Hallo everyone, I have recently started an Irish course and I am finding problems with it already. It seems like it doesn't have as much time put into it, and when you hover over words, it will show the translation but it won't pronounce them for you. In other courses I have done, such as Norwegian, it does play the pronunciation. There isn't even a slow down button for the "type what you hear" section. Many other things are missing too. Can someone explain this? Thanks, and sorry if I am being too picky.
TTS means "text-to-speech" and refers to software-synthesised speech.
The reason why some languages don't use it is that there is no good quality TTS program that Duolingo could use. More popular languages tend to have them, less popular ones (like Swahili, Irish, Esperanto, Hungarian etc.) don't. Recording thousands of lines of audio by an actual human is pretty time consuming and therefore expensive, therefore if a good TTS is available, then Duolingo prefers using it first. Recoding humans reading the slowed down sentences would double the cost and Duolingo decided it's not worth it.
I do not think any course switched from human to TTS or the other way around. Some courses changed TTS engines (like Dutch and I think German), some changed humans (like Irish).
The reason there isn't any slow button and the reason for not being able to hear every individual word is that the Irish course uses recordings of a native speaker (a real human!). There are recordings for a lot, but not all sentences. The Norwegian course (and most other courses) uses Text-to-speech software where the computer generates the audio based on a database of smaller snippets of audio (for example, a TTS system pronouncing "system" would actually be made up of the audio for [sis] and [tem]). Basically, because the Irish course is a human voice, there's only one speed of the recordings, and because the recordings are of full sentences, you can't hear each individual word.
Yes ,in Irish, there are not as many audio, and sometimes no audio at all (!) even when the audio sign is apparent because 2 versions of the same course have been been superimposed , or something like that ... But it is a brilliant course! -There are get great insights and help from the discussions relating to each individual sentences. -Sometimes the audio still works if you go to sentence discussion (!) -You can go to teanglann.ie.pronunciation to check the pronunciation
Personally, I am getting a lot of support and knowledge from the irish speakers and learners who have left interesting questions and comments. And, I like to hear a real voice.