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  5. “Mise” agus “Tusa” ?


“Mise” agus “Tusa” ?

Dia dhuit! Tá an cheist agam:

Concerning the use of “mise” and “tusa”. As I try to watch more Irish t.v. (Cartoons mostly) out of the few words I manage to pick out out (aside from agus) I hear “mise” and “tusa” used alot. I hear these words far more than bhí forms :Tá mé/taim, Tá tú and the copula: Is...me. Is ...tú.

When I looked it up in the focloir mise and tusa are described as emphatic pronouns, but I was wondering are they also used interchangeably with to be? As in I am... you are....

Also, if they are so common, why aren’t they taught more on duolingo? (Did I miss it?) I don’t think I have encountered them here in the whole course.

Go raibh maith agaibh!

April 3, 2018



It's because they're emphatic and contrastive pronouns. Since Duolingo doesn't have any context, they wouldn't be used, as it would imply that they completely interchangable with and , when they're not.


Go raibh maith agat for the explanation galaxyrocker! Seems unfortunate that this could not be included, as it seems pretty essential basic. French also has emphatic pronouns and they are included in the course. Alas, I guess that is the trouble with learning out of context in general. I am noticing this discrepency alot, between the grammatical structures I have studied on duolingo and the way things are actually expressed in context, particularly more so with Irish than with other languages I have attempted to learn here.


Part of the problem is that few, if any, of the Irish creators were actually native speakers. Most of them learned it in school, from non-native speakers. Thus they might not be aware of some of the contrast that is context-dependent.

That said, it's a huge flaw with DL's teaching, for all things. Context is key in any conversation, and you can't just teach "funny" sentences without context. Especially when the funny sentences are mostly useless to begin with!


That makes sense. Yes. As someone who studied a language intensively at school and had pretty decent ‘school’ french (at one point, no longer, alas) I also recieved the cold hard shock of having my academic language skills not quite translate to the real world.

I wonder if duolingo’s translation based teaching method is more suited to languages that are closer to English, grammatically. With Spanish and French while not everything can be translated literally, for the most part the English correlation is pretty close. I have had alot of success in Spanish, and a few months into study could follow easy kids shows...and what I didn’t learn from duolingo is not too difficult to pick up through context and now I can read understand low intermediate material.

Irish is so different from English not just because of grammer structure, but there are so many common expressions and turns of phrase that just have no literal translation to English so they seem left out of the course, but as soon as you start to watch even a bit of t.v. They are all you hear. With Irish, I feel like the duolingo Irish is very different from the Irish (as much as I can pick up on) as I hear it spoken and used in t.v. I suppose duolingo is a good start, but the jump between duolingo and even a show for toddlers seems huge. To be honest I can barely understand anything. I almost feel like I have to take a different approach altogether with Irish to try to ‘fill in the blanks’. Irish is beautiful, but I am really struggling to move on from a basic beginner level... and practicing more and more duolingo doesn’t seem to translating to understanding any Irish content. (Not trying to understand even Ros ná Run here, just a sentence or two of Garfield)

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