I've been doing these Irish exercises continuously for more than a year and only now I'm starting to do them beyond the daily goal (along with other languages that I've just added recently to the list of learning). Anyway, I've noticed just now that the progress or the scheme or pace in progressing with each level in these exercises is just unreasonable. I go through a scheme of 20+ questions at one go, just to find then that I've been rewarded 1% of 2% of progress, despite the level being at 2, not 3, 4 or even 5. Other languages on Duolingo, at least the ones I'm doing now, do not behave that way. In fact, I did not encounter any of them rewarding any less than 3% (even 3% of progress is on rare occasions or special skills). Also, there is no slow mode for audio like other languages I'm learning now. It is quite a struggle to figure out the sounds on many questions. Anyway, I just wish this progress percentage gets fixed or something. Just recently, I'm doing 10 exercises just to reach from 90% to 100% to finish a skill, and each of these exercises have 20 or more questions to answer (and many of them are repetitive, again and again). I am dedicated to learn Irish (been so even before Duolingo was founded) but I also need to balance my timing and my efforts. Doing this in that way is really exhausting. Thanks.
Also, there is no slow mode for audio like other languages I'm learning now.
Language recordings don’t have a slow mode; only languages that use speech synthesis have a slow mode.
You actually do less sentences per lesson than previously.
Sentences you do in one skill can simultaneously count for one or more sentences (and any repetition thereof) in another skill.
While previously, each lesson corresponded to the same amount of percentages (though expressed as 6/10 lessons of a skill level, for instance), the percentage you see now does not reflect the number of lessons in a level (e.g. 60% does not mean you have finished 6 out of 10 lessons), but the overall percentage of sentences within that skill level that you’ve done - both in the current skill plus any other skill with overlapping vocabulary.
That means, that you can see your skill as 96% finished and still have maybe 2 more lessons to do. Each of these lessons will have less sentences left over to be done. The shortest lessons I have encountered have only 8 sentences instead of 20, including in some cases even repetitions.
You will finish these lessons much faster than before, and you will get the full XP count (10) plus up to 5 bonus XP per lesson.
As for the sound: Irish uses recordings by a human speaker whereas most languages use synthetic text to speech voices. The latter can be slowed down without too much loss in quality. This is not possible with the human voice. The slow down feature would be great to have in Irish - as would be audio for all sentences -, but the human voice sounds much more natural. If I had the choice between synthetic voice with slow down and audio for all sentences on the one hand and the human speaker on the other, I would choose the human speaker.
Slowing down the recorded voices reliable is technically quite straightforward, but it would require a non-trivial change to the way that Duolingo is set up, and it would not address the larger issue of exercises that don't have any audio, or the lack of "word by word" pronunciation, so it's extremely unlikely that the powers-that-be at Duolingo will take that approach. Unless a suitable 3rd party Text to Speech engine for Irish becomes available, the Audio available for the Irish course is unlikely to change.
If you search the forums for the phrase "play speed", you should find about a dozen examples that I've posted of links to the audio files of those particular exercises. When you click on those links you can play the audio directly in your browser or download it. In your browser, you can right-click on the player and set the Play Speed to 0.5. Microsoft Edge does an excellent job, Firefox isn't nearly as good.
As for the number of lessons and the percentage, I know they do not correspond exactly to each other, but in other languages as I'm practicing now, things tend to get long after reaching level 3, with maybe 7% to 10% per lesson and this percentage goes down further as I reach level 4 and 5. Here though, I'm having 1% or 2% per exercise (and I can tell it is longer than the ones I'm doing in other languages) while I'm still at level 2 trying to reach 3! I can solve them quick but still it takes time (and needless to say, the spelling mistakes that I make sometimes for which I have to re-answer later). In other languages here, and in level 2, I would spend rather 15 minutes or 20 minutes (if not even less) to reach level 3 - last night I've spent one hour (if not more even) just to reach level 3 in some skill in Gaeilge.
My impression is the differences in percentage-per-lesson between Irish and other languages is because of differences in the structure of the trees. There are fewer skills in Irish than many (most?) other languages, but more lexemes per skill.
In the end, the percentages the system shows you aren't really relevant to your progress in learning Irish. Doing additional crown levels in a skill will only give you more exposure to the same words you saw in earlier crown levels. So if you have a good grasp of all the words in a skill, there is no need to proceed to crown level 5. You can always come back later and do more lessons in earlier skills if you wish. In the meantime, move on to other skills that you find more challenging.. Your own evaluation of your competence has got to be more a more accurate gauge of your progress than the percentage-complete in the website.
Not really because I've finished the tree long time ago. Now I'm going over the skills again to level them up and try to make them golden again. So, that button is gray now and says (checkpoint passed) instead of (test of skills).