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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KrisHughes8

Thank you, developers, for including a variety of accents!

I have seen a lot of comments about this, many of them more puzzled that complimentary, but I'd just like to say how much I appreciate the variety of pronunciations I hear in this course. I love that it reflects the reality of the Gaelic language, and that you didn't decide to attempt some sort of "standardised" Gaelic.

This very much includes the older lady whose speech is less distinct. I do agree that the recording quality on some of her phrases isn't quite as good as some of the others, but all of this reflects what it's like to cope with an unfamiliar language with, say, background noise or simply speakers who aren't going to slow down and spell it out for learners.

I've recently embarked on the Welsh course, and so far it's all read in ONE voice. And I've heard enough Welsh spoken to already be thinking, "Not all speakers pronounce it that way. Why can't they have done it like the Gaelic course?"

Keep up the good work!

February 3, 2020

10 Comments


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

Thank you for saying this - I also completely agree! I'm loving hearing all the different voices speaking the Gaelic including wee peeps and older peeps - it's a challenge but it feels much more genuine! And I find I can slowly tune into the different sounds after a few listens. Thank you so much to everyone involved!


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

The Welsh tree (and all others except for Gaelic and Latin afaik) are voiced by TTS, not real people. Unfortunately.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KrisHughes8

Well, that is a terrible shame. Lucky me that I'm doing Gaelic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Coinneach-S

That's interesting, I didn't realize that. Thanks for mentioning it.


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

Most of them, but not all. Irish for example also has recordings of a living speaker (but only a single one, so it only presents Connacht pronunciation). Possibly other minor languages also use recordings instead of TTS – I think it really depends on the availability of a suitable TTS system for a given language (not many of those for Irish or Gaelic).

But then, to be honest, I much prefer the natural recordings to TTS-provided audio.


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

I too find the diversity of pronunciation very revealing and useful. This can often hinder learners' ability to understand native speakers, because they only expect to hear one version.


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

I agree entirely. Much better preparation for real life encounters. It also makes the course feel more intimate and personalised. 'Moran taing' to all the voice contributors who, as far as I am aware, are giving their time entirely for free.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Coinneach-S

Agreed! I am enjoying the different voices/accents very much.


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

I agree! I remember hearing that older woman the first time and thinking "Oh, nice, they found a variety of different speakers! ...And I know I'll have fun with her when it comes to listening tasks! XD"

The listening tasks have been less daunting than I thought at first. I do sometimes need a second attempt (I particularly struggle with place names), but after that, I usually remember what it sounds like/what it means.

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