Tree 2.0 update
I'm not a member of the Irish team, but since they haven't given their latest update much visibility here in the discussions tab, I thought I'd point it out for you all.
Reading the 2.0 Tree update - this looks like a major upgrade.
I like the specific details they've mentioned.
Kudos to the team for doing it right and not taking a short-cut.
In the meantime I'll continue improving with all of the other tools at our disposal (for me I'm ploughing through Buntús Cainte, the O Siadhail book as well as all of the other media - books, TG4, tuairisc.ie, Raidio Na Life, Indo on Wed, IT on Monday etc)
Really nice to read about all of this.
However, there is a detail that bothers me. No, "bothers" is probably too strong. It's more that I hope they don't overdo it.
It is the bigger focus on the practical use of the Irish language.
I know I may be a minortiy in this, but in my experience teaching practical use early in a course is a very bad idea. It even turned me away from my first halfhearted attempt of learning Irish.
The problem is that practical usually involves grammatical constructs that you have no way of knowing at the time when you are introduced to practical conversations. To me, that creates a high amount of frustration. I take no joy in learning phrases without knowing what they are made up of and why they mean what they mean.
So please, if you teach practical use: Do it later in the course!
Also: I know it is criticized by some people and reviewers if courses teach sentences with rational meaning: Do it often! Do it frequently! IMO these are sentences that stay in your mind. And with it, the vocabulary and grammar! The Irish course so far did a good job here and I hope it stays that way. (so yes, keep on putting women in refrigerators!)
And then there is something mentioned which I, personally would prefer not to see too much. And that is the aspects of irish culture. That may sound a bit strange, but I do have an irish book that puts a lot of emphasis on it and knowing the current status of Irish it reads almost like an obituary. And that is kind of depressing. It is not good feeling depressing when learning something you like. Like I said: It's a personal thing.
Thank you so much for pointing that out. I have not studied Irish for about a year because my vacation to Ireland has been postponed but I just came back to the Duo Irish to check on the progress of Tree 2.0 and I was severely disappointed that the tree didn't have any obvious updates or changes. But I am glad to learn that the team is rededicated to the task and hopefully in 2018 when I get back to studying Irish again it will be finished. For now, back to Polish for me! Dziękuję bardzo (or go raibh ma agaibh is more appropriate here I guess, haha).
Sorry for asking a n00b question.. is this going to be a more advanced Irish course that people can do after finishing the current one, or just yet another beginner's to pre-int course, replacing the existing one?
In the case of other languages, Tree 2.0 usually involved an expansion of the original course, with additional vocabulary, new skills involving both additional categories of vocabulary, and additional grammatical aspects of the language. These additional exercises were not just tacked on at the end, implying a higher level of difficulty, but interspersed through the course, improving and enriching existing material and adding new aspects of the language.
From the post in the incubator, it sounds like the intention is to rework the Irish Tree from the beginning, basing it more closely on the Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge syllabus. Presumably they will be able to use some of the existing material, but I imagine that the course won't become significantly more advanced than it currently is, though the TEG syllabus provides a framework to move in that direction, though the audio on Duolingo will probably remain a limitation in that regard.
Looking at what other language trees have done in the past, I think we'll be seeing a restructuring of the tree to begin with, especially in the beginner stages of the tree.
Some skill leaves will probably disappear altogether, whereas new ones will be introduced. We'll probably keep most of the sentences we already know and love, but there will definitely be some new ones.
The sentences we already have might move into another skill leave so that they only come up once all the relevant grammar has been dealt with.
Because this means skills will be lacking some sentences, those will be replaced, to make sure that we'll have enough sentences in order to learn the skill. In the mean time the tree will grow top heavy all the sentences are being moved back, so there wil be some culling taking place.
On the plus side I think we'll eventually end up having more words in the tree than we currently have as well as a more rounded tree that takes the lessons of developing the current tree into account. It might even end up having more respect for the dialectal differences.
On the minus side I think we'll also be ending up having a few more bugs in the tree than we're currently used to, especially in the beginning. This is to be expected, and if we do our work in reporting the issues verbosely, the team will be able to sort it all out.
On the neutral side, I don't think there will be much change in the audio front. There might be some new recordings, though that's even more speculation than this entire reply to begin with. It's to be expected though that if there's new audio, it still won't be covering every sentence, and there will be mistakes, due to the fact that the Irish team has to rely on an actor, rather than a computer generated voice.