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  5. "She is not terrible, she is …

"She is not terrible, she is terrible."

Translation:Chan eil i uabhasach, tha ise uabhasach.

December 31, 2019

This discussion is locked.


This exercise simply doesn't work as it is. There is nothing to indicate that the second "she" is supposed to be emphasized, so "i" should be accepted, except that it isn't. It could very easily be one of those exercises that shows you the difference between the negative (not) way of saying something and the positive. The way I saw it was the one with a blank where you were to fill in the correct word, and "i" is not allowed here:

She is not terrible, she is terrible Chan eil i uabhasach, tha ____ uabhasach.

I've down-voted this one, because it needs a bit of work.

Apart from that, I think this course is one of the best I've done on Duolingo and am looking forward to the next version.


I've down-voted this one, because it needs a bit of work.

Actually you should'nt. Downvoting the lesson sentences makes it harder for the contributors to see if there is a problem. I don't know how it works but I've read contributors talking about it.

If there is a problem with a sentence (the target language or the native language) use the report button and/or talk about what's wrong in the discussion. Sometimes learners only need an explanation because the sentence is actually fine. The contributors make the course better thanks to the reports, reports are visible in the software/incubator they work with and they can change or add translations.


If that's the case, then there's a problem with Duolingo's set-up if it allows people to up/downvote actual sentences. I'm pretty sure, too, that how these things are handled might depend on the course, how many contributors there are, how many people studying the language, and how new the course is (in the sense that, with the newer courses, the creators are more invested in it but that, after a long time and especially with the courses that have a lot of people studying them, fatigue enters into it.) I've also seen people saying that commenting on an exercise is pointless since the mods don't read the comments (this hasn't been true in my experience.)

My experience with this course is that the mods take quick action on fixing the things they can fix. This isn't the case with the really popular courses such as French or German, where you might hear back months later that they've accepted a change you've suggested, by which time you've forgotten about doing it anyway.

There used to be the option, when you were reporting something wrong, that you could explain what you felt was wrong. That's no longer the case.

In any case if I see something wonky in an exercise, I do report it (but not if I'm unsure about it). I don't remember if I did with this one, but I probably did.


I totally agree, DL is not perfect and sometimes we learn how something works only by reading the forum a lot ! Maybe one day they will remove the vote option on the sentence discussion ..


Can i and ise not be the other way around due to no emphatic in English?


So you point at two different females?


Hi, no I don't think so. I The emphatic would be shown through stress in English and it is the second she that would be stressed here.


This item would be clearer if ISE was written in all caps to indicate that stress or, perhaps even better, if "ise" was replaced by "mise", "thusa" or "esan" to avoid confusing personal pronouns altogether.


Except the use of ise is the stress signifier, the problem isn't with the Gaelic, it's with how to represent it in the English.


What's the difference between i and ise? And e and esan?


Ise and esan are emphatic. But I think we all agree this question does nothing to help you understand how to use them, and just confuses.


Agree with the comments made. Even the hint for the answer is different from the 'correct' answer given


Maybe just put asterisks as the stress e.g "She is not terrible, she is terrible.'


That's one way of doing it, but there isn't a standard written way of doing it in English. I like the fact that Gaelic does have a written way of achieving emphasis.


Yes, but it has a written way of doing it because there was previously a way of doing with spoken particles that could be represented easily in the writing system introduced by the Latin-speaking monks. This is a common feature of the Celtic languages, so are said to be 'Proto-Celtic'. It seems unlikely that the speakers of the form of Proto-Indo-European that supposedly developed into Celtic woke up one morning and decided to invent them so I would imagine they have a non IE origin.

I don't know about other Brythonic languages they still have them grammatically, but the words have been replaced by the ordinary pronouns.


Since there is no actual emphasis indicated in this sentence (no !) wouldn't ise be inappropriate?


Yes, I agree. This sentence is impossible to translate, in either direction without some context. It is so difficult to understand what point that they are trying to make that it teaches me nothing about when to use i and when to use ise.


In my opinion, the problem isn't with the lesson. The problem is that written English has no way to express the emphasis of this sentence when spoken. Say the english sentence out loud. It's obvious where the emphasis goes.


That is an interesting perspective. It is certainly true that

written English has no way to express the emphasis of this sentence when spoken.

And there are two reasons for this. Firstly, unlike the Celtic languages, there is no grammatical or lexical way to mark the emphasis, even in the spoken language. You have to rely on the actual tone and volume. But the second problem is that they have chosen not to represent this in any way in standard written English. You are just meant to guess. Why no such convention is accepted as standard is beyond me. We have a ? for indicating the tone needed for a question, so why not something for this?

But the next issue is that anyone who writes a language course has to work with the material available. It's no good saying 'It's not my fault - it's the language'. You have have to find a way to teach the features of the target language. And this simply isn't it. They have to find a different way.


Oh, believe me, I wasn't denigrating Duolingo. I quite enjoy the way this course is set up. I was criticizing the creators of the English Language for neglecting to invent a very useful literary tool.


There are of course two solutions. One is to speak to the people who wrote the English language, but the other is to speak to the people who wrote English orthography as we could solve the problem simply by allowing italics or bold or something.

But I don't think it is just English anyway. I am not aware of any non-Celtic language that has any way of emphasis in this situation apart from occasionally fronting ('it's she that is terrible' - that you can do in Gaelic anyway).

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