ideally, it would be great to have every sentence recorded in each of the major dialects and then you get a random one. But I guess that's a tall order.

However, Duolingo is only one tool, and you can (should?) always use multiple resources, not the least in order to get the diversity that helps you deal with different speakers from different places.

Anyway, my point was that when I want to get exposure to various dialects, I probably shouldn't reject any dialect, including the one on Duolingo. In fact, I don't only not reject her dialect, but I'm glad to have this natural native Irish here because you can already find enough other resources in the "learners' dialect" on the internet, but very little native Irish resources that are suitable for (advanced) beginners.

So, yes, the current speaker could probably be even better, but I see the recent change as really helpful.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nyCnz

Thank you, Alex : )

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chilotin
  • 25
  • 22
  • 17
  • 16
  • 15
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2

It doesn't work. Some sentences are cut. In "Siúlann sé ar uisce." I only hear "Siúlann s[é]" and it is not the only case.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

Hi everyone, thanks for your feedback on the sentences being cut-off. It seems to be a technical issue with Firefox, so I'll leave it up to Duolingo to fix it. Until then, if you could try using Chrome, there doesn't seem to be any issues there :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

I haven’t had any problems with the sound being cut off on Firefox so far, so I’d recommend that people who are experiencing sound problems in Firefox also mention which version and which channel (i.e. “release” vs. “esr”) of Firefox they’re using, which operating system and which version (or service pack) of the operating system they’re running Firefox on, and that they also try running Firefox in safe mode to ensure that an add-on is not the source of the problem.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

Hi there! I just tested this particular sentence in the sentence discussion, incubator and on my own account's tree and I didn't have any issues with the audio being cut off. Could you possibly try restarting your browser or trying a different browser? If the issue persists, please post in the troubleshooting forum, as it is the best place to get help for isolated issues.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/idshanks
  • 14
  • 11
  • 5
  • 4
  • 2

Just for the sake of confirming it's not isolated to one user, I'm experiencing this too (though not on the same sentence). ‘Is cailín mé’ is the first sentence I've come across to do it. I hear ‘Is ca-’, sharply cutting off as the ‘a’ begins. Browser restart doesn't work (using Firefox), and I don't have time to try another browser (just noticed it after quickly starting the course to hear the new voices :P).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kukkuti
  • 16
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 3
  • 301

Almost all my sentences got cut off

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/proinsias123

Mine is fine.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nick733845
  • 17
  • 17
  • 7
  • 121

Hi alexinIreland,

Tried a couple lessons in Firefox and had issues with sounds not playing at all or being cut off early. Tried one of those same lessons in Chrome and it worked perfectly.

The new accent is going to take a little getting used to after hearing the old for so long.

Go Raibh Maith Agat :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CurtisGardner

Alex,

I tried basic 1 (strengthen basics 1) in Firefox and experienced what idshanks experienced. I went to Microsoft edge and did the same practice lesson and did not have any issue's. I hope this helps.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AraSigyrn
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 22
  • 19
  • 18
  • 17
  • 15
  • 13
  • 11
  • 8
  • 5
  • 1914

Ditto for a few of the sentences in the Family skill - not too problematic when it's associated with a written sentence but confusing for the longer ones.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/katiemurphy111

Yay! Great works guys!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
  • 23
  • 16
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 11
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

First off, thanks for setting up the new audio! So far it is a huge improvement over the previous iteration.

However, I'm now unable to click "Discuss Sentence" on any of the Irish questions, though it still works with the other trees I'm working on. Any idea if that's related to the new audio somehow? And any suggestions on how to fix it?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

That has happened to me very occasionally - I'll be half way through a lesson, and suddenly "Discuss Sentence" just stops responding. In every case, though, restarting the browser, (or even just a forced refresh of the page) has resolved the issue, but you don't want to do that in the middle of a lesson.

I haven't had a problem accessing "Discuss Sentence" since the audio was replaced, though, so I don't think it's a general problem. If the problem persists, verify whether it happens in a different browser, and (assuming the problem goes away), try deleting the cache on the problematic browser.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freymuth
  • 23
  • 16
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 11
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

Finishing the run and refreshing the page seems to have solved the issue, so it appears to be a coincidence. Go raibh maith agat!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

That’s happened to me every so often as well, but I’ve found that after finishing the skill in which the “Discuss sentence” button stopped working, it has without exception started working again upon starting the next skill, without needing to refresh the page, log out of Duolingo, or restart the browser.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/angelbeader

Like the new voice much better but would still like to have audio for all new words like the other courses...hopefully, that's now in the works??

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

That doesn't seem likely. The company that supplies the Text to Speech engine for many of the other languages on Duolingo does not have an TTS engine for Irish.

You can hear different regional pronunciations for many words in the Pronunciation Database/Bunachar Foghraíochta on teanglann.ie and you can listen to full sentences at abair.ie.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elenaki.a
  • 16
  • 12
  • 7
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3

Judging from all the comments, I can start the tree properly now. Thank you!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bemk92
  • 25
  • 14
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 3
  • 758

Awesome new audio. Thanks, I've been waiting for this. Giving the new experience a 8/10 (which is way up from the old voice)

There are a couple of listening exercises out there that don't seem to have any audio now.

I'll report them when they come along, but I think they're the phrases that used to have audio with the old voice and lack it with the new one.

If that could be fixed as well as amping up the new voice a little, it'd give it a 9 or maybe even a 10.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EavanM

I love it! Love it love it love it. So far I've been able to understand what she's saying, even though her accent is not as English-influenced. Her prosody is more expressive, too.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CrommCruach

I struggle with this newer audio tbh. The pronunciation seems to be different and the accent makes it harder to decipher what's being said and the volume is rather low. I find it kinda frustrating since I get most of the audio parts wrong as often the word is pronounced like a different word if I can even make out the word

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/coconutlulz

It just takes practice. Keep at it! Every learner who tries to 'nativise' their speech struggles with it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CrommCruach

right I say it'd take getting used to but it's certainly different at times even from what I hear at school

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

That's because what you hear at school is not native speech. It's learner's speech, which means it's missing most of the distinctiveness of native spoken Irish. which leads to a vicious cycle.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CrommCruach

right fair enough

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/coconutlulz

You're right! I had the same problems with regards to school Irish. Practice, practice, practice and before you know it, you'll be great at it!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Disappointed to come back after the long weekend and find that there's still a refusal to acknowledge that the new speaker might not be absolutely 100% perfect in every single respect, despite the fact that she is only human, and speaks a dialect (unspecified) that diverges slightly from An Caighdeán Oifigiúil that the course purports to teach. (In some exercises she reads out a version of the sentence that doesn't exactly match the text).

Unfortunately, those who are best placed to judge the quality of the new speakers Irish seem to have taken personal affront to the suggestion that she might not be an ideal speaker for a learning environment, taking it as an attack on the quality of her Irish, rather than as concern about her delivery in the context of a course like Duolingo.

Normally, this wouldn't matter, but if there is to be another batch of recordings made for Tree 2.0, then it would be a good idea to identify issues now that whoever records any further sentences should be aware of.

Let me be absolutely clear here that my understanding is that Duolingo is for learners. Anyone who expects to learn any language on Duolingo to a "native speaker" level of fluency is deluding themselves, and it is appropriate that the spoken Irish used in the course should be targeted at learners - it should be clear, consistent and well enunciated. "Well enunciated" doesn't mean that an experienced speaker has no problem understanding the speaker, it means that a learner should at least be able to pick out the words that the speaker is saying. Arguments about real-life speech are missing the point - there's a huge variety between different speakers speaking in different environments (in any language, not just Irish), but throwing learners into the deep end to deal with elision and dialect differences, without any explanation, isn't in their best interest. And given that it's only a single speaker, who doesn't model the width of variation that exists in day-to-day spoken Irish, it's disingenuous to argue that her own variations are helping the learner recognize "real life" Irish.

In this regard, I specifically mention dropping the n in an as an example, which lead to a discussion that might lead some readers to believe that you'd be wrong if you didn't drop the n in specific situations (for all the criticism of the previous speaker, she was never criticised for pronouncing the "n" in an, only the "g" in ag). The example that I had in mind was Tá cat ar an talamh, where she doesn't pronounce the "n" in an. In Taisteal ar an traein she does pronounce the "n". The question isn't whether it's OK to elide the "n" in an in spoken Irish, it's whether the Duolingo voice should avoid it.

There are lots of people encountering difficulties with sibh/said and se/sí, and it's not good enough to excuse this with "She's a native speaker, deal with it". In ordinary speech, you'd usually have enough context to make out the difference, but not in the single phrases used in Duolingo. If it was the case that she was pronouncing these words in a very specific and prescriptive manner that ever other Irish speaker pronounced them, it'd be one thing, but that's not the case - she's just not enunciating them.

Sometimes she rolls the r in leabhar, sometimes she doesn't, but her slender "r" is clearly distinguishable from her broad "r".

I've come across one or two sentences that appear to be simple errors (bhille) and some straightforward dialect conflicts and a few that I'm can't tell either way (libh, labhraíonn, gorma).

Before you all rush to defend the virtues of this particular speaker, please take a step back, and recognize that I'm not criticizing this speaker, or the quality of her Irish. Yes, I've highlighted a couple of instances where I think she might have made a mistake, or even, God forbid, mis-pronounced something, but she's only human, and over some three thousand recordings it's not surprising that there might be some variability and even some errors. I simply want to point out that, if there are going to be any more recordings made for Tree 2.0 (maybe we're too late for that, who knows!) then I think more emphasis needs to be put on the fact that this is a course for learners of Irish, and as such the spoken material should reflect that. That's not a criticism of this speaker, it's a matter of the instructions that she was given. It's an issue that wouldn't arise if there was a TTS voice for Irish, as for the majority of languages on Duolingo.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

Knocksedan,

No I do not think she is 100% correct all the time as, shockingly, I am aware that she is a human being who can make mistakes.

However the vast majority of mistakes pointed out, e.g. your own example of "bille", are not actual mistakes.

Now some things I think are not appropriate for learners, such as seeing "Réaltaí" and hearing "Réalta". I am aware of these things, I can recognise when phonology and orthography are presented inconsistently. I'm not denying these things.

However plenty of issues have been pointed out that are not errors. Such as the forms of "an", "bille" being in the genitive, her pronunciation of "siad". I still stand by the fact that these things are correct, based on my knowledge of Irish. I think my command of Irish is at least as good as yours, so perhaps my assessment is not due to me having some need to defend her, but comes from my understanding of Irish linguistics.

However these are the facts: She is a relatively middle of the road native speaker. She is a pretty clear speaker. Yes some things are wrong, but a lot of what has been pointed out is not.

If you found the previous speaker, who had anglophone phonology and several grammatical mistakes clearer than the current speaker, that is not because the previous speaker was better, she was simply easier for a native English speaker because she was making anglophone oriented mistakes.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pisan_de_Paris
  • 25
  • 25
  • 24
  • 19
  • 18
  • 16
  • 10
  • 8
  • 61

I would add one more thing: I think the new voice speaks more quickly than the old one. I realize that native speakers may possibly speak rapidly, but it is very difficult to make out the sounds. Another difficulty, of course, is that I was becoming attuned to the previous voice, so have to do that part again. Even so, speaking a little more slowly and distinctly than the norm is usually considered more desirable when teaching rank beginners, as some of us are. I am no expert in the Irish language, but I am a very experienced learner of foreign languages in general. It is too bad that the words cannot be played individually, as that would make it easier to master how those words sound, spoken by this voice.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I think my command of Irish is at least as good as yours

I'd be disappointed if your Irish wasn't wasn't considerably better than mine, but that just puts me in a slightly better position than you to judge the current speakers suitability for learners - she is harder to understand than many speakers that I hear on RnaG. This is exacerbated by the fact that context helps to fill in the gaps (and there are still many gaps in my comprehension) when I am listening to RnaG, but that context isn't always there when listening to a sentence on Duolingo (especially in "Type what you hear" exercise). Again, that's not a comment on the quality of her Irish, it's a comment on her suitability in a learning environment.

If you found the previous speaker, who had anglophone phonology and several grammatical mistakes clearer than the current speaker, that is not because the previous speaker was better, she was simply easier for a native English speaker because she was making anglophone oriented mistakes.

As someone who completed my schooling in Ireland, I wasn't listening to the previous speaker to learn what Irish sounds like. I actually benefitted enormously from the discussion about the problems in her pronunciation (because they reflected problems in my own pronunciation), and also from the false criticisms from people who (like me) were only familiar with one particular regional pronunciation, and complained when she used a pronunciation that they weren't familiar with. As a result of those discussions, I have come to recognize that the Irish that I acquired many years ago contains pronunciations from all of the 3 main dialects, and also to appreciate the variability in Irish pronunciations.

That's not a defence of the previous speaker, just to point out that every cloud has a silver lining, and I just happened to one of a small minority of users who could benefit from that silver lining. The silver lining was only available to those of us who delved into the discussions, excluding many app users, and those of us who already had enough school Irish that we were only listening to what she said, rather than how she said it, excluding just about anyone who hadn't learned Irish in school. Her (mis)pronunciations weren't better/easier for me to understand, they were just irrelevant to what Duolingo was teaching me.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

The question isn't whether it's OK to elide the "n" in an in spoken Irish, it's whether the Duolingo voice should avoid it.

And here we might disagree, but I say the answer is yes. If it's done in normal, everyday speech, it should be taught that way.

I've come across one or two sentences that appear to be simple errors (bhille)

Her "simple error" is an error on Duolingo's part. bille is a masculine noun, and it shouldn't be lenited. Generally, it would be in the genitive following chun but because it's part of the VN structure, that overrides it. So she's the one in the right on that one.

Níl mé chun an bille sin a íoc is what it should be.

As for her pronunciation of gorma, that's done by every native speaker. Irish has an epenthentic vowel, and one of the main places it comes into play is between "r" and "m". And, in fact, Wikipedia's article on Irish phonology gives gorm as a specific example of that.

A cluster of /ɾˠ, ɾʲ/, /l̪ˠ, lʲ/, or /n̪ˠ, nʲ/ followed by a labial or dorsal consonant (except the voiceless stops /pˠ, pʲ/, /k, c/) is broken up by an epenthetic vowel /ə/:[62] borb /ˈbˠɔɾˠəbˠ/ ('abrupt'), gorm /ˈɡɔɾˠəmˠ/ ('blue'), dearmad /ˈdʲaɾˠəmˠəd̪ˠ/ ('mistake'), dearfa /ˈdʲaɾˠəfˠə/ ('certain'), seirbhís /ˈʃɛɾʲəvʲiːʃ/ ('service'), fearg /ˈfʲaɾˠəɡ/ ('anger'), dorcha /ˈd̪ˠɔɾˠəxə/ ('dark'), dalba /ˈd̪ˠal̪ˠəbˠə/ ('bold'), colm /ˈkɔl̪ˠəmˠ/ ('dove'), soilbhir /ˈsˠɪlʲəvʲəɾʲ/ ('pleasant'), gealbhan /ˈɟal̪ˠəwən̪ˠ/ ('sparrow'), binb /ˈbʲɪnʲəbʲ/ ('venom'), Banba, /ˈbˠan̪ˠəbə/ (a name for Ireland), ainm /ˈanʲəmʲ/ ('name'), meanma /ˈmʲan̪ˠəmˠə/ ('mind'), ainmhí /ˈanʲəvʲiː/ ('animal').

It's not her fault if non-native speakers never learn that and do it. Or if it's not written there.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

If it’s done in normal, everyday speech, it should be taught that way.

If you taught English to people who’d had no previous exposure to it, would you teach them that the pronunciation of “want to” is “wanna”? Or would you teach them that the pronunciation could be “wanna”? If you had to choose a single pronunciation for “want to” in a recording for them, would that pronunciation be “want to” or “wanna”?

(My grammar book mentions that the article an is as a rule pronounced a’ between two consonants, and that ag is as a rule pronounced a’ before a verbal noun beginning with a consonant, so I wasn’t taken by surprise when hearing them that way. It might be a good idea to have the possible a’ pronunciation of an noted in the Basics 1 skill’s Tips and Notes, and to have the possible a’ pronunciation of ag noted in the Verbal Noun skill’s Tips and Notes.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

This is a sensible comment. Really it's that the distinction between "an" and "a'" is not similar to that of "want to" and "wanna". "an" comes in a variety of forms:

an

a'

am

ang

that I think should all be displayed to learners as they are the spoken forms of "an".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

I was trying to think of a closer comparison between the languages, but some comparisons that came to mind (e.g. the pronunciations of “aunt” in different dialects) wouldn’t be as frequently encountered as the article an is in Irish. Perhaps the contrast of /ðə/ vs. /ði(ː)/ for “the” might have been a closer comparison to the variations of an.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

It's hard to think of a direct comparison and I know you know this, I hope I didn't come across as talking down, my response was more phrased for others. I tried le and l' in French myself, but that's not really the same either.

Really, it's just that "an" has several spoken forms in Irish. Any native speaker will use them all within a short time span.

/ðə/ vs. /ði(ː)/ is good, if we alter it to imagine an English where /ðə/ vs. /ði(ː)/ are in free variation in all dialects.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

No, you didn’t come across that way — I know that it’s something of a balancing act to both address a point and to maximize its comprehensibility for other interested readers with an unknown level of knowledge on a topic.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

I would teach 'wanna' unless it was specifically a course for more formal English. 'Wanna' is common enough for me that 'want to' sounds very unnatural and formal to my ears.

There's also the difference in that English has a spoken standard (or three) whereas Irish doesn't. Spoken Irish was always intended to be dialectal, with just a written standard. And since all dialects (afaik) have that pronunciation of an, I think it's good to teach it.

I would agree with putting it in the tips and explanations, though. That way if they read it (these need to be made available on the app! ) they'll at least have some idea of what's happening.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

Perhaps it’s an age difference between us (I’m from the tail-end of the Baby Boom), but I don’t consider the pronunciation “want to” to be unnatural or particularly formal — I consider e.g. both the Beatles’ song I Want to Tell You and the Ramones’ song I Wanna Be Sedated as being within the range of “natural”, colloquial pronunciations of “want to”.

I agree that teaching the range of pronunciations of an is a good idea, just as I would say that teaching the range of pronunciations of want to is a good idea. However, I would not teach that “wanna” is the primary pronunciation of “want to”, and I’d use the “want to” pronunciation in a recording if I could only choose one pronunciation. (Note that “wanna” can also be used as an alternative pronunciation of “want a”.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Perhaps it’s an age difference between us (I’m from the tail-end of the Baby Boom), but I don’t consider the pronunciation “want to” to be unnatural or particularly formal — I consider e.g. both the Beatles’ song I Want to Tell You and the Ramones’ song I Wanna Be Sedated as being within the range of “natural”, colloquial pronunciations of “want to”.

Perhaps. I'm a 90's kid myself. But, when just saying it out loud, I want to Tell You often becomes 'wanna' unless I'm focusing, in which case it sounds weird. I Wanna Be Sedated just sounds a much more natural to me (and I would likely pronounce it the same way even if it used 'want to').

Note that “wanna” can also be used as an alternative pronunciation of “want a”

There's a difference between wanna and want a in my speech, at least.

However, I would not teach that “wanna” is the primary pronunciation of “want to”, and I’d use the “want to” pronunciation in a recording if I could only choose one pronunciation.

Perhaps that's just a difference in what we want out of language learning stuff? I want to hear what is most natural, most common, among native speakers, regardless of how well it matches to the written language or standard language, which is why I'd rather see wanna if I was learning English. It's the same with me in Irish, too.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cinzia47
  • 25
  • 10
  • 6
  • 167

galaxyrocker - "wanna" is NOT common in Britain. It may be so in the USA but it is not used here in Britain, apart from, perhaps, by people who are visitors here.
Re. the speaker - Duo seems to have increased the volume and I now have no problem hearing what is said. However, I would appreciate the "snail" button, which is available on the Italian and German courses.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

So is she wrong when she does pronounce the "n" or just inconsistent? If she's inconsistent, is that appropriate for Duolingo?

I take your point on bille - it's (Níl mé chun) (an bille sin a íoc), not (Níl mé) (chun an bhille sin) (a íoc).

You missed the point on gorma - being from Ireland, I'm quite familiar with epenthentic vowels. I was commenting on the fact that you can't tell whether she is saying gorm or gorma.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

So is she wrong when she does pronounce the "n" or just inconsistent? If she's inconsistent, is that appropriate for Duolingo?

It doesn't always get dropped, as An Lon Dubh explained. I'd have to hear sentences where she keeps it to know if it's in an environment where it should be dropped or not.

I was commenting on the fact that you can't tell whether she is saying gorm or gorma.

It clearly sounds like gorma to me.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

I agree with Knocksedan on gorma agam — to me, it sounds as though an A is being elided, as if it were either gorma ’gam or gorm’ agam.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

I'm hearing /ˈɡɔɾˠəmˠə ˈaɡəmˠ/. The schwa at the end of gorma is certainly not long, but I'm definitely hearing it, and as a distinct vowel from the first sound of "agam"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

I’ve listened to it a couple of dozen more times, and I can’t discern that final schwa — it still sounds like gorm’ agam to me. More Nuacht TG4 training is in order for me, I guess!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThDonaghey
  • 25
  • 21
  • 6
  • 267

I'm not interested in piling on the new speaker - while I've yet to have a conversation in Irish with another human being I've been at the Duolingo for the last year and apart from the pronoun issue I mentioned awhile back I've found the audio clear and not terribly surprising (I'd been exposed to disappearing sounds in "an" in Memrise exercises, for instance). So I'm a big thumbs up on what I see as a clear improvement. She speaks quickly, but I believe that's pretty typical. This audio is much more of what I feel I need. (And I don't really miss the now-too-loud chimes I've had to disable to amp the volume to where I need it.)

That said, after reading comments on the bille/bhille grammar error revealed by the new audio, I'd love feedback on the sentence in https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4352697 - the last word sounds to me like "bláth" rather than the written "bhláth" and I'm wondering if that's dialectic or incorrect or reveals another grammar error. I've yet to find that one elsewhere on the Web. GRMA...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

After spending over a year doing Irish on Duolingo, and reaching level 23 (Comhgairdeas, dála an scéil) , I imagine that you've trained your ear a bit by listening to some other sources on the internet, and you've obviously repeatedly strengthened many of the skills on the Irish Tree - but you're in a pretty small minority.

Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has made it through the first dozen or so skills, with maybe a quarter of the exercises having any audio at all, most of which would be a single noun, or a very simple phrase, suddenly being confronted with a more complex sentence spoken at full speed, with ellisions and regional variations in vocabulary that don't match the written text. It doesn't happen in other languages courses on Duolingo. I'd be interested to see how drop-out rates for new users look like in a month or two, and how they compare to last month or the month before (though Duolingo is very unlikely to ever reveal such data).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThDonaghey
  • 25
  • 21
  • 6
  • 267

I can't speak to others' experience, but my listening comprehension isn't what it should be. I sympathize with the trouble folks are having with the new audio. My perspective is that knowing you can't trust the provided audio was no improvement on this new pretty decent audio that moves too fast to easily figure out. I'm listening to the new samples a bunch of times each (particularly when I've totally misheard it in an audio only exercise - it's still available when I've got the correct text before me) to get the sense of it. And I do get it. And if I don't still have it the next time I hear it, I'll know it the time after that. I believe I've got time.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThDonaghey
  • 25
  • 21
  • 6
  • 267

(I should add: I'm mostly listening to the audio several times each because it's frankly such a relief to hear a clear voice saying sentences I have in print - much like my childhood books that came with a phonograph recording. I've made some use of teanglann.ie and abair.tcd.ie for pronunciation and recommend them. I'd say my comprehension of the new speaker is well over 80%. And as far as the dialects go, I'm trying hard not to worry about that. My great-granddad's Tyrone dialect is gone and my cousins still there may or may not have any Irish. I'd like to be comprehensible in the Gaeltachtaí and understand as much as possible from the various dialects. If I want to purify mine - and I'm not sure I'm young enough for that! - I'll have to go spend time, won't I? So consider this a vote of support for everyone working on their Irish. There are many roads up the mountain. Just keep heading upward and enjoy the views.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/becky3086
  • 22
  • 16
  • 9
  • 8
  • 5
  • 4

I myself cannot understand the new speaker at all. I have not been on Duolingo for long but have made it through about half the lessons. I am really struggling now though. I can't even make it through the beginning lessons because they ask you to listen to this speaker and write the sentence after only seeing it once. I can't do it so it knocks me back down, then I get a few multiple choice, then more of the writing--that I still can't do. I have given up trying to keep any kind of "streak" going. I don't really care anymore. The course has just gotten too hard and is giving me really long words and sentences that I don't really feel will ever be useful to me. I am going to be one of the above drop-outs. I still have memrise and just got my Gaeilge Gan Stro book and CD's so I'll just continue with those and maybe I'll start over with Duo and do the lessons I have already done--at least up until it gets too hard again...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brighid
  • 13
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Don't give up Becky. It's harder because you are not used to hearing a native speaker. With practice you will train your ear to the new sounds. It's a good idea to start over.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

It sounds like gan bláth to me as well. There are some circumstances in which gan does not lenite the following noun, but I don’t think that gan bláth would qualify as any of them; I think that it ought to be gan bhláth. (The proper name Bláth would remain unlenited: gan Bláth. I’m not aware of any dialectal differences on when gan lenites and when it doesn’t, but I hope that someone will chime in if there are dialectal differences.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kevolutionary
  • 21
  • 19
  • 15
  • 13
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4

Thanks for clearing that one up. Could you tell me what the deal is with the way she pronounces 'mná'?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Pronouncing mná as if it were written mrá is done by the majority of native speakers, being common in Connacht and Donegal (and parts of Munster, I believe). It's a regular sound change, where /n/ is realized as /r/ after a consonant that isn't /s/.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kevolutionary
  • 21
  • 19
  • 15
  • 13
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4

Grma!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

Pronouncing "mná" as "mrá" is pretty standard in Connacht and Ulster (see here), so her pronunciation is correct.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

It's word reiterating, though, that pronouncing it with an "n" sound is also correct - in fact it's by far the more common pronunciation used in Ireland today. (Most notably, of course, when Mary Robinson addressed Mná na hÉireann).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

As galaxyrocker and alexinIreland have said, this n-r sound is common in Connacht and Ulster Irish. You can hear another example of it on Duolingo in Chonaic siad na cnoic glasa, and you can hear it on teanglann.ie in the Connacht and Ulster pronunciations of (cnoc, cnámh and de ghnáth, (though the new speaker doesn't exhibit this in her de ghnáth)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brighid
  • 13
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Maybe it's because "de ghnáth" is less common in Connacht than "go hundúil". So it's not a word that's learned naturally.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

You're probably right - but it's just an illustration of the fallacy of the idea that this speakers way of pronouncing Irish is "the" right way to pronounce Irish. She does override the written text quite a bit (particularly noticable with some plurals that are dialect specific), but going from de gnáth to go hundúil would probably have been going to far :-)

Especially for "lone-learners", the deviations between the written text and the dialect spoken by this speaker can be confusing. At least on the website, there is some chance that they are reading the comments, and getting some insight into what's going on, but the majority of Duolingo users use one of the apps, and I can only imagine that the frustration levels have increased substantially.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OliverCasserley

This n-r sound is also used in the word "gno" -- sounds like gro- according to my 16 y.o. Donegal granddaughter.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brighid
  • 13
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Like my above comment, " gnó" is not a Conamara word so we pronounce it like like it would be in it's original dialect. We say "gra/grath" in Conamara.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

The new speaker doesn't pronounce gnó with an r sound.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Another interesting example of this n-to-r sound change is cniotáil - the Irish for "knitting".

I don't now the etymology of cniotáil, but it looks like a borrowing from English. It still ends up, though, being pronounced "critawl" in Connacht Irish

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

Dinneen noted that cníotálaim is of Anglo-Irish origin.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OliverCasserley

Go raibh maith agat. Knocksedan.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kevolutionary
  • 21
  • 19
  • 15
  • 13
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4

Couldn't have said it better myself. After a fortnight of battling with these whispers, I'm still baffled by her. : /

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheChessWizard

that is one of the longest comments that i have seen

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Glenn0666

Oh dear! I understand everyone's comments about the new voice being a native speaker, but I thought I was starting to get the hang of the language and now I can hardly understand a word she says! How discouraging!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SamanthaBe50453

The volume is way too low and the speaker speaks too fast.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/John89207
  • 20
  • 18
  • 11

ta se go hiontach!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Daly.Kevin
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 12
  • 12
  • 109

Like a number of other people I've found the audio pretty quiet - I don't have a problem with the speaker speaking indistinctly in places, because that's how real people speak, but it would be easier if it was louder. In the best of all possible worlds it'd be great to have the same passage read by Munster, Connacht and Ulster speakers, but I realise that's not practical.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fe2h2o
  • 22
  • 19
  • 10
  • 7
  • 5
  • 2
  • 430

So cool! I just did a lesson and it sounded so different! (Failed the listening exercise however, will take some getting used to!) It will make revisiting earlier skills quite a bit more interesting for a while! Thanks for persevering for a better solution! (Although, I do agree on the volume thing...)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheRCPanda

Not sure if this is a problem on Duo's end or what but some of the listening exercises where I listen and type what I hear are not playing whatsoever for me, I am using Google Chrome on Windows 10 :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

It's not a general problem - I have had some "Type what you hear" exercises that have the audio, and at least one that didn't, and other people have also reported a similar problem. I notice that two of these were sentences that had been reported for pronunciation issues with the old audio - I wonder if something non-standard had been done for those sentences in the past that got messed up when the new audio was uploaded (pure speculation on my part).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheRCPanda

Yeah, some of them work for me but there always seems to be at least 1 per skill that doesn't work so far.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Did you notice whether the comments on the one's that didn't work contained complaints about the previous speaker's pronunciation?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheRCPanda

Didn't check stupidly :(

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

No big deal - you'll have more opportunities :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeesKiwi
  • 20
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2

Nice! The new audio seems a lot more comprehensive than the old. Thank you for the hard work.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PolMicheal
  • 20
  • 19
  • 19
  • 17
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 6
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2
  • 155

I just reviewed a couple skills. I think the new audio is great! The only problem I'm really having somewhat (as others have noted) is that the volume is too low.

I appreciate the time spent on the audio and I'm looking forward to the Irish tree 2.0! Is í an teanga is áile í an Ghaeilge!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SeamusOD2
  • 14
  • 12
  • 11

I have to agree with the comments about the sound level for the new speaker. I use a laptop and don't usually have speakers attached. The sound is so low I can't really judge how well she is speaking...or how quickly. If the new speaker is better then it would be a great help if Duo can crank up the volume so I can actually hear what she is saying. Kinda brings a whole new meaning to "cogar".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BjornsenBjorn
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 5

Really like the new voice, I think the pronunciation is definitely better, but the voice is way too quiet! I have to strain to hear her... please fix?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/4meerschweinchen
  • 25
  • 21
  • 13
  • 10
  • 6
  • 6
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2

i agree that the volume is too low and i have to turn my speakers up all the way to hear it, BUT it's still awesome to have new better audio and i'm super excited :) go raibh maith agaibh Duolingo team!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrainyPirate
Plus
  • 18
  • 16
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 85

Oh, now I wish I had waited to do the Irish course -- I had already finished the tree, but this new audio sounds great!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cdub4language
  • 22
  • 21
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 10
  • 3
  • 3

And this is why I've been waiting to start the tree since January ;-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EricaDakin
  • 20
  • 20
  • 20
  • 20
  • 20
  • 16
  • 14
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 1188

Definitely echo all the other comments about the volume - there's no point in switching off the sounds etc. when the volume of this speaker doesn't match the volume of all the other speakers in the other languages I'm learning. I really don't want to have to constantly adjust my volume between languages.

Other than that, great! :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

I've sent a report to Duolingo to see if they can adjust the master volume of the audio, so I'm just waiting for them to get back to me on that front :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EricaDakin
  • 20
  • 20
  • 20
  • 20
  • 20
  • 16
  • 14
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 1188

Go raibh maith agat!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

The new recording of An t-alcól seems to be of exceptionally low volume.

EDIT #1: I wrote too soon; the new recordings of An imíonn tú? Cathain? and An bhfágann tú na cailíní? are (for me) barely perceptible. If their volumes change when played at a different time, I’ll update this comment.

EDIT #2: I’d listened to Glaonn tú ar d'athair and An mbéiceann do mháthair? earlier this session, and they weren’t nearly as quiet then as they are at this time. Playback with almost imperceptible volume seems to be a separate issue from the generally low (but audible) volume of the new recordings; I wonder if this could be a (temporary) browser problem.

EDIT #3: The volumes of other recordings are still barely perceptible when reviewing a different skill (Feelings and Traits), so it doesn’t seem to automatically recover in the way that the “Discuss sentence” button does when starting a new skill. Curiously enough, the “Discuss sentence” button has now stopped working during this skill.

EDIT #4: It was my own fault — the almost imperceptible volume was due to me unknowingly dialing the volume down on my headset! (The volume dial is on the headset’s shirt clip, and the dial must have dragged against my shirt to have turned down so low. Note to self: from now on, ensure that the dial isn’t facing my shirt.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/teletype1
  • 24
  • 6
  • 1074

Alex, if it would be helpful, I am a professional audio engineer and would be willing to donate some time to help if that's possible. It's really not that hard to apply a batch amount of gain to a set of recorded files -- even a large number of them.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

Hi there! Thanks for your kind offer, but unfortunately course moderators and contributors don't have access to the technical side of the course (including audio, code, etc.), we just look after the linguistic side of things. Duolingo's own engineers take care of the rest :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/somelauw
  • 17
  • 13
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 14

Why not keep both voices?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

The pronunciations in the new recordings are much more accurate than those in the old recordings.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lizziek0
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 23
  • 20
  • 15
  • 8
  • 7
  • 32

Is there any chance of getting a slow version of all the current audio (like some other languages have). I'm on my second pass of the tree and she speaks so fast and soft that I can't understand her, especially since the accent is so different from the old one. A slower (and louder) audio would help tune the ear to the new accent.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xaxania
  • 17
  • 17
  • 14

I agree. I had to start from the beginning again to get used to the new speaker's dialect and pace. She rattles the words off at lightning speed, especially in the later lessons.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Izzie1356

Yup, audio is super quiet. On the higher levels though, I can't understand what she's saying, and a lot of the words run together to me. On a couple of clips, it's even more quiet at the beginning of the sentence then cranks back up.

I really miss the older voices.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/julietajuliette
  • 25
  • 24
  • 20
  • 17
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 8
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3

Another vote here for, Hooray but it's so quiet. It sounds like learning Irish from someone who's in the next room. I have a couple languages in which the voice is too quiet, and this is the quietest yet.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chestest

Are we able to request the old voice back? I know there are different dialects but I'm way to used to the Connemarra accent to understand this new voice very well. Or maybe offer a mix of the different dialects?

No problem with sound for me.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/avrichard
  • 14
  • 14
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3

The old voice was an English speaker with a lot of mispronunciations :) It was pretty disastrous. What you're hearing in the new voice is a native from one of the Gaeltacht regions.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElizabethS746001
Plus
  • 23
  • 20
  • 20
  • 20
  • 13
  • 13
  • 11
  • 11
  • 543

I like the new voice, it just takes some getting used to and now may have to go back since the pronunciations are pretty different than what we learned in the first 12 levels. And it would be nice to have her slow down, at least in the early lessons, sometimes I have to listen 4 or 5 times to hear all the words she is saying, and do not always get it.. I do listen to a lot of songs, videos on different Irish things, and even on TG4 to train my ear to hear it all. But some of her pronunciations escape me. A little slower to get used to this accent would be nice.

And I do not mind going back and relearning, it is practice anyway, just the speed of her pronunciation makes it a tad difficult.

Maybe someone has more suggestions on songs, movies or videos to watch or listen to to help with training the ear to hear in Irish. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/avrichard
  • 14
  • 14
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3

I completely understand your frustration with the pacing as a learner - the course I'm working with (Hebrew) will have the same issue... I'm sure we're going to get lots of complaints that there isn't a "slow" button, and that there isn't audio on every word etc. For my part, I like that she speaks at a fairly natural speed... I need to listen a few times over in parts, but no major problems.

Unfortunately, with the "real audio" courses, the recording is the recording. The limitations are out of our control, at least until someone builds a really good Irish TTS (and in our case, a Hebrew TTS that gets everything right without niqqud :)

Regards being used to the accent - I originally started studying Irish through the Pimsleur audio course, which was recorded a few decades ago using Munster speakers... So obviously a bit different in places to the Duo course!

As for this new voice, a native speaker friend of mine is fairly sure going from her accent she's from Donegal, but is making efforts to sound "neutral" and hide some of the really obvious Ulster Irishisms.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patbo
  • 17
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 7
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

As for this new voice, a native speaker friend of mine is fairly sure going from her accent she's from Donegal, but is making efforts to sound "neutral" and hide some of the really obvious Ulster Irishisms.

Did you ask him which features of her accent made him think so (if he can even tell)? Because for me, the pronunciations that were surprising at first and that I wouldn't consider "neutral", all turned out to be features of Connacht Irish (e.g. the pronunciation of "bord"), and almost certainly not Ulster.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/avrichard
  • 14
  • 14
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3

Dunno, I'll ask. It might have been a little subconscious, but he's a linguist so could probably give specifics.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

A suggestion, try some of Enya's songs, and the cartoon music videos from Cartoon Saloon

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

If you're used to Connacht Irish, you should find the new speaker easier, as that's what she speaks.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SeamusOD2
  • 14
  • 12
  • 11

I thought so. But I think I hear the odd bit of southern Donegal in the occasional word...but maybe she's just trying to throw in bits of other dialects.

She is definitely a native speaker which is probably what Duolingo students need although it is undoubtedly rough on folks who have worked hard to get where they are and are now faced with re-tuning their ears. I am a North American who has had the good fortune of having native Irish speakers from all dialects teach me over the years so it doesn't take me long to adjust to a different dialect. The only advice here for newer learners is, if the audio can be fixed and the speed of speech slowed a bit in the earlier part of the tree, then bear with it. You will end of speaking more "real" Irish, and hopefully understanding it better when you are listening to real conversations on places like TG 4.

Two valid criticisms on the new sound are the volume issue (I use earphones designed for voice comms which work very well with the new speaker. The other is the speed. I think the speaker should speak more slowly and very clearly in the earlier part of the program and then speed up gradually until the approximate normal speed of conversation is reached. It is still important to maintain absolute clarity through to the end to ensure learners "get" whatever is said clearly. This is a language learning forum so any form of speaking will be a bit artificial at any level.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/avrichard
  • 14
  • 14
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3

Regards dialect - as I mentioned above, a native speaker friend of mine is pretty sure from the accent that she's a Donegal native, but trying to sound "neutral" and avoiding the really obvious Ulsterisms.

But only the Moderators would know for certain :)

For the record, this friend I'm talking about is quite happy with this voice, and he's a pretty harsh judge. He hated the old voice so much he said it "made him weep rivers of blood" (a touch OTT melodramatic, but anyway...)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Her Irish may be Connacht Irish, but it's not Connemara Irish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bredacm

Alex, I am stuck in a lesson in which the audio is not working at all. There is no audio, so I can't answer the questions. And I can't get out of the lesson without answering the questions. Can you tell me what to do?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brighid
  • 13
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Do you mean you are asked to write what you hear, or say what you hear? If it's asking for speech from you then turning off the microphone in your settings should work. Otherwise I don't know.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

The Irish course on Duolingo doesn't have "say what you hear" exercises.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

Hi there! That's a very unusual (and very annoying issue), so hopefully I can point you in the direction of a solution. Here are a couple of things to try, starting with the fastest, simplest and most obvious ones:

1) Restart your browser and try a lesson again.

2) If you're not using it already, try using Chrome. Duolingo always recommends Chrome.

3) If you can, try doing the same lesson on the app.

4) If the above doesn't work, take a screenshot in-lesson during an exercise that should have audio, with the developer's console open and post it, along with a description of your issue in the Troubleshooting forums. That's the best place to get solutions for technical issues.

If you wish, you can disable the audio in your settings so you can at least continue with the lessons and learn new grammar and vocabulary and then re-do the lessons with audio when the issue is resolved.

Hopefully this helps!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I don't think that there can be much doubt at this point that this isn't a browser issue. It appears that there are quite a few sentences that were recorded before, but that aren't recorded now (and probably some that weren't recorded before that are recorded now), and it looks to me as though Duolingo is using the old list of sentences with audio to pick the "Type what you hear" sentences.

You can tell that some sentences that had audio don't have any audio now from the comments about the old pronunciation on sentences that no longer have any audio [1], [2]

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

I merely suggested that they try a different browser as it seemed unlikely that every sentence displayed would have been subject to the old/new audio set issues (an issue that has been reported to Duolingo, but has not yet been rectified). It is not unheard of for users to have issues with audio as a whole in other courses too, and it is usually rectified by restarting the browser or trying a different browser.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RyRyTheMagicGuy
  • 25
  • 20
  • 10
  • 8
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

I would feel comfortable saying the majority of the "Type what you hear" questions play absolutely no audio at all.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

It seems to depend on what part of the tree you are doing. I'm doing general strengthening exercises at the moment, and I've only received one "Type what you hear" exercise with no audio in the last couple of days, whereas I was receiving as many as 4 or 5 a day last week, but I'm definitely getting questions from an earlier part of the tree at the moment.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThDonaghey
  • 25
  • 21
  • 6
  • 267

Suddenly I'm very curious about which lesson you're stuck in. (If you specify, some of us can go and check it out.) Have you considered the possibility that your browser cache might be bollixed? Clearing a cache, or trying the lesson in a different browser, might clear it up for you. Luck!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lizziek0
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 23
  • 20
  • 15
  • 8
  • 7
  • 32

I've had an issue with a couple of the 'write what you hear' questions where there is no audio, although the rest of the lesson has audio. Apart from reporting it, I just type in something and then click continue. I make a note of what it should have been when the answer comes up. I can then continue on in the lesson. When the same thing happens again, I put in the answer from the first time. That seems to work - I haven't had more than one phrase with missing audio in the same lesson, though. I'm guessing you've made sure the volume is turned up because she is really quiet.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EscapedAlone

Hallelujah! I can now hear her! Thank you to whichever 'technical elves' sorted that out.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kevolutionary
  • 21
  • 19
  • 15
  • 13
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4

Second that! Only works on some exercises, though. All the same, still can't work out what she's on about a fair amount of the time. At least now I can practice on the train again!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EscapedAlone

Likewise, but at least we have a fighting chance if we can actually HEAR her! I'm finding it slightly less horrific than when it first launched, I guess we'll adjust as we go along.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Only works on some exercises, though.

That's not going to change, unless someone comes up with a suitable TTS engine. As long as the course relies on recorded audio, most sentences won't have audio.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OliverCasserley

Volume has improved greatly for the past week to ten days. To whoever is responsible ---go raibh maith agat/ agaibh.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/becky3086
  • 22
  • 16
  • 9
  • 8
  • 5
  • 4

Yes, I can hear it quite well and I am getting used to the speaker but I still run into a lot with no audio.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Olaf_B

Oh, I think the volume problem has now be solved! Awesome, thanks!

This really helps, because I often try to avoid looking at the screen and work only by listening and writing; it helps a lot with developing hearing skills and with my own pronounciation, too. (Because if I read the words, I pronounce all the vowels. From a German point of view, only half of the vowels in Irish words get pronounced, the others seem to be decorative. Though by now I think it's probably that slender by slender, broad by broad rule.)

Being able to use both the sound signals and the audio really helps.

So, thanks very much to the speaker(s) and to everyone doing the fiddly programming!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patbo
  • 17
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 7
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

From a German point of view, only half of the vowels in Irish words get pronounced, the others seem to be decorative. Though by now I think it's probably that slender by slender, broad by broad rule.

Heh, I remember feeling the same when I started off. Yes, you're right, many of the written vowels don't actually represent vowel changes, but they just indicate whether the neighbouring consonants are broad or slender (which you need to know to pronounce these consonants correctly, so the vowels aren't just decorative).

When you just start with Irish, the tricky part is figuring out which vowel is the actually spoken one and which ones only influence the consonants. You can either read it up (e.g. in Wikipedia or GnaG (link to original German version)) or try to infer it from examples, but the good news is that you'll quickly get a feeling for this.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Olaf_B

Yes, you're right, many of the written vowels don't actually represent vowel changes, but they just indicate whether the neighbouring consonants are broad or slender

Ah, that's very good to know! I read the "broad by broad, slender by slender" bit on duolingo, but I thought that only concerns the vowels. So, extra vowel = diacretic sign for consonants.

I'll read up on wikipedia, but mostly I try to practise daily (or twice daily, if I have the time) and maybe to some penpaper writing to memorize the spelling.

It is very good practise for me to have serious difficulties with a language again, English and French are too easy (what with those and German swapping words amongst each other for centuries), and I probably got too cocky. Well, pride cometh before the fall and a haughty spirit before learning Irish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patbo
  • 17
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 7
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

So, extra vowel = diacretic sign for consonants.

Kind of, yes. That's probably a good way to think of it.

I'll read up on wikipedia, but mostly I try to practise daily (or twice daily, if I have the time) and maybe to some penpaper writing to memorize the spelling.

Everyone has their own learning style, so whatever works best for you. I am a person who uses Duolingo mostly for the vocabulary and reads up the grammar elsewhere – mostly on GnaG, which is an excellent resource for anything related to Irish grammar, especially in its original German version, which is why I wanted to put the link there (you'll see many links to the English translation of an older version of it in the discussions on Duolingo, but as you indicated that you're German, it's probably useful to know that the original version exists and is often a bit better).

If such explanations of grammar are too "technical" for you, though, just practising consistently is probably the way to go, even if it may take a bit longer then.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RuthLawrence

at the moment I get no sound with the sound button questions

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RyRyTheMagicGuy
  • 25
  • 20
  • 10
  • 8
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

Unfortunately there are a lot of "Type what you hear" questions that are not playing audio. It may be be a result of a new speaker being used for the audio. Several questions that were only recorded by the old speaker are still around, but with no audio. They are a frustration, and there is no good excuse for having them, but if you can deal with a few extra questions a session, or learning to game the lessons by copying and pasting the answer, there is still a lot to learn through this course.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lisa446170

I must say that I'm disappointed that spoken phrases we are asked to translate in a lesson still have no audio component about 50percent of the time. EDIT: 100 percent of the time in the last lesson.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MatConn
  • 23
  • 22
  • 20
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 8

I hate admitting that Irish is a minor language with somewhere between a quarter and half a million people fluent in it. Duolingo Irish is the best available on the net or otherwise. It has some minor issues but frankly Irish must come way down the list in terms of urgency! In any case I am grateful that it exists at all. It is disappointing that there are issues but I love it anyway. It will be great when all bugs are finally sorted.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/supertails1025

Native English speaker here. The Irish course is pretty nice, but will the audio be expanding? I use the Spanish course where some exercises have audio like "matching pairs" or " complete sentence using words below". Will the Irish course incorporate something like that? It would be easier to learn, in my opinion, pronunciation if that happened. Just jumping into a course with little to no knowledge on such makes it highly difficult.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dubhglasM

Hi, this is a long discussion and I haven't read all of it, but I just wanted to say that I'm new to Duolingo and really, really pleased about the audio! The Duolingo audio is the first course I've come across where the speaker really seems to have the (so-called) 'slender' vs 'broad' contrast (really, palatalised vs non-palatalised or velarised). At first this threw me a bit, but I've rapidly gotten used to it and am enjoying having a good, native speaker target. Someone in the discussion said that we're kidding ourselves if we think we can reach native-speaker level... my view is even if that's true it should still be our model and target!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/baalj

I still can't here the words being said in Irish.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MonsieurLeBleu

I am using google chrome and I get no audio for introductory vocabulary and only sporadic audio for the rest of program - I have checked my French, Spanish, and Russian courses and they all work fine.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

The way the Irish course (and the Esperanto, Ukrainian, Vietnamese and Hungarian courses, for that matter) works with regards to audio is different to how courses such as German, Dutch or Russian work. For Irish, and several other languages, a suitable automated Text-To-Speech system (TTS) was not available, so sentences had to be individually recorded by a human. This means that not all sentences have audio, and individual words don't have audio (such as in "Select the Correct Image" exercises). Other courses use computerised TTS systems that automatically generate audio for words and sentences, which allows all exercises in those courses to have audio.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ihateirony
  • 21
  • 14
  • 6
  • 193

Was this decision made prior to www.abair.tcd.ie being founded? Or is there some sort of technical or legal reason that this TTS cannot be used?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

This decision was made after Abair was founded (though the Corca Dhuibhne voice wasn't available at the time). Originally, the Connemara voice on Abair was our preferred choice but then it was found that it was not compatible with Duolingo (I wasn't told much of the technicalities, so I can't go into detail), so it was then decided to get our audio from a human.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ihateirony
  • 21
  • 14
  • 6
  • 193

Fair enough. Thanks for all that. Here's hoping for a future with TTS, but for now this is great!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

While abair.ie is useful, I wouldn't consider it's output suitable for a site like Duolingo - the audio is very "buzzy", which tends to make it difficult to pick out the details of a pronunciation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ihateirony
  • 21
  • 14
  • 6
  • 193

Fair. That said, most words have nothing and it would be better than nothing.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alice54_Maree3.

I seem to get a mixture of the old voice and the new voice within the same lesson.Is this how it is supposed to be ?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexinIreland
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10

No, it is not, though it seems that the audio is taking a while to update and dissociate fully (it seems that once a sentence comes up with the old audio once, it doesn't come up with the old audio again :/) If you could share any sentences that you experience this with on my stream, I can double check what's going on! (Someone has already reported 3 sentences with the old audio, but as soon as I run my tests, the issue is fixed)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Moi3129
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 15
  • 9
  • 1213

Thanks, it's a bit more difficult, but I like this new voice.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nwwsl
  • 14
  • 9
  • 8
  • 5
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2

I have not tried it yet, but Im excited!!!!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CadetheBruce
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 16
  • 14
  • 4
  • 222

Please, please, please get Duo to adjust the volume. The other sounds are painfully loud when you use headphones and have it turned up loud enough to hear the new audio. (In truth they need to turn down the volume of the chimes/bells an ALL the trees as it's always been way too loud)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/idshanks
  • 14
  • 11
  • 5
  • 4
  • 2

I strongly agree with the suggestion of turning down the chimes/bells - I never consciously considered it, but I find those sounds extremely annoying. Really, it'd be great if there were a separate option to turn those particular extraneous sounds off completely, and only have to worry about the essential, language-related sounds.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
  • 25
  • 1626

There is such a separate option — go to your Settings page and set the “Sound effects” radio button to “off”.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/idshanks
  • 14
  • 11
  • 5
  • 4
  • 2

:O Has this always been there? If so, how have I missed that all this time? O_o Thanks, haha

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AmyF527068

I noticed a couple sentences were much louder than the rest and might have had the old audio: - Gorm - Is maith liom an hata geal

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/haremnights

It's too quiet and difficult to hear which makes having it on the timed practice hard to actually use.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ErinJ1984
  • 17
  • 16
  • 13
  • 11

Why is it so quiet? Is anyone planning to address this? I appreciate the updates, but it appears that there are still issues with unbalanced audio - entirely too soft, meaning I have to crank it up to hear the voice and try to remember to turn it down before I continue so that I don't deafen myself with the noise that tells me I'm doing it right or wrong...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThDonaghey
  • 25
  • 21
  • 6
  • 267

As mentioned above, Duolingo have been asked to up the volume. In the short term, you can (and probably should) disable the Sound Effects setting. Within the iOS app you'll find Settings inside your Profile.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hsn626796
  • 17
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2

I really wish I could bring the old voice back. I am not only used to it, but it's the best voice of a speaker among the other voices in other languages. While the new voice is supposed to provide a better pronunciation, it is not as appealing as the old one which really sticked in my mind and let me recall whole statements after remembering the way the old voice spoke. The old one is less irritating than the new squeaky one. Is there a possible way I could choose to hear the old voice, even if it doesn't pronounce words precisely? I would really appreciate that. Thank you for your efforts.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

You're much better off with the new voice, even with its faults. But, as far as I know, there is no way to switch.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sheshesh
Plus
  • 22
  • 16
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 6
  • 174

"Welcome to Duolingo's Irish course! In this course you will learn the official standard (an Caighdeán Oifigiúil) of Irish."

Is this what the new speaker is speaking?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

An Caighdeán Oifigiúil is a written standard only - it doesn't specify pronunciation, and because of differences between the different dialects, the Caighdeán has been expanded to include different, contradictory elements in some cases.

There are some exercises where what the speaker says varies slightly from the written text, but in most of those cases both what she says and what is written are acceptable in the Caighdeán.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sheshesh
Plus
  • 22
  • 16
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 6
  • 174

GRMA, That helps. This is not an easy change me, for a new learner, but I guess time will help me adjust :) I have been focusing on the grammar, sentence structure, "the rules", etc. anyway. This was a "left curve" for me. Each lesson now takes twice as long, due to unfamiliarity. Hopefully, I will pick up on the new pronunciations sooner rather than later!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaraghNCat

I wish there was a way to hear the Munster pronunciation..If anyone else is looking for different pronunciations, I highly recommend www.teanglann.ie :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElizabethS746001
Plus
  • 23
  • 20
  • 20
  • 20
  • 13
  • 13
  • 11
  • 11
  • 543

I noticed that the pronunciations are different now. I am assuming that before it was more of the Gaeltacht accent and now the Northern Irish (Ulster) accent. I watch videos, youtube, and the new speaker sounds like the accent they use for the BBC old program, Now You're Talking Irish. I am now having to relearn how to say Irish words. While it is not off putting, it is disconcerting having to learn a different way of saying the words that I learned to say another way. Especially in the repeat what was said exercises.

I do not mean to sound critical. :)

Just wanted to point out the difference.. A heads up on the change in the accent would have helped. I only know because I have been learning the Munster/southern Ireland and the Northern Ulster (Belfast) both, since I use multiple sources for my language learning.

FYI :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patbo
  • 17
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 7
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

The new voice is the Gaeltacht one whereas the old one was a non-native accent with (some would say strong) English influence. I also think people agree meanwhile that the dialect of the new speaker belongs to somewhere in Northern Connacht. I can definitely hear that it's different from the Ulster accent used in Now You're Talking and also different from what I heard myself in Donegal.

So after doing some Munster and Ulster, you now have the chance to improve your comprehension of the third major dialect. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/avrichard
  • 14
  • 14
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3

"I am assuming that before it was more of the Gaeltacht accent and now the Northern Irish (Ulster) accent."

  • No. The old accent was an English speaker with a lot of mispronunciations :) What you're hearing in the new voice is a native from one of the Gaeltacht regions.
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElizabethS746001
Plus
  • 23
  • 20
  • 20
  • 20
  • 13
  • 13
  • 11
  • 11
  • 543

I am still loving the course. I practice faithfully every day. And loving the Welsh also. I am a fan.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Belfast doesn't have a natively spoken Irish dialect.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElizabethS746001
Plus
  • 23
  • 20
  • 20
  • 20
  • 13
  • 13
  • 11
  • 11
  • 543

Sorry, I meant Ulster, when I was typing it out. doing many things at once.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TrueAngelBeats
  • 14
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 2

thank you for your hard work i didn't start the tree but once i do i will be thoroughly excited to hear the new audio and to hear when the release date for Tree 2.0

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Olaf_B

Yay, thanks very much to the speakers! The course is far more difficult than french, but I'm determined to learn it and the audios are a huge help. (So far, I solved the volume problem by switching of the audio effects of duolingo, but I miss them. Do you plan on fixing the audio? Can that be done?)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PauloArcobolo

New audio delivered far too fast. I've been complementing my face-to-face Gaeilge classes (completed two terms) with Duolingo and all was going fine with previous voice (just right speed of delivery) but I find real difficulty distinguishing separate words with new voice. That coupled with quietness of sound itself is a nightmare. Trying to make out which word is being spoken when she's speaking 'rapid fire' is almost impossible. First rule of delivering a language course is your pupil needs to be able to understand what's being said, and unless the pupil is almost fluent that doesn't mean the fastest possible native speaker delivery. Also, I'm learning Munster dialect (with a native speaker teacher) which the previous voice was very close to. The new one pronounces majority of words unrecognisable to me (and my face-to-face class has touched on pronunciations in the other dialects so I have some knowledge of them). Thinking of discontinuing use of this Duolingo course as a result of this new voice.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

The previous voice was nowhere close to a native speaker of any dialect. I do agree that it could have been slower, but if you're having trouble understanding them I suggest you do it more, as it's a very good Connacht dialect, and the speed at which native speakers talk. Basically, it means your listening abilities could use the challenge.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

The current speaker is closer to Munster Irish than the previous one, in that she natively pronounces Irish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Can we get away from this bolloxology that only native speakers can pronounce Irish properly? Apart from the fact that it's telling everyone doing this course that they're wasting their time, because none of us will ever be native speakers, there is the simple, undisputable fact that some of this speakers pronunciations are even more "wrong" than the previous speaker, if you want to measure them against Munster Irish norms. [1], [2]

The simple fact of the matter is that the basic "school Irish" that the previous speaker had, uses more Munster Irish pronunciations than this speaker does.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

As Brighid said, the same goes for any language. Native speakers are the model, just like for French, Spanish, Swedish, e.t.c. I don't see why this means anybody is wasting their time.

Also it is not an indisputable fact that the previous speaker was closer to Munster Irish. I know Munster Irish and the current speaker sounds far closer to native speakers from Corca Dhuibhne than the previous one did.

You have picked out the fact that she uses non-Munster forms, naturally, she speaks another dialect. However the previous speaker did not velarise any consonants, palatalised very few and didn't pronounce slender r at all. A few forms somewhat in common with Munster is not enough when over half of all consonants are not being pronounced.

Honestly I know Munster Irish quite well, what you are saying is factually incorrect.

I can compare the IPAs of a few sentences to prove this.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brighid
  • 13
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Nobody is saying that anybody who doesn’t reach perfection in pronunciation is wasting their time. But anybody who is TEACHING a language should have perfect pronunciation. That usually requires a native speaker. If it were any other language would you think a native speaker was unusual? Would you want me to teach you French? .. I don’t think so. I know some people personally who are not natives and have perfect pronunciation. I have also seen them in the media. There was one Dutchman who worked in RTÉ, and you’d swear he was a native Conamara man.
Everybody should strive for perfection, you might reach it or you might not, native speakers won’t judge you if you make mistakes.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

Exactly, natives are the model, but nobody is saying you're an ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ wasting your time if you have an accent.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

Of course improvements could be made. However in Irish there is only the regional accents of Munster, Connacht and Ulster. There is no accent that isn't a marked regional one.

If what you're saying is that people who don't speak Irish with a marked regional accent aren't speaking Irish, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

If what you're saying is that you don't acknowledge the validity of other accents, you're entitled to your opinion.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

First off, I don't accept the implication that that only "native speakers with marked regional accents" have perfect pronunciation. There's a very wide range of "native" pronunciations, and, while the current speaker is in no way extreme, she is a bit challenging for someone who is, to use your own terms "TEACHING a language", especially when she speaks a dialect with noticeable divergence from the written standard that the course teaches.

When you bring up the issue of what would be acceptable for learning other languages, would you be happy with an English course where the speaker had a strong Cockney accent, or a strong Donegal accent, or does it not matter, because they're both equally valid variants of English? Or do you acknowledge that, in a teaching environment, some accents might be a bit better than others?

The bottom line is that there's a snowballs chance in hell that this speaker will ever be replaced, so at this point I'm more concerned about the dismissive attitude being shown by people who already have better Irish than this course will teach towards the concerns of people who are using the course to learn Irish, and the insistence that the current speakers nativeness absolves her of any possible faults. At least acknowledge that, in an ideal world, improvements could be made.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brighid
  • 13
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

There is no standard for spoken Irish. The standard is for written Irish only. So it is perfectly acceptable to see it written in one way and pronounce it differently.

Standard English (received pronunciation) is actually a dialect in itself. It is acquired naturally and spoken natively by a lot of English people. What you seem to want is an artificial form of Irish, what you'd get if you spoke the written standard as it is written.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

Of course improvements could be made. However in Irish there is only the regional accents of Munster, Connacht and Ulster. There is no accent that isn't a marked regional one.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brighid
  • 13
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

@LizzieKO There isn't a standard for spoken Irish, only the written Irish. Maybe calling them dialects is confusing as it may make it sound like it is different from a "standard". Which is often the case with other languages. When the written standard was created (I think the 1950s) they took from all the main regions (Conamara/Donegal/Munster) and created an artificial standard. What they should’ve done was pick a region, any region - all are equal, and make that the standard. Which is what happens with other languages. For example The English standard(received pronunciation) is spoken by millions of people in Southern England, the French standard is Parisian, again spoken naturally in Paris, but quite different from other regions in France, as well as Canadian and Cajun French.

This Irish speaker is a Conamara woman. And her Irish is exactly what you will hear in the Irish media (TG4/ Raidió na Gaeltachta etc.) She is actually quite clear and speaking more slowly than she probably would be if she was chatting with her friends. The old voice used English pronunciation of the letters instead of the correct Irish pronunciation. But understandably that made it easier for learners here to understand her. Now you are getting the proper pronunciation. Londubh would be the best one to explain the differences. The Irish R is very different to the English R, it is actually very hard for English speakers to master, I know because English speakers rarely pronounce my name correctly. Another example: FH is always silent, you are understandably expecting an F sound if this isn’t explained.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lizziek0
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 23
  • 20
  • 15
  • 8
  • 7
  • 32

I totally agree. As a language learner I want a clear audio that is a 'standard' or close to a 'standard' accent - like the accent that is generally heard on a national broadcaster. Since this doesn't appear to be the case here, any accent will do as long as it is clear and can be played slowly. I will never be as fluent or fast as a native speaker. What I want is, if I ever should meet a person who speaks Irish, to be able to have a conversation with them. Native speakers of any language will generally speak slowly if you ask them. There is no point me trying to speak the language if I can't work out how to pronounce a word because the audio is so fast it is unintelligible.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

I'm saying that the native dialects of Irish are all regionally distinct. There is no extent native region-neutral dialect/accent/standard and there hasn't been one since Ceart na bhFilí, i.e. Gaeidhlge Chlasaiceach

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CatMcCat
  • 25
  • 23
  • 22
  • 8
  • 713

May 20, 2016: I'm happy to hear that the volume has been fixed!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KristineAr9

I wish Irish course got Words/ Flashcards section too. It's pretty helpful in strengthening one's vocabs. :(

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/doppioslash
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 3

Coming back after a long hiatus in learning Irish, I was very pleasantly surprised by the new voice! I can hear difference between broad and slender vowels now, and don't feel the need to check every word in forvo. So, overall, a big improvement.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OfTheScratches
  • 15
  • 10
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

I am also positively surprised after a long break in learning Irish on Duolingo. I am not a native English speaker, so the English-like pronunciation of the previous speaker was even more noticeable and annoying for me.

By the way, I think having recordings of real speakers is much better than using a TTS system, like other courses do. Comparing it to the Spanish course, for example, the voice sounds much more natural and authentic. It sounds much better and I enjoy the course (and the language!!!) much more. I wish more courses on Duolingo used recordings instead of a speech synthesizer.

And the lack of the 'turtle' option is not a problem. You can listen several times, and even if you fail the exercise it's not a problem. It's not a school exam, right? We always have another chance to do it right :D

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cornie99

I am sure glad I turned on the computer this morning because I came across this POST.=.= let me see just how to put my concern.==First off if an Irish quote is posted, then the English translation should be put beside it. Second concern is that an AUDIO of the IRISH quote should also be posted.== So that we will be able to hear the right pronunciation== Third I would like to see more of ( sentence, grammar, word break down?).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Christine861393

Hi. I am a new user, learning Irish on the iPhone and on my MacBook Air. I am blind and use the VoiceOver screen reader to access everything. Although I have had a few accessibility issues, I have thus far been able to work around them for the most part, and absolutely love the app. However, VoiceOver of course does not pronounce the words and phrases properly. Is there a repository of the words, phrases, etc., that I can access, listen to, and practice as I master them? Recogniing them and being able to pronounce them are two different things, and it would be great to be able to practice without having to be within a lesson already mastered. Thanks for any direction.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I don't really have much experience with screen-reading software in general, never mind across languages, but there are some other resources that might be more useful for you.

www.abair.ie is an Irish language speech synthesiser. It provides an opportunity to listen to whatever sentence you enter in a number of different languages, and at different speeds. There are issues with it - sometimes one or other of the synthesiser engines seems to stall, and won't produce any output, and, unfortunately, the clarity of the voices leaves something to be desired.

The abair.ie voices are available as a plug for the NVDA screenreader - I don't know if that would improve your experience with using a screen reader with Duolingo. http://www.abair.tcd.ie/nvda/

1 year ago
Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.