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  5. May I cry a bit, please

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cairistiona2020

May I cry a bit, please

...and say, it's hard to learn a language when you only say 3 out of 8 letters a word contains, at least that's how it sounds to me. Talking of iarraidh here. Also, to get all these vowels in the right order when you're used to having a bit more consonants here and there isn't an easy task. Ok, here my tantrum ends. I'm very grateful, thank you so much everyone who made this course possible!!!!! It's exactly what I needed in my life.

January 18, 2020

29 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/junkming1

The tears will soon turn to the biggest of smiles imaginable once you get the hang of it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cairistiona2020

"Tapadh leat, Thank you, Merci beaucoup agus Vielen Dank!" everybody for your encouraging words! It's a good feeling to be part of such a friendly community aiming at saving an endangered language!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K_SG

The Duolingo Scots-Gaelic clan :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cairistiona2020

Aye, the MacDhàchànanachs (or something like that ???)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim606185

No. That would be the MacComhachag-uaine clan. :)

Comhachag uaine = green owl.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cairistiona2020

Well, I simplistically went for Duo Lingua, bilingual... But to have the owl in the name is way better, of course. BTW, is there an actual clan badge with an owl?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K_SG

Well, I can't translate that but it sounds good to me. Until someone corrects you let's go with it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zia177448

Keep practicing and try to accept that they just ignore lots of letters (English does too, for that matter). You'll get there eventually!

The broad with broad/slender with slender rule (check out the tips for the feelings skill) can be quite helpful in figuring out in which order all those vowels go.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

I've only been at this a week, so I'm still picking it up. I find the spellings a bit familiar as I suppose we all grow up surrounded by a low-level hum of Gaelic words on the radio, on signs and even our local place-names.

Anyway, last week a friend said to me that her husband has something interesting to tell me about Gaelic spelling. He explained the broad/slender thing and I was just about to say, yes I read about that yesterday, when he went on.

Well, he said, it all goes back to the fall of the Roman Empire. Everywhere else was in chaos but Ireland was a little untouched beacon of culture that had never been affected. The monks were very into beautiful illuminated manuscripts, and they wanted their calligraphy to look beautiful as well as be informative. So they added vowels to words to make the broad/broad, slender/slender rule, because they thought that made the words look more balanced on the page. He went on to say that you have to know which vowels were added, and ignore them, then the pronunciation is much more regular.

Now I have no idea if this is true or not, but it's such a cool story it ought to be.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim606185

I think the monks must have been drunk when they came up with spelling in English. It's chaotic compared to Gaelic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2GreyCats

Ah... Blame that one on William Caxton, the first printer of books in English. His typesetting “fixed” (that is, made standard) the spelling of English words while the sound system, like the Great Vowel Shift, was still in flux.

By the time the pronunciations had settled in, some of them no longer matched the spelling that they had been represented with some years earlier.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

Every day's a school day!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andy209751

Some of the groups of letters nearly always go together. 'idh' is the most common way of writing 'ee' and could be written ì. Some of the letters in a word are just to follow the rule of broad with broad, slender with sender. Lets call them rule letters. The rule letter for broad is often 'a', while the rule letter for slender is often 'e'. You could mentally put a line through them. So with iaraidh it is really iarì I find that a combination of mentally ignoring the rule letters and recognising groups helps a lot. Tìoraidh (=Tìrì)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K_SG

I am struggling with the same thing, but determined to figure it out. I reached level 10 but wasn't really grasping it so I reset and am starting over. Hang in there and hopefully, as junkming1 commented hopefully we both will reach a breakthrough and realize our success with joy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ionnsaiche

It’ll come! It does take a bit for some of the sounds to start making sense but practice and time sorts that. Don’t worry about rushing it; even though I have Plus, I turn it off to use the hearts system and actually really like it because it promotes going more slowly through the trees and spending a lot of time reviewing.

It gets better, and it’ll start soon :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FergusMart4

You didn't think the Scots were going to make it easy did you. If we did, everyone would know what we're saying about them ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnMoss19

I have dyslexia. I have to work much harder to learn foreign languages. I have found the best way for me to learn is to write the Gaelic first and then the English. By doing this over and over again, I pick up everything except for the speech. My translation and writing speeds have significantly increased. I’m at lesson 40.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArchersArt

I understand the feeling. It would be nice to understand the rules around what letter combinations make a particular sound. It's hard to sound out words when you have no idea how to correctly interpret the sounds of the letters. Seems like any '-aidh' just sounds like a long E in English, but I'd like to have a list of these, or some kind of rule book that shows me what letters sounds like since they don't work like they do in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andy209751

I use Duolingo together with a book. The book helps me with the general rules for spelling and pronounciation and the Duolingo helps refine it. It must be very hard only using Duolingo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MimiMcC99999

At the beginning I found that using a Scottish Gaelic virtual keyboard such as SwiftKey or Gboard made the spelling so much easier. Now I don't use the word suggestions nearly as much, but it kept me from getting frustrated.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnMoss19

I am now at lesson 43. I have noticed the quality of the voice recordings is becoming difficult to understand the syllables.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamCurrier1

I am nearing the end and some of the audio is too fast which is frustrating.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joannejoanne12

Hey, we haven't been able to record audio for a few weeks now, as there's an issue in the incubator that Duolingo staff are working on. I know it's frustrating, but there's nothing we can do for the time being :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim606185

Thanks for telling us that at least. We never hear about these things in the other language courses. You get the odd bit of clipped audio (half a word) but generally the audio is much improved.

Tha mi cinnteach gu bheil a h-uile duine a ’dèanamh an dìcheall


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2GreyCats

Bear in mind, too— Gaelic is the ONLY course Duo has with live human native speakers creating the audio, not TTS software synthesizers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

Really? The only one? Good grief! (The German voices are certainly a bit robotic.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joannejoanne12

I promise it's just as frustrating for us as it is for you. We want the audio to be the best it possibly can. Hopefully we'll have a fix soon :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

I'm not finding it too bad, but there is one voice (an older woman?) I have to keep re-listening to to pick up what she's saying. The young girl is very clear.

I know how fast native Gaelic speakers rattle it off in real life and I appreciate you're all slowing down for us learners. Tapadh leibh.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andy209751

Halò a charaid. Someone else on the forums said they were at "lesson X". I do them in the order on the page, where they have topics, levels and numbers. Where are the lesson numbers? I'm at Group 3 (after checkpoint 2) Lesson 2 of Level 4 in Feelings 2. What lesson number is that?

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