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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alan325731

A bit of a roadblock with Scottish Gaelic

I have enjoyed the first stage exercises in the new Scottish Gaelic language provided by Duolingo.

There are a few things I would like to change, but cannot see a way of contacting Duolingo other than through this forum. I am hoping someone gets back to me.

I have now hit a bit of a roadblock for me in going to stage 2. All of a sudden it looks like two different people wrote the first and second sections. The spelling, while both generally acceptable, changes for some common words in particular so that all of a sudden the spelling in stage one is no longer acceptable in stage 2.

The next issue is that harder vocabulary is introduced into sentences without actually being introduced so that you either have to guess or just type any words so that it tells you you are wrong and provides an interpretation of the Gaelic.

I could go on, but won't for the sake of others in the forum, but I would love to talk with someone and try to assist in improving the way this language is taught on Duolingo.

I have reached 49 days but issues such as these are not very encouraging to continue and is also not encouraging to pay for the app.

cheers Alan

February 17, 2020

7 Comments


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

"The spelling, while both generally acceptable, changes for some common words in particular so that all of a sudden the spelling in stage one is no longer acceptable in stage 2"

The spelling of certain words changes depending on the function (and position) of the word in Gaelic. If you head to the lesson you are struggling with on the website, you can read a set of tips provided for that lesson. They generally explain why this is done. It is indeed a tricky concept to get intuitively (but not impossible). As I understand it (though I'm also pretty much at the same stage you're in) the tricky part is, that Calum in , becomes something like . As I understand it, the reason for this is that Calum has a different role within the sentence. I might be wrong about this (and hopefully someone will correct me if I am!) that the more literal translation would be . But since this is unlikely to help you much, you are probably best of checking the info sheet on the particular lesson.

"The next issue is that harder vocabulary is introduced into sentences without actually being introduced so that you either have to guess or just type any words so that it tells you you are wrong and provides an interpretation of the Gaelic" I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this, since words are either introduced on a flashcard with a little drawing of the word in question, or in an example sentence. In that case the sentence is underlined with little dots and you can mouse-over the words to see the translation of these words. I have yet to come across words that are introduced out of the blue. Usually I think they're out of the blue, but once I see the correct answer I suddenly recall it from earlier lessons.

"I have reached 49 days but issues such as these are not very encouraging to continue and is also not encouraging to pay for the app". Motivation in language learning is vital, I could list several tips to help improve motivation if you want, but my post is already quite extensive. So if my earlier suggestions are of no help let me know so I can help you further, or perhaps someone else (with more advanced knowledge of Gaelic) helps you :).

Good luck, a fellow student.


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

New words in sentences to be translated are usually underlined in a different color, so you can easily spot what is new. When you mouse over the sentence it shows complete phrases/sentences and single words. Sometimes putting things together is a bit tricky but it works in most cases. If you are not confident try writing the solution first and then check the mouse-over hints. It is really encouraging when you see you got it right. Although several skills may be on one line the course is left to right, top down. If you start on the right you may miss essential information. Go to the left and check the tips. This will help a lot. Obviously, words may change a lot in Gaelic due to grammar. English has only 1 case and adds a 's in Genitive. Gaelic kept more of the grammar structure, making it more complicated. I still try to find the system behind but there certainly is one!


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

Hi Alan, I would really recommend having a look at the helpful replies in this thread which will assist you. The spelling changes you talk about sound to me like key aspects of Gaelic grammar. The way that vocabulary is introduced is automated and is always done in the same ways. You need to use the hover hints to help when a new word is introduced that you are not familiar with. There shouldn't be any guesswork involved if you use the hints by hovering over a new word. These tips and notes cover the whole course and should help: https://www.duome.eu/tips/en/gd

Good luck!


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

The replies above are correct.

Read the tips for each lesson (see the light bulb that appears when you click to start a lesson.

If you missed the tips so far, this is a link to a page with all of them:

https://duome.eu/tips/en/gd

Whenever a sentence is underlined with a dotted line, check each word or phrase to see the meaning in that construction. I missed this at first, and it is really helpful.

The learngaelic.scot site has an online dictionary that can help with words and pronunciations:

https://learngaelic.scot/dictionary/index.jsp

When you are doing a practice session and check to see if your answer is right, there is an option to "report this sentence" for many of the questions. If you feel your answer should be an acceptable option, you can send a note to the team for that sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve489888

Are you reading the tips/notes for each section - they give the rationale behind the word changes? I have found that new words are indeed introduced but if you hover over the word as Ernavill mentions the translation is displayed. Hope you persevere - it is good fun


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maggy695619

It has occurred to me that you might be (as I was at the beginning) using the Android app which does not appear to show the hints and tips (at least my phone doesn't show them). I would suggest, as Ernavill has, that you try using the online version as more assistance is available on that.


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

I'm resisting the temptation to vote this one down. I'm sure Alan means well, but when a beginner assumes that his lack of understanding is due to a defect with the course and his first recourse is to offer to help the course creators fix this defect, well...

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