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More Sex in Gaelic

Halò Duolingo-team, I really like the Gaelic course. It's funny, surprising and educational at the same time, and this is perfect. Tapadh leibh. However, Gaelic has grammatical sexes (fine with me, I live with three different sexes) that are not so well reflected. It would be great to have an "f" or "m" in the words list for reference. It is necessary to learn the sex together with the noun because there are no clear indicators in the word structure - as in the Slavic languages that mostly have a tell-tale "a" at the end of female words. May be some day I will recognise a sure sign for masculinity or feminity, but up to now, it is more or less guessing. Oh, the noun causes lenition in the adjective? Thus it may be female ... Please add the correct sex to the words in the list. It would be a great help. (And anyway, having all these sentences about underpants, more sex in the course cannot be wrong ...)

February 19, 2020

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It's grammatical genders. There's no such thing as grammatical sexes.


Sorry for mixing this up. It is the equivalent of sex in my native language - and it looks more funny that way.


Das nennt man(n) dann clickbait, oder? ;o)))))


Hey! We got a nice wee bit of help from Duo staff during the creation process at an early time when it was just me working on the course. They inputted the words for us based on info in a spreadsheet, which did not contain F / M. This was partly due to the fact I had never used the Incubator and didn't know this could not be added retrospectively. We add it for new words, but it would require us overhauling the whole thing to do it now for the first 34 skills, which we obviously can't do but I would recommend https://learngaelic.scot/dictionary/ for this! It gives you handy info like gender + plural and genitive formation.


I think it's quite clever the way you have dropped the heavy hints as to which gender nouns are, such as giving us the choice between lenited and non-lenited adjectives (and the "boing" when we pick the wrong one), and (more subtly) by having a speaker say the sentence and we can hear that an adjective is lenited so we can assume that the noun it relates to is feminine.

It's just a bit irritating that unless it's a multiple-choice question, a mistake in lenition just gets a "you have a typo" note rather than being marked wrong. However hard you try to remember to check the green answers for "typo" messages, it's easy to skip it.


I might get my fingers rapped for this, but I picked up some wee crib hints from another site that give a better than 50/50 chance of guessing right for any given noun.

Masculine: word endings with -ach, -adh, -an, -as, -ir and -iche

Feminine: word endings with -ag, -achd and -id (I knew that first one already because of my own name.)

And if all else fails, look at the last vowel (presumably of the nominative-case noun). If it's broad, go for masculine, and if it's slender, go for feminine.

This does not always work (and the guy giving the advice went on a lot about checking the dictionary being a good idea), but it certainly improves your strike rate.


I've seen this same source and usually he (Jason) is extremely reliable. However, I'd revise the list for feminine nouns as per this link to nouns ending in -e, -ag, -lann and -achd. I'm not saying Jason is wrong with -id, but I have personally found it has too many exceptions. I also don't see the -id rule listed by Akerbeltz, which would seem to confirm that it is too unreliable.

Somewhere (can't find my source) I read that there are a lot more masculine nouns than feminine in SG (I forget the figure) so guessing masculine is always better than 50/50.... but since I can no longer trace my source - best not rely on it :)


Thank you for the answer. Actually I do use learngaelic for that (which is confusing in other ways, as using the male form for weather). Good to know that I will get the sex information as soon as I get to skill 35 - this adds to motivation. :-) Until that, I will steal a few more underpants ... And thanks for all the work.


Probably worth noting that skill 35 isn’t currently released!


Now this is really a crushing blow. But good to know you are working on it.

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