I wasn't expecting this...
Irish is painstakingly challenging! And considering my limit of four lessons per language tree (other than French and German), it's even more difficult!
I'm struggling on the basics. Hopefully, more practice will help, but at this rate, I'll be going nowhere!
Irish is challenging for many learners because it has grammar, syntax and phonology that differs from the languages they have studied or already speak. But once you get past the initial shock and get a handle on the basics, it actually gets quite easy compared to many other languages. Verbs in Irish compared to French and German are easy, for example and while the orthography seems very alien right now, it is quite logical.
However, you will need to learn those basics--word order, eclipses, lenition, idiomatic usages like "Is maith liom..." If you cannot devote more than a few lessons a day, it will feel like a long road. Ideally if you are brand new to Celtic languages, I'd recommend you getting a hold of some additional resources or self-learners, like Colloquial Irish or Teach Yourself Complete Irish. But regardless, it's just a matter of you sticking to it until it starts making sense.
I'd say give it time. I found it exasperatingly difficult at first. I'd often shout to my husband at some new long word 'I can't possibly remember how to spell this!!' or 'Oh, another weird rule I'm not going to remember!!' With exposure and practice I've gotten much better. I still have issues with remembering some little things, and a couple of larger (hello, genitive), but it's been a while now since I've been confused. Teanglann.ie focloir.ie and forvo.com have been a big help in figuring out pronunciation, grammar and common phrases you'd find a new word in. Spelling wise, it has helped to figure out that a long word is sometimes made up of a couple of shorter ones e.g seanmháthair is 'old mother'. Also the rule of broad and slender letters being the same on either side of a consonant is very useful. After a time you get a feel for what looks or feels right.
Irish isn't inherently difficult. It's just that for English speakers outside of Ireland, Irish is more challenging than say German or French because it is unfamiliar.
But If you proceed forward slowly and regularly (speaking from personal experience), you too can scale the heights. The duolingo course is a terrific way to get started with this fascinating language (that I'm wild about).
Random suggestion. Someone on this forum recommended the futurelearn.com Irish courses and I tried them out for practice. So far they have put up 101, 102, 103, 104 (they are improving, i.e, 104 is better than 101). Each course is available free for six weeks. You don't get anything even remotely comparable to the systematic practice of Irish that duolingo offers, but you do get exposure to useful Irish words and phrases, along with elements of Irish culture and history, selected to be of interest to the diaspora and wider international community. Fun and informative.
Ádh mór ort. Good luck to you.
What sort of assistance are you seeking?
(We can only respond to your questions, so we can’t assist you with our answers unless you ask more specific questions than “Any assistance?”.)
Maybe.. how to get a grip on it?
I asked a vague question to get a vague answer, although, you are right; I should have been more specific.
Thanks for trying :)
Are you reading the "Tips & Notes" for each skill?
On the website, click the lightbulb icon on the right above the Start button.
In addition to the tips & notes, which you should definitely read and take to heart, you may find it helpful to read the discussions for all sentences that have them. There is a lot of interesting and helpful Q & A (be aware that there are occasional wrong answers).
For myself, the vocabulary was so unfamiliar to me (as compared to Spanish or German) that I had to use a flashcards program to review the vocab before doing each lesson. I used https://www.memrise.com/course/375351/
Doing that slowed me down a lot, but I got a lot more out of each lesson
I have been at it for years and just now starting to have a FEW things come easier.
Hang in there! That's my best advice. I thought that it would be easy since I already had some experience with foreign languages, but I was sooo wrong. I often felt frustrated, like maybe I'm not spending enough time, or I'm getting too old, but in the end I stuck it out because I refuse to accept the idea that I can't do it. I still need a lot more, but now I can see the progress that I'm making. I can listen to a song or some other recording in Irish, and I actually understand some of the words. I make fewer mistakes in the new lessons. When I do make mistakes, I'm finding it easier to understand what I did wrong, as I learn more and more about the language structure. In case you are wondering, I completed the full tree several months back and am working on completing the 3rd crowns since the update. Good luck!
It is particularly challenging Joseph,as it is a very intricate language, you just cannot compare it to French or German, as soon as you think you may have "mastered" a particular point, there comes other ramifications which you could not possibly have imagined...
I am serious! To add to your frustration, nobody seems to agree sometimes on the correct form!
I am working on getting the whole tree to level 3 with the crown system, slightly embarrassed that I ever posted that I had finished my tree with the old system, I have retained so little really!
However, my comprehension skills have improved dramatically (which is nothing short of a miracle) and it does pay to do these lessons everyday.
At the beginning, it is a slow progress, but really rewarding when later on you go back to lessons and feel that you have moved one notch up.
With the Irish language, you are climbing a mountain really, not a hill.