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Sometimes, people listen

I've had one or two gripes since I started Duolingo a couple of weeks ago. I have to report that two of the problems seem to have gone away.

As a general point, the light-bulb icon that led to the "tips and hints" pages, and which I for one didn't even notice, has now been replaced by a clear clickable link to "tips". I noticed that quite a few new users were saying they hadn't seen the lightbulb and didn't realise the notes were there until someone else mentioned them on the forum (and many users will never go near the forum). Anyway, it's fixed.

I also see that "fisherperson" as the English given for "iasgair" (in the Gaelic course) has been replaced by "fisherman". PC correctness is all very well but that one was downright silly. I don't believe there is any such word in English. I don't know what any women who are out with the fishing fleet call themselves, but I suspect there may not be any in any case. So, fixed.

Now, if only they'd find a way to let users toggle off the "typo" forgiveness! As I said elsewhere it's driving me mad in the Gaelic course, when my constant howling errors where I type "tha" instead of "bha" or "cha", or leave out the h in a word that should be lenited (when that was the entire point of the freaking question) being marked as essentially correct, so that I'm never forced to go back and fix the error. Scuttlebut says I can whistle for that, but hey, two out of three ain't bad.

It shows there is some point to making your concerns known.

February 4, 2020



'Iasgair' hasn't been changed to 'fisherman', nor will it be. Purely because it is a gender-neutral term in Gaelic. It doesn't specify whether the person is male or female. I do think there is an argument to be made for changing 'fisherperson' to 'fisher', but that is one for another time.

Re: the typo issue, sadly that's a Duolingo thing. We can't do anything about that one :(


Sorry, I seriously thought I saw "fisherman" when I was revising. Perhaps I was having a senior moment. I'd go for "Fisher" if it was up to me. Do you want me to delete if I've made a mistake? Happy to do that.

I can see it's sex-neutral (rather than gender-neutral as it must have a grammatical gender) in Gaelic and it is a problem when there isn't a comparable term in English.

(I know the typo thing isn't within your control.)


Don't worry about deleting it, I think both 'fisherman' and 'fisherwoman' are accepted for 'iasgair', so it's might have been that you came across. :)


What I remember is the picture of someone in oilskins with a big "What is the Gaelic word for fisherman?" or words to that effect across the top. My memory may be failing but I swear I looked at it several times thinking "Wasn't that where they had that daft word 'fisherperson' before?" But it was while I was practising and I don't have the page open any more so I can't check. (If it is like that, please don't change it!)

There might be some merit to giving both fisherman and fisherwoman, as I suspect a woman who was out on the boats would say fisherwoman rather than fisherperson. I'd argue that "iasgair" means both fisherman and fisherwoman, rather than an invented word that doesn't actually exist.

But listen to me wittering on, having been here all of two weeks. It's really none of my business, just a mild "what on earth!" moment in an excellently devised course.


I think you are right though. Fisherperson sounds quite respectless to me. Much like if you were talking angrily about a fisherman or woman, who told you their unfiltered opinion after you were complaining about the fish you bought yesterday.

[deactivated user]

    I understand how "fisherperson" more accurately reflects the Gaelic. But being an English speaker, anglophone as we say in Quebec, this comment is very funny (glè èibhinn?)!


    I use "angler" in English for someone who fishes.

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