I have a general question about this course and no specific place to ask it - so here is as good as any.
This is regarding intonation when the speakers are speaking. For example here, it seems to me that there is no intonation in the voice that indicates this is a question. I feel this has been the case right throughout the course and it bothers me because obviously intonation is crucial when communicating. The only good example I can think of in the course is the man who is angry in a bank. He actually says it like he's angry. I can't really think of any other sentences/phrases that are "spoken" rather than read off of a page.
Does Duolingo have any comment on this?
It's partly so that the sentences are as clear as possible for learners. We need to make sure the words are discernible from each other.
For example here, it seems to me that there is no intonation in the voice that indicates this is a question.
In answer to this, Gaelic doesn't have a rising inflection with questions (as in English). To quote Akerbeltz:
"So, in Gaelic, the first thing to learn about making questions or statements is NOT to go up with your voice but, rather, to maintain an overall fall."
Here's a link to the full article, which explains it in a little more detail: http://www.akerbeltz.org/index.php?title=Stress_placement_and_Why_going_up_is_a_bad_thing
Thank you for this, it really does explain to me more than you probably even thought it would!
I take the point on the question which in Gaelic would maintain an overall fall. That's a great answer.
Please note though that the next points I make are coming from someone who has not studied language or linguistics as a subject at all and I could not even tell anyone what various grammatical terms mean. I simply came to Duolingo as a retired man to "pick up" a new language.
My idea was that if I just listened to the conversation in a new language I could pick up that conversation just like a baby picks up a language from scratch - without knowing what conjugation is, or being able to explain participles or reflexive pronouns - they just learn to speak - not even write - just speak.
That was my expectation.
So generally I do think that intonation, inflection, stress, whatever the correct term is, will be important to do that. I feel that the "tune" (what I call intonation) is just as important as the "words" (vocabulary), and obviously context is all. That's why I'n so interested in intonation.
So having almost reached the end of this (fantastic, may I say) Duolingo course, I feel the next action is to get some real-world experience of Gaelic being spoken "in the wild" so to speak. And that will enable me to start really understanding the language and having some simple conversations myself.
Thank you Duolingo and the excellent mods.