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  5. "I am outside but I am going …

"I am outside but I am going in."

Translation:Tha mi a-muigh ach tha mi a' dol a-steach.

February 12, 2020



This is reporting a typo for a missing apostrophe after the - a' - in "a' dol", but there is no option for - a' - in the choices; there are only - a - options.


Unfortunately there are technical problems with apostrophes and hyphens that the course team can do nothing about.


What's the distinction between a-mach and a-muigh?

Is one 'out' as in 'not in the house'; the other being specifically 'outside'?


Forgot to read the tips, sorry!


If you are interested in the origin of this pair of similar words, silmeth explains it here. It was quite normal in old languages (OLd Irish, OLd English, Latin, Greek, etc.) for one preposition to carry the sense of where you are going with the accusative, and the sense of where you are with the locative, which later got blended into the dative. You will be relieved to hear that modern languages such as Gaelic do not do this, even though we still have cases.


Would not "bidh mi a' dol" also be correct, since you are going in in the future? I was marked wrong.


Bidh mi would only be appropriate if you were describing a habitual, continuous activity.

This sentence to me says you are outside but are currently in the process of going inside.


I think you mean habitual or continuous. It can be used for either, but I agree with you that the habitual ('I go in every day') does not make sense in this sentence.

But it is not continuous present - it is continuous future - you will be (bidh) going (a' dol) in.

But real life is not as clear cut as the grammar books might suggest. In Gaelic and English you can use this form even when there is no real sense of continuity: 'I will be going in at six'.


Iain Mac a' Ghobhainn aka Ian Crichton-Smith is the best Scottish Gaelic writer in my opinion. His novels and short stories about life on the Scottish islands and elsewhere in Gaelic (and in English) are superb. He is very relaxed about NOT putting the a' in front of verb-nouns beginning with a consonant. So things like "tha mi bruidhinn" are natural in his books. Likewise tha "a" is omitted in Everyday Gaelic by Morag MacNeill. Seems to me that writers like these show the language as it really is. It would be a shame if Duolingo stigmatises authentic spoken Gaelic as wrong. This has happened with English where 85% of the population does not speak "correct" so-called Standard English and only 3% have Received Pronunciation. Yet we have to pretend that we pronounce initial "h" when teaching ESOL and ignore the local dialect which our students hear every day. Thankfully this dialectical cleansing has not yet happened with Welsh.


An excerpt from the Duolingo Community Guidelines:

Embrace and share regional language differences

A language can have many words, accents and ways to say the same thing. We >think that’s one of the wonders of languages. Approach these conversations with >an open mind and attitude.

Remember to think twice and also review our guidelines if you are unsure of whether or not what you're about to post is appropriate: https://www.duolingo.com/guidelines

It would be a shame if Duolingo stigmatises authentic spoken Gaelic as wrong.

The course was written by fluent native speakers, with years of experience teaching the language. Native speakers often omit the a'/ag particle before verbal nouns, but that doesn't mean we ought to stop teaching them.

And I think "dialectal cleansing" is a bit of an over-exaggeration, no?


Again, I ask WHY has my answer been marked as incorrect when it is exactly as stated IS correct? This is a defect in your programme that should be fixed!


Further to what I said a year ago, there are bugs that the mods can do nothing about. Duolingo are not known to ever fix them.

The biggest problem at the moment is that it won't accept hyphens in tile questions. The only solution is to choose the tiles for the separate words and not to use the tiles with hyphens at all.

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