It looks like it... IRN BRU in every second sentence. Okay, it's good to know about a piece of Scottish culture, but it's quite annoying to see this word so often, considering the fact that there's nothing to learn about it, it's just the brand name, which does not change in English...
I agree with Katie407568. IRN BRU does appear rather too often. I know it's some kind of joke up there in Scotland but they do seem to be inexplicably obsessive about it. Why doesn't Duo ring the changes at least and mention Talisker or Lagavulin occasionally? I'm not finding this annoying exactly but I take your point that using brand names is not teaching us new vocabulary. We could instead learn the Gaelic words for milk, water, bread, haggis, potatoes, neeps or whatever else the Scots consume up there in the north!
No, of course not. No one is convincing you to buy the stuff.
The course creators happen to like it, and it’s a huge deal in modern Scottish life. It’s called “local colour.”
Here's my problem: I was chastised by Duolingo for making a small comment in regards to a lesson which said America is great. This was during the recent debates. As an American, I thought the comment "that's debatable" was humorous. I wasn't trying to throw my political opinion around, it was a joke. I was sent a harsh warning that this comment was considered SPAM. It wasn't but I figured if Duolingo has such a strong aversion to ANY semblance of SPAM, they ought to not include a brand product in every other lesson. It's advertising. No one can make me buy it, but that's not how SPAM works. They include the product over and over, in a positive light no less, and one day I decide I should try this IRN BRU. It goes against Duolingo's strict policy against advertising. I understand that the product is a big part of Scottish culture, but is it the only soft drink? To be fair to other brands should there be lessons which include colas or orange fizzes? Personally, I don't care if IRN BRU is in every lesson, but don't be hypocrites about the supposed SPAM.
No, it isn’t “just like uisge-beatha” or “guga”. It’s a brand name. I assume Duolingo course creators include it because of its ironic (pun intended) status within Scottish culture. But to say Irn Bru should be accorded a catch-all “food item” status such as oatcakes or herring is a little disingenuous. Not all Scots like the stuff, which is where the joke lies.
I think if you say “an IRN BRU” (or any other beverage such as iced tea, lemonade, etc.), you mean a single portion or quantity of it, say one bottle or one can.
But without the article “an” it means any unspecified amount or quantity of the drink in question— three bottles, a dozen cans, a gallon of tea, whatever.
Because they didn’t. They explain what it means, and what IRN BRU is, in the introduction to the very first lesson. Here you go: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/gd/Intro/tips-and-notes