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Beta testing notes.

First, I want to thank the contributors for their hard work in bringing this course to life so quickly. I always wanted to learn, I even bought a small book years back. I didnt get very far in that, with no one else learning, or teaching or able to demonstrate pronunciation. I started this course knowing about 10 words. So, thank you :)

And now, onto the light criticism.

I personally do the first 2 levels of a lesson, then move on if i am getting it right ( because most of the languages so far only introduce new vocabulary in the first 2 levels). Then I test at the gate to the next section, and I move on, going back over a section of lessons to the next level if i fail. I know, not all people do that, I'm just showing where I'm coming from, in case it helps you to understand a mindset.

In testing through the first gate, I was asked to translate chicken. I couldn't remember the word, so instead of Cearc i typed Eun, and it was accepted. Granted, a chicken is a bird, but accepting wrong answers doesnt help anyone. If i fail a gate, I need a better grasp of at least one concept, and i'm cool with that :)

Some of the translations to english seem like slang. While many people taking the course are in Scotland, or on the same island, I believe there is a lot of interest from your cousins in Canada and the U.S. For example, we don't use the word 'brilliant' to mean 'great'. Here it is used more as 'really smart". I understand it, from watching BBC shows here, but i worry other users may not. Perhaps a more neutral translation for "sgoinneil" would be 'excellent' or 'wonderful' or 'awesome', depending on the nuances of it's usage. ( which i of course dont know yet :) ).

Does 'Not' actually translate to pound, or does it mean the note itself? What i mean is , if i have a 5 dollar bill on cape breton island in canada, is that a 'Not' even though its not denominated in pounds? Or, can i buy a 'not' of meat?

Thank you once again from your ingrate cousin in Canada, you are doing great work.

November 30, 2019



Not is a pound as in the British currency. It's what the GBP is called in Gaelic.

For weight you'd use punnd.

For a dollar we just say dolar.


First of all, I'm glad you're enjoying the course!

Now, I agree with you in that eun should not be accepted for cearc, so I'll go and have a look to see what's going on there.

Re: brilliant, off the top of my head those other adjectives should be accepted for sgoinneil.

not is pound, as in the currency, not the unit of weight. You would buy a punnd of meat. When talking about dollars (Canadian, US, Australian etc.), you would use dolar.


ok, perhaps I shouldn't have brought up 'not' as it's more of a language question than a beta test :) Good to know though.

Re: 'brilliant', in the first 2 levels of a lesson, at least on the platforms i use, it's all 'click this button' answers, so 'brilliant' is the only option. I don't have the option to type different adjectives until level 3. Which makes it tense when i get to the checkpoint tests and have to wonder if i remember how to spell a word i have never spelled before ,lol. I'll go back and do a few of those lessons and experiment with options.


In the checkpoint 2 test, the question to type in gaelic what you here comes up. I typed " feasgar math a chairaiden" (making the mental mistake of just adding 'en' ), and both times it said i typed in english :) It accepted it when i typed "feasgar math, a chairaidien". I am not sure if it was due to the addition of the comma or the still incorrect spelling with an added 'i' that allowed it to be accepted as gaelic. It was never completely wrong or completely right, so I am glad of the reprieve, but it may be something you want to look at also.

Checking on the things I am not sure on to find out if it is a Duolingo software issue, or a Hamish software issue is definitely helping me though :) My mnemonic of "Captain Cearc is a chicken" certainly didnt help me in the last test, lol.


G'day! I'm enjoying the course myself and, whilst I do acknowledge that it's still in beta, I am having troubles with some of the audio.

There's audio files in the course from "Nanna McGregor" which is poorly recorded/processed. It sounds like she's got a mouth full of tablet and hiding in her pantry.

Even with my volume at maximum, it's taking me several turns to understand what she's saying - even then, I sometimes have to turn on the word-bank to get my head around the sentence.

Notwithstanding this minor complaint, the course materials are pretty good fun.

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