1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Scottish Gaelic
  4. >
  5. "There is white wine in Italy…

"There is white wine in Italy."

Translation:Tha fìon geal anns an Eadailt.

April 22, 2020



Where there are two valid ways of saying something, such as anns an and san it seems that Duolingo picks one of them and always puts it in the correct answer, and picks the other and only puts it in the wrong answer (which is genuinely wrong for some other reason - here we were given Tha fìon purpaidh san Eadailt.

This is bound to have the subconscious effect on learners of making them think san is wrong. Can something be done about this as it is clearly misleading learners. I presume Duolingo only knows of the existence of san because it is listed in the alternative answers, but whatever the reason, it would be fixable by some questions having anns an as the preferred answer and some san, as they deliberately do in Welsh.

Is toil leam in preference to Is caomh leam is another example and there have been others.


Or even is toigh leam (though it will accept that provided it's not a transcription exercise)


Are you saying they don't accept toigh leam in a transcription exercise? They should be indistinguishable as toil leam was only a mis-hearing of toigh leam in the first place, relying on the fact that you would not normally pronounce the two ls distinctly anyway.

However, this situation is slightly different. Although toil leam and caomh leam are alternative vocabulary, toil leam and toigh leam are variant spellings of the same vocabulary, but with the significant feature that one, toil leam is now the preferred spelling.

I don't like this as it is illogical, but it is a fact. So they should only be giving toil leam in the valid answers. I don't think they should be using toigh leam at all, as I don't think that teaching people either that it right or that is wrong is helpful. You need to recognise it (as people still use it) but on the other hand you should not be encouraged to use it. Duolingo has a dilemma, but they generally go with what GOC says.


Are you saying they don't accept toigh leam in a transcription exercise?

We can't add homophones to listening exercises easily (we have to do it manually, and it is quite a lot of work). Collating the sentences is a work in progress and I'd like to say we'll get it done one day, but for now, we just disable the more problematic ones (Raonaid/Raghnaid, Seumas/Seamus, etc.) in listening exercises.


That seems a serious design fault in Duolingo. Lots of languages have lots of homophones. Sometimes they mean the same thing (as here) and sometimes they mean different, but equally valid things. This should have been one of the first things they thought of when designing these exercises. Well I understand you all do your best.


My understanding is that staff are working on an update to the system, but this isn't an easily resolved issue. It's quite complicated, and obviously not an issue unique to our course.

We (the Gaelic team) also never took note of the homophone sentences ourselves before the initial launch, and so that is part of the problem. We will get it done at some point, but it isn't top priority at the moment. It's easier just to disable the sentences for now :)

Learn Scottish Gaelic in just 5 minutes a day. For free.