Irish Course: Important Info
Constructive Criticism and Reports
Important Information/Advice Regarding Ireland and Irish History
Welcome learners to the long-awaited Irish course! We have put many hours into this course and we hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions, don't be afraid to get in touch with a member of Team Irish.
The audio used in this course is a real human. This means 2 things: 1) The audio is very clear and 2) Not all sentences have audio. But don't worry, each word is included in at least 1 recording, so you are guaranteed to learn the pronunciation.
Constructive Criticism and Reports
We welcome your constructive criticism, but remember, even though we're out of beta, the course still isn't perfect. You can tell us your thoughts in the discussion section or on our streams.
Remember to use the report button within the lesson to report any issues you have with a sentence or exercise. Reporting in the sentence discussion is a waste of your valuable time as we are not guaranteed to see it.
Important Information/Advice Regarding Ireland and Irish History
As many of you know, Ireland has a diverse and interesting history, which is also, well, difficult and "touchy". I bring this up because during the first few days of the course's release, I saw several comments from users asking an honest question met with criticism for not knowing or understanding. I know many Irish people (and people of Irish descent) are proud of our history and take offence when people make a mistake or ask a question. I think it is great to be proud of our history, but please remember that some users of the Irish course are being exposed to Ireland, its culture and its history for the first time. These people may not be fully aware of Ireland's political and social situation, but this is ok. Our Irish course will grow from just a language course to a full learning experience where everyone can learn and enjoy Ireland in all its beauty (through the power of Gaeilge). Remember that Duolingo is a language learning community and we are all here to learn, grow and have fun. Thank you for listening...or, well...reading while I got a bit serious for a moment. This is important and I want all users of the Irish course to have fun and be equal. This is an amazing chance for you to meet people from all over the world who have an interest in our beautiful language. So since that was a bit...serious....here is an amazing picture of the Cliffs of Moher in Co. Clare :)
After over a year of our original course, we are now working on a major overhaul (dubbed "Tree 2.0"). This will be a great opportunity for us to add more content to the course and take all of your feedback from the original tree into account to make sure our course is as good as it can be. If you have any suggestions or ideas for the new tree version, please go to this thread and join in the discussion!
We are always looking for new contributors to work on the course with us. If you are fluent in English and Irish (or, at the very least, speak both languages to a good level), apply here. Look at this thread for more information about applying and contributing.
A big "Go raibh maith agaibh" to the whole Duo team for making this possible, especially our Incubator mentors mukkapazza, Ker and vivisaurus who helped us so much to get where we are today. Also, thank you to all the users who have been patient and are now using our course!
This isn't a criticism - I understand this is in beta so I'm thinking that's the cause - but will there be a 'words' section to review flashcards like French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese have when it's released as stable?
I am having a very hard time with the vocabulary, so I was excited about the flashcards feature and then realized Irish didn't have them.
(I'd also like if the flashcards or words section could play the audio instead of having the definition alone, so I could practice how they sound. But that's more a general note about the flashcards, because I'd like to use that feature more before jumping into new lessons.)
Wow EavanM, what a wonderful idea!!! It could probably be an "intro to speaking" course (only a few levels long) that only teaches IPA and how to use it-then all the other courses could utilize that standardization throughout all of DuoLingo. As a HS choral teacher, my kids think I'm evil for making them learn it ;-)
There are IPA courses at Memrise. I had signed up for one, mostly because I wanted to know how to pronounce things based on the squigglies. I gave up on it because I was less interested in learning what you call them and more in how you pronounce them, but, of course, knowing what they're called is probably useful, because otherwise you're pointing at symbols yelling, "GgnnnaaaA!" like a toddler before it learns to ask politely for things. I may return to it later when I have a bit more patience. Still, it is there and the one I took seemed decent. I wish I could remember the one I had signed up for, then dropped, because it seemed decent but, unfortunately, I do not.
I hope this links works - I just went to Memrise and searched for IPA: http://www.memrise.com/courses/english/?q=IPA
That said, standard IPA for Irish is WAY too complicated. They write things like /ˈpˠɔsˠt̪ˠ/ for ‘post’, which is almost a phonetic analysis, when on a phonemic level /ˈpɔst/ will do just fine. Myself I can read the official version but I hope if the IPA gets integrated a simpler, truly phonemic version is used, for the sake of people not familiar with IPA (ofcourse the actual sound values of the phonemic symbols would have to be explained in a separate lesson).
That said, other than that detail, integrating IPA into the course IS a fabuolous idea and it would allow the course to show all possible variations of a word, including Ulster and Connact versions, as opposed to the predominantly Munster-based pronunciation heard in the audio files.
While knowing a language's phonetic system is extremely helpful when you first start out, knowing the alphabet won't tell you how each phoneme acts in every environment. The audio is going to teach you that faster than any Wikipedia page will. I want to hear so much audio that I get sick of it. I want to immerse myself in glorious streams of that sweet, sweet Gaeilge.
"I want to hear so much audio that I get sick of it" <~ this is the only way I will learn correct pronunciation.
For a native English speaker, some of the phonemes in Irish are quite foreign to me. I have studied Spanish on and off for 15 years. Irish phonemes are more difficult to pronounce for me by far... It seems similar in difficulty to French phonemes so far...
Irish Duolingo Team: Please add more audio! Please put the audio pronunciation on each question so we can hear it over and over! Thank you! :-)
I think it's especially important in Irish because (other than the novel orthography) I know that one of the things that attracted me to Irish was the beauty of the spoken language. Ordinary sentences seem poetic. I understand it must be a challenge for Duolingo because despite the very healthy revival of Irish Gaelic there are still relatively few "authoritative" speakers. To hurry this and provide inaccurate pronunciation would be worse than the current lack of audio. That said, PLEASE HURRY DUOLINGO! Without audio, Irish is presenting me with the greatest challenge in language acquisition I've ever encountered, and this includes my time playing around with non-IE languages like Hebrew, Arabic, and Chinese.
Did you look at that Irish orthography page? It doesn’t show only the alphabet; it shows how different “environments” affect the pronunciation of the various letter combinations.
It’s been a year since I’d written that comment; why do you believe that the absence of those glorious streams of audio during that year would have taught you those phonemes more quickly than an existing Wikipedia page would have?
Written pronunciation guides are always helpful, but so is a more immersive approach to language learning. I just recently started learning Irish, and I've been learning Portuguese through the DL app for a while. Because of all the audio that was available for Portuguese, I was able to pick up the pronunciation really quickly without even needing to look at a Wikipedia page. It was a really fun language puzzle for me. I was hoping to have the same experience with Irish since I'm using the same app. I think what I'm trying to say is that I retain words better if I have a visual and aural sense of the word. I'm going to check out the page still and fill the gaps until more audio can be implemented. Thanks for posting that!
Alex, Lancet, Dubhais, Odoinn and Laura,
I was gonna say that your Duo mascot is just so cute...but he has a beard...so he seems mature... (;
Does he hand out lucky clovers... perhaps colored ones like these?
In any case, go raibh maith agaibh for giving us an Irish course, you guys!
Good luck with moderating and managing both the course and the forums.
I'm sure you'll do a great job!
Heck..you might not even need any luck... :)
Best wishes from me...
and team Dutch by extension! ^^
First of all, I want to say I am loving the Irish course. I live with two teenage boys who go to school in Irish, so I get lots of help, but I'm an Aussie so I didn't go to school in Ireland: therefore missing out on learning the language of my ancestors as a kid! So, it's terrific, and I'm applying all the skills and bits and pieces I've picked up from 8+ years of helping with homework, and enjoying every minute.
I'm a language teacher myself, and I've recently been doing a bit of research into gamification. And I have one suggestion. Although I understand completely, from the linguistic perspective, why it is imperative to have learners go back over words that they have already learnt, in order to reinforce that learning, from a game-play perspective, I find it frustrating when I click on "Home" and I see a whole bunch of icons I have to go back to, in order to do that reinforcing. There is a commonly held belief among game designers that once you've earnt a badge, that's it, it's yours, and no-one should be able to take it away from you.
So I wonder if, instead of having to go backwards, so as to go back over words/phrases/grammar that's been already learnt, could it also work to have some kind of merged challenge: i.e. I log on today, and I can't progress any further until I've done my "Keep Up" challenge. Let's say, a personalised set of questions that arise out of the mistakes that I've made in my progress so far? When I was doing the French track, I got a bit frustrated when Duo asked me to go right back to Basics 1 to "keep the words from fading in my memory".. I've been speaking French for 30+ years. I won't forget "bonjour" in a hurry :)
I hope this comes across as constructive rather than critical. I really enjoy Duolingo. I recommend it to students, and parents, as an excellent accompaniment to "formal" study, and personally, I've really come on with the Irish track. My sons love challenging me to see who can out-perform whom in the levels. I'd just love it if my suggestion could perhaps make the system even better :)
Keep up the great work. Ger.
Thank you all for the course ! I love the tips and notes you left so far.
I'm glad the Duo "Zero grammar rule" is fading away because your tips at the beginning of each lesson are so helpful !
I would never have tried to learn irish if it wasn't on Duo because i wouldn't have thought of it ! So thank you again Irish team :)
I agree with you--if not for Duolingo, I would have never even dreamed of learning Irish (or Dutch, or Portuguese, or French :D)
A huuuge thank you to the Irish team for this course! (In addition, their grammar tips & notes are helpful beyond belief.) I'm looking forward to working through the tree! :)
Awesome that your mother was an Irish speaker from Dunegal. (I know I spelled that wrong.) I'm heading over this June to Glencolmcille for a week long immersion course. I wish I could go longer, but I'm hoping to make it annual event. Next year I am planning to go out for three weeks. Saving all my holidays for that.
My grandmother from Tuum used to do this when my father was a kid. When she and whoever she was speaking with realized that the kids were listening in, she would say (something like), "Tá siad féin ag éisteacht" (Themselves are listening) and they'd start speaking Irish. :-)
Totally used that all the time when traveling. My Irish is bad, but good enough to work out bargaining tactics with my companions without the locals knowing what we're talking about. I found that when people try to do that with other languages, it doesn' work as well because more of the numbers and words are cognates.
The reason is Böll, his Irisches Tagebuch (Irish Journal), to be exact.
Much of Germany's love for an "imaginary Ireland" (i.e. the imagination of Ireland as a picturesque and pious country and nation, untainted by modernity) is based on this book and its musings about a people of days gone by. In some respects, this sentiment might be a testimony to (and follow from) German romanticism and its antimodernist leanings.
Trying to learn on the beta courses via Internet on my phone through duo. The set up is slow on my phone and was wondering when it will be ready for the Android app part. I've tried learning Irish through bitesize Irish but I gave up. Your app is awesome so you can say I'm very patient to learn when it will come out. I'm super exited
And that's what I love about Duolingo. It's enough to just start a course to be able to write a few words and to feel nice about it, as well as understand some very basic sentences! :D
Big thanks to all the creators of the course, I admire the amount of work and effort it took! :)
Go raibh maith agat! I've always wanted to learn Irish!
I'm glad to find another non-Romance language here! :) The Tips & Notes section is a big help, especially since not a lot of people speak a language very related to Irish! The spelling is a bit confusing, though, but I guess I'll be able to manage. At least the word order is similar to the most common word order in my native tongue.
Thanks so much for this course! my boyfriend and I will soon have a "secret" way of communication here in Austria ;). Also our next vacation will probably be to Ireland now. The language seems so "old", so unlike most of the European languages, it feels a bit like travelling back through time, re-connecting to times long gone... and I'm really happy (and positive) that the Irish language will have a kind of revival made possible by DUO and the incubator-teams. Go raibh maith agat!
I wasn't exactly too excited for this course, but once I heard the language audio, I fell in love. I don't care if it's not as widely spoken as English or Mandarin Chinese, it is a great language nonetheless and it's great that we've released a course for it so more people can speak it and keep the language alive. Thank you course contributors!
Hi I'm Niamh and I'm from Armagh, the only problem I've had is that the course seems to be quite Southern orientated..... agus mar Ultach tá sé i bhfad níos deacra!! i was able to adapt well to it, especially regarding the seimhiú/úrú situation, but some of the translations I use for certain words weren't coming up.. mar shampla ní raibh an fhocal 'nasc' ceart mar aistriúchán don fhocal 'connection'...ní raibh ach 'ceangal' ceart mar fhreagra. Ulster Gaeilgeoirí would certainly be a useful tool for beginners i think :)
We've done a fair bit to make it more Ulster friendly, like including tá mé, lenition in the dative (this should be accepted in all cases), gasúr as an alternative for boy etc. We can always do more, as Brighid rightly says, so please report it and it will help us improve the course for everyone.
Thank you so much for your efforts in getting this to beta. It is an absolute shame this wasn't available many years ago when I was doing Junior Cert and Leaving Cert Irish! Seriously! I felt like I just kinda 'learned off' whatever needed reciting for primary school irish classes so by the time secondary came around, my knowledge of the fundamentals of the language were lacking.
Having the discussion pages right there on the translations is like being able to put your hand up in class and not feel like you're 'dragging on an already dragging Irish class'. As someone who has learned all this stuff before and has mostly forgotten it all, it is so refreshing to see actual healthy discussions on why things are the way they are.
Will this course end up with having audio on the picture selection questions like the other courses? And are there plans to have the "repeat this sentence" questions like other courses? Those are the two things I find the course to be missing that really seem to help with other courses that I think would also be extremely helpful here. Otherwise, so far I've lucked out and not had any bugged sessions and everything's matched up to the way the other courses work! You've all done a great job!
I would imagine even though the audio isn't there in all aspects like you'd see on the Spanish or German course that if the infrastructure provided by duolingo is there those working on this language it will eventually be added. As for the "repeat this sentence" I assume you mean the microphone lessons, which alexinIreland addressed for someone else, stating that the STT technology isn't there yet for it.
I've wanted to learn Irish for as long as I can remember, but couldn't find any (good) resources to do so. I've only had time to get through the first lesson so far, but I know if it's Duolingo, it's going to be great, and I can't wait to get further through the tree. Thanks so much Team Irish for all your hard work to bring us this opportunity! :-D
PS - I love the Irish owl!
Yes, they're both correct. You might not have got to the level yet, so I'm copying and pasting from the tips and notes of the "Lenition" level:
Séimhiú (lenition) is where an extra letter h is added between the first and second letters of a word in certain situations. It changes the spelling and pronunciation of a word, but not the meaning.
Just bear in mind if you're looking up a word in your dictionary, the entry will be without the séimhiú or any other initial mutation. I noticed what Colemak was talking about in the lessons.. I think to avoid confusion, it would be nice if the course contributors could clean up the lesson intros where upcoming vocab is mentioned. A lot of the examples stray from 'dictionary entry' and seem plucked from the middle of a sentence.
Is there any way to change the font to one that will have more obvious accents over the i's? I wear contacts/glasses but I have a hard differentiating between the accented and unaccented i's sometimes. In general the accents for all languages need to be better defined, at least from my perspective. I don't know if it's just my eyes, but it's hard to tell most of the time.
No, there’s no option to change the typeface; Museo Sans Rounded isn’t the best choice for distinguishing between i and í. If you use a computer for Duolingo, your browser might have a “zoom” feature to increase the size of the typeface, which can help to distinguish them. I don’t know if a similar option exists for Duolingo apps.
EDIT: See this discussion for a way to change the font if you use either Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera as your browser.
I agree, this is really a problem for example when you see a verb form of a new verb ending in e.g. -im or -ím, but you can’t properly tell what conjugation class it belongs to. If the font can’t changed, is it perhaps not an idea to use the Gaelic Type convention where non-fada ‘i’ is written without the dot, like on road signs? After all this convention originally arose for this exact reason: to differentiate ı (i) from í.
I love learning some Irish here. I just have one note on the order in wich words are represented. For some reason certain words like portán, béar and uisce are repeated all the time. often 4-5 in a row( when I was learning the animal lesson, I had in one row to translate an portán, portán, (spell) portán, crab, portán, the crab,) while in the phrases section when trying to learn congratulations; comhghairdeas, the most difficult for me to remember so far, I had to redo that specific lesson in order to just have it pass by my screen twice (just reading, not even typing it). I am not sure whether it is a complete coincidence or that it has to do with the way the lessons are written, but if there could be a better mix of the words that would be helpful. I haven't had this issue with any of the other languages yet, but that might be because I am less of a novice in those areas and therefor don't notice it as well. But six in a row really happened only with Irish.
Yeah I have had the exact same experience. And with the same words, too. The pattern continues for at least as far as I have gotten thru the program so far. The strengthening lessons aren't any better--both the ones within each of the lessons and the one for Irish as a whole. In fact, despite my level 13 rating, the overall strengthening is STILL giving me bean agus fear, buachaill agus cailin, etc, from the very early lessons while totally ignoring some of the harder, more recent words. There should be some way for the app to realize it has given me the exact same thing 5 times in a row and present something new.
I have the exact same problem and it's SO FRUSTRATING! My spouse, a software engineer, tells me it's a result of sloppy code-writing. He also tells me it's relatively easy to fix, depending on what programming language is used. That said, these comments are from a year ago, and my issues with this same problem are at least as old. That's ridiculous and really, very frustrating as well. :( I greatly dislike feeling like feedback is entirely ignored.
Addendum: At least I know that "Pol" is "Paul". Glad THAT made it in there. /s
i'm loving this course so far! it's been a lot easier than i thought (but still challenging). one thing (probably the only thing) that's irritating is that it tends to hit hard on some words over and over, and leave others out, except for every great once in a while. While testing myself on animals, for example, i will get "elephant" and "crab" like 5-6 times in every practice session, while others, like butterfly, deer and fox, are hardly ever in the questions. i've done the animals session about 20x so far, but have only heard fox and butterfly spoken once. Other categories are like that too, for me anyway. i'd like to see it mixed up a bit more so i can get the other words down better. i have eilifintí, portán and úll, with all their variations down very well since they come up repeatedly in almost every session, but others not so much. Just my feedback. go ribh maith agat!!!
"Féileacán" is the word i saw for butterfly, and i saw it only once in my hours of practice. Never heard it pronounced. Several others are rarely used. Seal (rón), deer (fia), rabbit (Coinín), and owl (ulchabhán) are all others i have had in my practice sessions only a couple of times. so far for me, the excessive over use of some words and almost complete omission of others is the only thing i find irritating. Still an awesome site though.
Tá mé théis an cúrsa ar fad a chríochnú--grma. Molaim an clasál coibhneasta, an chopail, réamhfhocail comhshuite, míreanna ceisteacha, etc. a chur sna ceachtanna arda. Agus tuilleadh fuaime!
Is dócha go bhfuil níos mó ag teacht ar ndóigh! Má tá mise in ann cabhair a thabhairt don tionscadal in aon chaoi, abair é! :)
Thank you so much for adding an Irish course! I made a Duolingo account only a month ago but was disappointed in the absence of the one language I really wanted to learn, but, lo and behold, it was added not long after. I look forward to learning this beautiful language and thanks again for all of your hard work and effort. Please let us know when this is available for the Duolingo Android app.
I tried out the first few lessons in the course, and I noticed that (I'm assuming) because they're recorded with a real voice there is no "slow" version to some stuff. I was curious if it'd be possible perhaps to load up the sentences in something like Audacity and break down all the recorded words down into their own files which would then be usable for the pronunciation on some words like some of the other courses have, also it'd let you play the voices at the "slow" place.
Is there a plan to add this in eventually? I realize it's only in beta so I was curious.
good luck with the course guys, will my best to plug away, bit bogged down in the french at the moment and ive just moved to cyprus so bit of greek creeping in,, not that i'm any good at languages mind, cupla focal here there and everywhere just wanted to wish duolingo well with this
I am currently studying abroad in Ireland and I am so happy to be taking this course! It is so easy and lots of fun to do something other than my classes. I would never in a million years though I would be learning how to speak Irish. I am so excited to be able to participate in my Irish heritage in such a meaningful way! Thank you so much! Go raibh maith agaibh!
Thanks for the Irish course. I've always been interested in learning it but figured I'd save it for someday. Then to have it offered free on Duolingo was like pennies from heaven so to speak. Even if I never make that voyage to the Aran islands its a trip to learn the lingo of me ancestors....
I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Co. Kildare in 2012 and I took a semester's introduction to Gaeilge. One of the things that astounded me was the breadth of the accents! My prof from Connemara sounded different than my flatmate from Co. Kerry sounded different than my flatmate from Co. Donegal sounded different from my flatmate from Co. Louth sounded different from you guys! I've been making my way back (although, I sort of missed the mark and am currently in China) and this definitely helps! Thanks so much for this awesome resource. :D
I wanted to say that I was surprised to learn that Duolingo actually included Irish in its list of languages one can choose to learn. So, even though I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, where it would be more practical to continue to learn Spanish, beyond high school, I wanted to try to learn Irish just because. So far, it's been an interesting experience.
If there is one thing I could suggest, it is to reorganize the format a bit. A key problem I have is that, while using the app version, I am automatically thrust into the lesson plan, where I have to guess what the correct answer is, so that I know what the answer is. When I first learn Spanish, each chapter had both a vocabulary and a sample dialogue. By knowing the context, I can better remember the words and phrases. At the very least, there should be a reference section of some kind, with a way to correctly pronounce the word, so that I can train my ears for the audio part of the lessons.
Other than that, I am having fun learning. Since I don't think there are practical applications for Irish in my part of the word, learning Irish is a neat game for me, like doing Sudoku or a crossword page. Hopefully, I will complete the language tree while having fun doing so.
Hi, I too live in the San Francisco area. And there are many practical applications in SF - for the Irish language - particularly the United Irish Cunltutal Center where they have ongoing Irish language lessons and at least one weekend a year for a total immersion in the Irish language.
I was born and raised in County Dublin and I learned Irish in school. In fact we did all our subjects in Irish except English literature. But, of course, I haven't spoken it in years even though I go home every year. Not very many people in Ireland speak it these days except in the Gaeltacht areas. So I find Duolingo a great way to refresh my language. And its amazing how much I have forgotten. So remember " Use it or lose it."
Please make the report function available on the iphone version! I've been doing the course on it since v.pres 3 and am currently on directions. It's been RIFE with mistakes, particularly mixed-up audio. Which is sooo frustrating trying to get through lessons and having to restart lessons when it's not your fault. Then not being able to report is further frustration and if we can't report things they can't get fixed.
Thanks for working hard to get this course out with an awesome human voice! I'd really appreciate it if you could get the voice to say every word and phrase in the exercises. People need to be able to repeat and imitate. It is kinesthetic learning. Can you get some of the engineers to work on it?
It’s an actual human voice in the Irish course, not a synthesized substitute, so Duolingo’s engineers won’t be working on it. That voice is not held in universal esteem for Irish.
Some of the “learners” are people with more than a passing familiarity with Irish phonology. I suggest that you review this discussion to discover why people are concerned with the audio; the inconsistent distinction between broad and slender consonants in the speaker’s recordings is an issue in all dialects of Irish.
I understand your point, but, you know, honestly, i'm not that worried about whether she is pronouncing everything perfectly. I know I won't. My accent is going to be so horrible, it will be amazing if anyone can understand me. But that's not what duolingo really does for you, is it? It's kind of the 80% solution. You learn enough that you can speak basic phrases. Maybe you speak about like a 4 or 5 year old would (tho with lenition and ecilpsis, I doubt I will get even that good!) The point is, you go ELSEWHERE to get really good at the language. so you have to fix some pronunciations, so you have to work on those g's before c's or bh before f's. or what is h after c? THIS program is infinitely better than NO program, which is what I had a few months ago. and it's free! I'd say that's a pretty amazing deal. I am quite pleased with it--bugs, errors, bad pronunciation, and all.
Is there any way of levelling up more quickly? I am a fluent Irish speaker who is stuck on level 7! I am delighted to finally find a site like this, and was even more delighted to find one with Gaeilge as an option.
Some of the sentences/phrases are very "Englished" or they have Béarlachas - is there any way of altering that? Indeed, some more natural ways of phrasing the sentences are marked as incorrect answers, and this seems to be preventing me from progressing in the levels, as I don't want to have to go through all of the basics.
É sin ráite, suíomh den scoth atá ann, agus tá fíor bród orm go bhfuil suim ag daoine ar fud an domhain sa ghaeilge. Teanga saibhir agus álainn agus lán le oidhreacht atá inti :)
Beir bua léi agus go n-éirí libh ar bhur mbealach chun an líofacht a bhaint amach. Cuimhnigí i gcónaí --- "Cleachtadh a dhéanann máistreacht."
Le meas, Mairéad
Since you’re a fluent Irish speaker, I hope that you’ve been reporting errors as you’ve been finding them — it’s up to the course creators to fix the sentences/phrases, and your help in reporting the problems (which is the means by which they’re brought to the attention of the course creators) will certainly be welcome in making the course better for everyone.
One recording of a word isn't enough. There should be a lesson near the start dedicated to pronunciation. I'm getting words in the audio-only exercises and when I get them wrong I look at the spelling and I think "how on earth is what I heard linked to what I see here?" Some help with the sound of Irish would be brilliant, particularly given the complexity of its sound system.
Kia ora from New Zealand, and thank you so much for your work on the Irish course. It is so exciting to be able to learn Gaelic. I have wanted to for years and years, but I could never work it out from the books and tapes in our library. I especially welcome your stance on tolerance and compassion as we foreigners get our heads around the complexity of Irish history. It is awesome and challenging to be able to learn the language of my ancestors.
Is the Irish course still in Beta? Just wondering if things were going to be added (such as displaying the gender of the words––which would be a HUGE help) and immersion.
But thank you so much for a great course with clear grammatical explanations on a language that could otherwise be overwhelming :)
I am so thrilled to finally have a program to learn Gaelige. I am fascinated by the culture and its history, arts, and talents. My dream is to go to Ireland some day to explore and immerse. I have only been there once passing through on a return trip from Italy, but we never got to leave the airport. :( As part of my learning I have been also taking diligent notes for study in between duolingo sessions which I feel is helping me learn this language as well. Thank you.
Thank you Duolingo so much for offering Irish! It's a language that I've always wanted to learn, especially after visiting Ireland, but never had the opportunity to do until I discovered your app. I thought it would be difficult, but I'm almost finished with my first month and I'm amazed at how well I'm retaining what I've learned! One thing that I've noticed that I would like to make a suggestion on, though, and that's adding more audio, especially for new words when they're first introduced. I still have no idea how exactly the word "péitseog" and its plural form is pronounced after several days of seeing it! Also, I would really love to see the ability to repeat words/sentences to assess how well we are pronouncing them, like the Spanish course has.
When good people take the time to create something like these courses, and offer them to the world for free it pains me to be critical. However I have to echo all the previous requests for more audio. It would be nice for it to be on par with the French and Spanish courses. The constant presence of audio availability will do more for the learning process than anything else - Thank you for all you do to create this course.
Looking forward to this beta ! Im hoping through the mismatched audio vs answers stuff that I actually learn stuff rather than sit and get frustrated with Irish like I do every other day ! LC coming up and I need to learn things... so many essays and Càca Milis and poems ò mo dia xC
I was away from my proper computer when the Irish course was first launched, but I've been checking it out on my phone - I'd just like to say go raibh maith agaibh to everyone involved for all the hard work you've put in. I hope the course goes from strength to strength. :)
Go n-éirí an bóthar libh!
Loving the course so far. May I suggest one thing. When you present a new word with the photo, could you also include an audio option so I can hear how the word is pronounced? It would come in helpful later in the lesson when suddenly I'm hearing the word for the first time.
I found this a couple of days ago with all three pronunciations (as far as I can tell from Wikipedia - Ulster, Connacht, and Munster), as well as information on gender, declension, and genitive for each word: http://www.teanglann.ie/en/. You need to get the accents right, but it seems to be pretty good at suggesting the right word if you don't have them, at least when looking for pronunciation (in dictionary mode it seems to need things with all the right accents). Then again, you can look for pronunciation, find the word, and then simply click over to dictionary, so it tends to work pretty well in the end.
I would also be willing to do that. Just let us know somehow on the site if there is a way we could support your efforts to provide more audio (for each screen of each lesson, as in, say, the Spanish, lessons). This would be helpful, and worth the investment. YOUR SITE IS GREAT!
I love the course so far, and the feeling that everything is so new and different! I wonder if at some point I will actually be able to figure out what Enya sings about, or if her Donegal dialect will be much of an obstacle for this to happen... I love the challenge of this language that is so wonderful and so difficult at the same time! Thanks for your time and efforts!
I would also love to hear the word along with the pictures. I find that seeing it, reading it, and hearing it all at the same time helps me remember it. Just reading it, I don't know how it's pronounced, which causes me to have a much harder time retaining the word.
I would also like to see the word's gender, as it is important for declension and lenition.
To be completely honest, gender in irish is very complicated, it takes a long time to learn, i'm in my fourth year of going to a fully irish school and we havent learned it to its full extent. (Im going into 3rd year ) We have learned masculine and feminine but its not easy in any way.
I'd like to hear the words too ! I am having a lot of trouble with the "write what you hear" exercises so I sometimes feel a little discouraged... Or maybe add a "Tips and notes" about phonetics ? Kind of like it was done with the vowels in the portal, that would be very helpful I think :)
Yes, please please please! I was so excited to start this course, but I'm finding it much more difficult to remember words and how they're spelled and pronounced because the audio happens so sporadically throughout the lesson. I ended up dropping the course because I wasn't finding it as useful as the Italian, which makes me sad because I've been dying to learn Irish.
Quick question, I've noticed as I've progress through the course that I don't seem to be experiencing the activities where my voice is being recorded like I was in the Spanish course. Is that bad luck, being so low on the tree, a limitation of Incubator courses or a limitation of no TTS? Regardless, I am having an amazing time not only with the course but with the community as well. Go raibh maith agaibh!
This voice recognition technology in not available (or at least, not on Duolingo) yet. The same goes for Danish. It is very complicated technology that may not be available for Irish for a long time (or ever). Heck, it is only in A/B testing for Portuguese and Dutch as of recently and Portuguese was released well over a year ago.
I am really excited about learning Irish, but it is very hard for me to remember the words, the pronunciations and the spellings. Are you going to make a "words" section? I came on to give myself extra practice in German, I am learning it through Rosetta Stone. I speak Spanish and French. I took Spanish classes at Berlitz and through the University. I took French through Berlitz and Rosetta Stone. I didn't know that Rosetta Stone offered Irish until today. But anyway, will one be able to speak Irish when finishing this free course?
You won't be fluent in Irish from this course alone, but our aim is that your should be at a good intermediate level - able to read most things with the help of a dictionary, and able to have a basic conversation with someone patient!
Duolingo seems to be rolling out a "words" section to its courses, starting with the full courses and moving on to the beta courses later. When we know, you'll know.
Go raibh maith agaibh! I'm a beginner and have begun learning Irish this week. I've looked for other Irish courses online but haven't had much luck. This is by far the most beautiful and informative course I've come across. The instructions are clear and the activities are really helping the language to stick. I love that I can take "practice" tests to keep my skills up! Thanks so much!
I am a grad student reading Flann O'Brien in his original Irish, so I took an intensive month-long course in Irish in Co. Donegal two years ago. While my knowledge of Irish is limited, it's actually pretty hard to detect what words are what at the beginning level. Donegal Irish is an idiomatic form of Ulster Irish, so I can understand it when people speak Irish where the stress is at the beginning of the word, or at the end (like in Co. Cork), but the lack of distinct stress patterns on any syllables makes it really difficult to hear and type back a correct response. Not to mention that the pronunciation of words starting with 'd' are pronounced very oddly. I know words like 'dhá' are pronounced like 'ghá,' but not all words beginning with 'd' have that /g/ sound - is that something you are going to fix?
Hi Ssvenkata... just to let you know, I am Irish and studied the Irish language in school for many years but have since lost most of "mo theanga féin" (my own language). Recently I decided to start afresh and, amongst other things, started to listen Irish language radio (Raidió na Gaeltachta). I found that within a month or so you tend to get used to all the different manners of pronunciation because of the dialects...
You can access that here: http://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radioplayer/rteradioweb.html#!rii=17%3A%2D2%3A1742%3A03%2D10%2D2014%3A
I would suggest listening back to some "Cormac ag a Cúig" broadcasts which is a current affairs / news programme broadcast every day at 5pm hosted by Cormac - hence Cormac ag a Cúig :)
Just started, and so far I'm liking the program. I know at least one other person has said this, but I very much appreciate that the lessons actually discuss the grammar of Irish. My basis in linguistics comes from 5 years of studying Latin, and so I prefer the method generally used for that, which is to teach the conjugations and declensions, teach the grammar, so that you can learn to plug in any word correctly. I was never able to do the Rosetta Stone/Berlitz style of simply learning how to say certain phrases, and hoping at some point you actually picked up how to speak the language. So I appreciate the discussion of verb conjugation, and as you move forward, I hope the noun declensions are also discussed in the lessons.
I've only two notes on the course:
1) It would be nice if there were a lesson in the basics section on how to pronounce Irish. Irish has fairly complex rules of spelling and pronunciation, and while some people might like to simply pick it up as they go around, I imagine there are still other people, like me, who would appreciate at least a basic intro to the rules of Irish pronunciation.
2) Each lesson should have a list of the new words that are going to appear in the exercises, their meanings, and, ideally, an audio pronunciation. This would be helpful for people who would like to make flashcards or drill on the new vocabulary a bit before doing the exercise.
I appreciate your great comment. I am finding the Irish course tantalizing and frustrating all at once, because there is not enough audio. I also feel I am WAY too high a level for what I actually have learned - which feels like fairly little - and not the core, basic stuff I need to really learn a language, i.e. everything you listed here. I can't spell or pronounce Irish. Other users have kindly pointed us to outside resources, and some are okay, but the Wikipedia entry on Irish verb conjugations is of limited use without any pronunciation guide or audio links, in my opinion. For me, the music of a language also helps to teach the rules and ways of the tongue and its logic. I hope hope hope the Irish creators, to whom I am grateful, (and I am sure creating this course is a ton of hard work,) will address these issues so that we who are fired up to learn Irish can REALLY learn it.
So as you said, please, please Irish creators,
- More audio
- Rules of spelling and pronunciation - Irish is nothing like English!
A friend of mine is learning Irish and downloaded this to his phone. However, having seen it in action, there are some things I think could be improved. For one thing, none of the initial lesson information you get on the website is visible when you use this on a phone. So for a total beginner who is using his phone, it's not great. Is there a way to incorporate the initial information into the app? Also, is there a way to contribute to the improvement of phrases etc as a native speaker? I would be happy to help.
1) Putting the tips and notes on the app is all down to the app team's choice. Personally, I'd like to have them on the app because they are very helpful but we'll just have to wait and see if the app team adds them. 2) You can apply to contribute to the course here and you may be chosen if we are looking for some extra help and you have what we're looking for. Other than that, you can help out in the forums or just run through the course and report any mistakes.
I would absolutely love to see a pronunciation guide in the Notes section of one of the Basics courses. Sometimes the speaker can be a little hard to understand and Irish pronunciation can be really strange to an English speaker, particularly the slender and broad vowels, and the "th" and "gh" sounds.
Also, the font you're using makes it very difficult to see the difference between í and i. Anything you can do to make the accent more pronounced?
Thanks for a great app!
Thank you for putting so much time and effort into this coarse! I was thrilled to find it here. And I'm really enjoying it! I have many Irish friends who have inspired me to take this on. It is not an easy language by any means. But I'm finding it very doable the way you have presented it. Thanks again.
Been playing with The Beginners' level, and discovering QUICKLY how word order, ( Grammar ) and Plural Spellings differ. * some affected with Lenitions and Eclipsed forms. = To me, it's a dream come true !!! Even though in Real Life, I might not agree with someone's opinions...it's deeply empowering to build skill levels !
Hi, I just took one of the Irish practice quizzes you can get with lingots––it told me my score at the end, but it didn't really give me anything beyond that. I thought it would at least show me the right answers, or maybe diagnose my weakest skills. Is there a way to improve the quiz function so that it gives usable feedback? I don't know how the quizzes on the other languages are.
I've just taken that quiz as well, and had the same problem. It has made me reluctant to take a test in another language since I don't want to spend 20 lingots on a French quiz if I get as little feedback again. I mean, it's useful information, and you can track your progress, but as it stands it is a fairly blunt tool.
There are a couple of free tests you can take online. You'll have to analyze them yourself or with the help of a more advanced student. I mean, you may not be able to recognize the reason you missed a question if it's a grammar topic you haven't covered yet.
Neither site will send you spam or anything, even though the tests are supposed to help you pick your level in the site's online classes. There's no pressure to sign up.
Neither test includes any oral/aural questions, as I recall, but the Ranganna.com one was particularly useful to me because it showed pretty clearly where my knowledge ended and thus gave me a good direction for continuing study. I can also recommend the Ranganna.com classes for anyone learning on his/her own.
I would like the "Words" and "Flashcards" to be enabled, as well as more audio. I realize that there are a lot of words/sentences, but if you just do a few each day, or maybe sit down for an hour or two once a week, eventually they will all have audio. It's a lot of work (which is why I suggest breaking it into small pieces), but it would be extremely helpful for language learners.
They said it's a real person for the Irish audio course. The other courses have some sort of bot.
And the person does a very good job. Her accent seems to be somewhat anglo-influenced, but that is not an unrealistic thing in the twentyfirst century. I have cousins who speak fluent Irish in a New York accent. If you watch TG4 you'll realise how typical non traditional accents are.
But it is a real relief to have a real voice - let's face it, I'd rather have a real Irish speaker with a slight English accent than a bot. Or even a nostalgic accent, no matter how pure, which is increasingly uncommon. There is nothing wrong with language changing. It happens, and languages survive. The Anglo Saxons were appalled by the introduction of words such as pork and beef - they thought it was the end of their language.
Whoever they hired for this, she has a real rhythm which the best robot couldn't have, and she obviously did it for the love of the language. Personally, I am really grateful for that. As for hard and soft vowels, we can work the out.
I am not complaining that they use a real voice; I prefer a real person to a robotic one. I just wish there were more recordings because they would be helpful to beginners. They said each word is recorded at least once, but what if you forget how a word is pronounced?
I agree with everyone so far who was asked for more audio. It is much less audio practice than other courses. Because you only hear audio in certain sentences, you can see a word several times in other exercises before you finally hear it; then you're not just learning how it sounds, you're unlearning the pronunciation you assumed and heard in your head the first several times.
If every word is in a sentence, those audio files can be trimmed to just that word, and that could be used for the flashcards, mouse-overs, etc. This would be incredibly helpful. The lack of much audio is what has kept me from working on my Irish tree so far.
I'm very excited about this course, and very grateful to Team Irish for everything so far, but this would be a huge help!
There are a lot of comments, so I don't know if anybody has mentioned this, but would it be possible to have some of the questions/activities be us speaking like there are in other courses? I swear it was like that when I started the Irish course, but I may be confusing it with another program. I find it helpful to be able interact with a language in all ways including me speaking it myself.
I work at a restaurant in New York City and I get quite a few Irish customers. It's really nice to be able to say "Conas ata do bia?" or "Go raibh maith agat; go n-eiri an bothar leat!" and see their faces light up when I speak Gaelige. We inevitably get into a conversation about why I'm learning to speak Gaelige (my ancestors are from Ireland and I'm trying to get closer to my heritage) and it always makes for good conversation. I guess what I'm trying to say is thanks for creating such a great course! I love it!
I understand that not all sentences have audio, but can individual words please have audio? Or expand the sentence database? And can we hear the words more than once even if we can’t have the full sentence? Sometimes I go to learn a new lesson and I can’t remember how to pronounce a word that I’ve already learned, but it has no audio so I can’t re-learn the pronunciation.
"Our Irish course will grow from just a language course to a full learning experience where everyone can learn and enjoy Ireland in all its beauty (through the power of Gaeilge)."
My dad and his family are from Ireland, but after my parents divorced, I didn't see much of them. I didn't even know that the Irish had their own language until I was in middle school and a friend told me. I was so confused because my dad spoke fluent English. haha Suffice to say, I didn't know anything about Ireland and had no interest in learning it.
In my 30s, I started using duolingo to learn Spanish. I stumbled across the Irish course and that became a gateway drug into Irish culture and history. I've now been obsessively learning about Ireland for over a year and I'm madly in love with it. So there's that. :)
I don't know if this is part of any other Duolingo course, but I would really like some basic reading exercises instead of just sentences. When I was studying Old Norse, it really helped for a chapter to introduce a concept, add vocabulary, and then have actual text to be analyzed.
Having "Tips" for each section to explain sounds/grammar/concepts being introduced in that section would help. Things could be spread over several sections to be less overwhelming. (See the way Pinyin transliteration is introduced in the Chinese course.) There's great material in these pinned discussions, but they are not available at all to those using the mobile app.
Tips are available for Scottish Gaelic and Welsh for every topic in the tree, which I print out and keep as a reference (using Printer Friendly app on my computer). It would be nice to have this for Irish as well. Also, the Scottish Gaelic and Welsh apps have the pronunciation of individual words when you click on each (although there is a lag at times, and you can't click on them too fast or they won't be pronounced). I like this and it would be helpful in Irish, as well. Welsh also has a slow pronunciation feature for listening prompts, that Irish and Scottish Gaelic do not. This would be nice to have also.
I'm noticing the "hover" translation does not always work, as well as some words showing up with the "new" highlighting that are not new, and some showing up not as new, that in fact are, I am guessing it's a natural beta glitch but I am not sure if I should report or not on these?
So far, Irish is a great course, and I am very happy to have this opportunity. Go raibh maith agaibh!
I haven't gotten that far, so I only have one error to report: sometimes the present form a verb is used and if you translate it as "is [insert verb here]ing", it thinks it's wrong and will only accept [same verb]s.
This isn't an error. You see, in Irish, we distinguish between the two with two distinct forms of the verb, the one which is thought first is the present habitual (eg. Ithim - I eat) This is used to describe a habit or an event that happens regularly (eg. I eat every day). The other form is made using the Verbal Noun in Irish. This is pretty unusual and is taught later in the tree. (eg. Táim ag ithe - I am eating)
Thank you for the course! I just found Duolingo this summer and started using it for spanish since this is my first year of high school and I am in the International Baccalaureate program. (Which requires four years of a foreign language) It has been really helpful, but when my friend told me they added Irish I got extreeeemly excited because I have been really interested in Ireland since a lot of my family comes from that area and I have this fantasy of maybe going to college somewhere over there >:? Anyway I just wanted to say this is really cool and I am really excited so thank you!!!
just the ones in the questions lesson (a few lessons after the first check point). that wiki has some of the same words, but is missing some and has others not in duo lingo. An example would be cad and ceard. they are both what, but when do I use each of them? the wiki doesn't seem to explain it either.
I have another question about questions. I am confused as to when to use a, e, bhfuil, and ata. what does she have = cad ata aici. does she have a dog? = an bhfuil madra aici. what is your question = cad e do cheist. I can't see the logic in when one is used rather than another. is there some rule to explain it?
The question Cad é do cheist? uses an implied copula — its literal translation is “What it your question?”, and its semi-literal meaning is “What is it, your question?”. Its answer would be in the form of an identifying copular sentence. This question form would be used for “What is … ?” questions where the answer would use the copula — when the answer would be an identification or a classification.
The question Cad atá aici? uses atá, the direct relative form of bí, which is a combination of the relative pronoun a and tá. The question’s literal translation is “What that-is at-her?”, with “that” in the English relative pronoun sense. The question’s semi-literal meaning is thus “What is it that is at her?” This question form would be used for “What is … ?” questions when the answer would not use the copula — when the answer would be neither an identification nor a classification.
The question An bhfuil madra aici? uses fuil, the dependent form of bí. (It’s called that because its use is dependent upon a verbal particle such as an ; because it follows the verbal particle an, fuil becomes eclipsed — thus bhfuil.) This question form would have an affirmation or negation as an answer, since the verb in the question is bí.
I am trying to apply the above logic to the practice sessions. I came across this sentence: Where are the boys? based on the above, the answer should be either Ca e or Ca ata. Certainly not Ca bhfuil, since it's not a yes or no question. however, the correct answer is apparently Cá bhfuil na buachaillí. i don't get it.
My previous reply was focused on explaining the logic of your sample questions. Most of the Irish interrogative words contain some form of implied copula, so the information in my previous reply won’t always be applicable. In the case of cá, it elides over a, the indirect relative particle, so Cá bhfuil na buachaillí? should be understood as something like Cá hait a bhfuil na buachaillí? — “In which place are the boys?”. It’s not a yes/no question, despite the presence of fuil, because of the indirect relative clause; just as its English equivalent is not a yes/no question, despite the presence of “are”.
sigh.... thanks again for the explanation. I was a science major. I took the required freshman English and didn't let the door to the liberal arts building hit me in the rear as I left. I do well enough with English (tho I am going to have to crack open "The Little Brown Handbook" to figure out what all those parts of speech are)--Irish grammar is going to kill me lol
I've just unceremoniously ditched Spanish in my excitement over Irish. I love a challenge and boy is this one. I'm supplementing the Duolingo course with Nancy Stenson's Basic Irish grammar, as well as Rosetta Stone for extra vocabulary and, crucially, pronunciation. I also hope eventually to find a tutor I can work with over Skype. This is a really daunting language but already I find it fascinating, even if mostly I've just repeated Basics 1 and 2 over and over to hammer them home. :-)
I'm going thru the first lesson in prepositions. from everything I have seen so far, the sentence construction for must is Ta (what must be done) pronoun. Ta Bron ort for example. Except with walk. She must walk. Ta uirthi siul. is that a mistake or is it really the order? if it is the right order, why?
Tá brón ort. means “You are sorry.” (its literal translation is “Is sorrow on-you.”), so I’m not sure how “must” is involved in this sentence.
Tá uirthi siúl. does mean “She must walk.” (its literal translation is “Is on-her to-walk.”), and that is the correct construction. In this sentence, siúl is a verbal noun that is roughly equivalent to an English infinitive. Irish doesn’t have many modal verbs like “must”, so idiomatic expressions like the one in this sentence are used instead. There are several idioms to choose from for “must”, but the one in this sentence is probably the simplest of them.
In Irish, word order is generally verb, subject, object. In the first sentence, brón is the subject and ort contains the object. The second sentence doesn’t have a subject, but the object in uirthi functions as a “virtual” subject; since the verbal noun siúl doesn’t take its own object in this sentence, it follows uirthi.
I believe it's related to the expression of emotion. So you always have emotion "on you" - tá brón/áthas/ríméad/pé rud eile ORM. So for she must walk - it's tá uirthi siúl because the construction is unrelated to emotion m.s. tá uirthi rith, tá orm m'obair bhaile a dhéanamh - to my mind it's a little like the subjunctive in French - "I must"
The audio is even more essential for this course because, as I've learned over the years, there is absolutely no relationship between how a Celtic language is written and how it is pronounced. A fact I've used more than once when people have criticized my pronunciation of Maori. Thanks for the Irish course (now all we need is Welsh, Scots, Manx, Cornish and Breton - are you listening, Duolingo?). Kia Kaha!
Just saying, Sticky? From the books by Trenton Lee?(Sorry,I can't spell his last name.) But how could you?!?!?!
thank you all for this course I have irish roots and eventually i want to go to ireland and visit possibly stay and ive always wanted to learn the language but most places charge and I really dont have the money or time to put into going to classes its really awesome of you to do this and i actually enjoy learning when i get a chance.
Tá sé sin dochréidte! An bhfuil éinne ag leibhéal 25? Ní fiú tusa? That's unbelievable! Is anyone at level 25? Not even you?
How do I know my accumulated XP total, and what point level is associated with what level in the course? I found that 30,000 XPs are required to get to level 25, but can't find a way to see how my overall point level is progressing, other than by the course level I'm in.
Sular thuig mé cén chaoi a oibríonn an cúrsa, cheap mé gur léirigh an leibhéal do chumas sa theanga. Tuigim anois is comhartha é cá mhéad ama a chaitheann tú ar an gcúrsa. Ní chuireann sé ionadh orm nach bhfuil tú ag leibhéal níos airde. Chríochnaigh mé an crann inniu agus níl mé ach leibhéal a dó dhéag. Beidh sé deacair dul chun cinn go tapa (de réir na leibhéal, ar aon nós). Tá mé ag súil go mór leis na hacmhainní atá romhainn (go háirithe an tumadh). Go raibh míle maith agat agus ag an bhfoireann iomlán.
how are we supposed to earn lingots now? Other than mastering some new lesson or making a new level, there doesn't seem to be any way to earn them. I used to get a lot just doing my daily practices. Since i no longer have hearts to not lose, i don't earn lingots for not losing them. It would be nice to earn lingots again.
Howya, love the course, being an Irishman abroad not having grown up in Eire I'm stoked I can learn the language! I would suggest from having used the other languages that a few more audio examples with sentences would help a heap. My friends and family have noticed greater improvements in other languages as a result of the audio examples. Keep up the good work!
I really, genuinely want to do this Irish course and complete it.
But I can't do it without the audio. It's just not possible because the pronunciation is just so completely different from English.
You said in your post that every word has a recording to it, so that we are guaranteed to learn each word. This is completely misleading because very often when learning on this website I will see a word used in a sentence, rather than see the word by itself where I can actually hear the audio. So I will be given 10 or so sentences using a new word but never once learn how to pronounce it because there is no audio involved.
It's far too frustrating to deal with, so it makes me not want to learn the Irish language through this website and instead just focus on all of the other ones that I'm learning at the moment.
I have been doing Irish (and German) on the app, and I realize today looking at the website that I have missed crucial information. I didn't understand why there was so little audio compared to German, for example. Now I understand that this is a work-in-progress (as we all are!) and I will patiently await new developments. In the meantime thank you for adding Irish to Duolingo, and thank you for Duolingo!
I have a question about pronunciation. Please tell me if this is "correct" (based on standard Irish) and, more importantly, why. Maith is pronounced may. Per the lesson on phrases, mhaith in maidin mhaith is pronounced vay. but per the lesson on dates/time mhaith in Oíche mhaith is pronounced way. When i put maidin mhaith and oiche mhaith in abair.ie, both sound like way. should they both be way? Is it a broad sound because the mh is followed by a? thanks
The biggest issue with the course is the pronunciation. The speaker, when actually correct (which is very seldom), never consistently uses the same dialect. That's the issue with it between <mh> as /v/ and <mh> as /w/. The /v/ pronunciation is used in Munster.
Also, I don't think I've heard it as "way"... And, you're better off checking breis.focloir.ie for pronunciation samples. They're actual natives, not bad voice artists or TTS.
Nice website. I didn't have that one bookmarked already. Thanks for the tip. The number of words seems a little limited, but you're right--it's way better than abair. Is connacht dialect the one closest to what this app is aiming for? That guy pronounces mhaith more like waa, but he pronounces oiche with a bit of a ch sound whereas the other two don't. It just sounds like eehey.
I would pronounce maith as a short "mah". I would tend to pronounce it "wah" with a séimhiú (mhaith). However in Munster (the south) mhaith would be pronounced as "vah". In Ulster (the north) it may be pronounced as "my". The dialects are very different everywhere and pronunciation can vary so I understand the difficulty, especially for a person who has not been exposed to the language before at all. I hope this helps.
I'd also like to make the suggestion that there should be a way to go back and forth between the languages you're studying with just a drop down list, instead of having to go all the way into the settings. It would make it a lot easier, especially for those who wish to learn multiple languages at once.
I am usually using the mobile app, and it is very quick and easy to switch between my three languages. (Click upper left hand line icon and your languages pop up.) But on the app there are no notes, grammar, or any assistance. I would like to see a link on the app to connect with the website grammar notes.
I really love this course. I have one question though--some words have audio in some places but not others. I know this is beta so I'm trying to figure out if this is a bug or not. Just going on my supposition that if a word has recorded audio then in works in all places where audio would normally be heard. If that is the case then I'm reporting that some words already recorded are not playing as they should :).
Thanks for all the work you've put into this. I can't wait to hear more.
In our course, audio is recorded by a real human (we'll be replacing the current voice soon) so only certain sentences have audio. That being said, each word is included in at least one recording. So, no this is not a bug...it's just some sentences don't have a recording (i.e. please don't report it :D)
(P.S. We are no longer in beta :P)
In terms of Duolingo:
Alpha: Duolingo doesnt use this term when it comes to courses. They say "Phase 1". This is when a course is being developed by contributors in the Incubator but cannot be used by the general public. (e.g. Hebrew, Vietnamese, Norwegian, Esperanto, Yiddish, Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Romanian, and Hungarian for English speakers.
Beta (also called Phase 2): This is when the course is released and is open to everyone. The course may not be stable, may have bugs and have a lot of missing translations. (e.g. Turkish for English speakers, English for Arabic speakers)
Phase 3: This is when the course has graduated from beta. It is stable, all/most bugs have been fixed and a large amount of translations have been added. It has consistently low report numbers. It is basically performing as well as a course Duoligno made themselves :) (e.g. Irish, Dutch, Danish and Swedish for English speakers)
LOL! You and me both, but not nearly as much as "agoot" for agat and "nu" for no (o fada). I absolutely love this course - it's as good as anything I have paid for - but some of the pronunciations make me cringe. Then again, I learned Ulster dialect, so it's REALLY off sometimes! :)
I love the course! I am young (first year of secondary school) and I am using this course to help me revise for my Irish exams at the end of the year, and even though I am not the most active in it, it has helped me get a better understanding of some things I didn't know before!
Thank you to the Irish course contributors, and the Duolingo guys, you're awesome :) <3
P.S. If you think that picture of the Cliffs of Moher is nice, you should check it out in person, it's beautiful ;)
I've heard the voice is exceptionally poor, especially with regard to the slender-broad distinction. (This isn't the speaker's fault; apparently she comes from a region of the nation where this distinction is handled weirdly. Nevertheless, it's not appropriate for a course in standard Irish.) To any native or fluent speakers, how well can we expect to be understood using Duolingo pronunciation? Is it really that much of an impediment? Will it be obvious to the native populace that this is where we learned it?
I know that there is a new urban dialect of Irish, from children who grow up bilingual because their anglophonic parents send them to schools where everything is taught in Irish - when they start school at five they know hardly (if any) Irish, but given that all the lessons are taught in Irish they soon pick it up. (I love that the parents want their children to regain the language they have lost.) There is a whole new vocabulary of youthslang and geek culture in the Irish language from these communities, Tumblr and internet speak ('tá mé ag dul leis an bad sin!' I think it goes, and other expressions like it.)
Anyway, these kids are clearly fluent, but apparently the accent has changed a lot. I'm wondering if this is where the speaker learned her Irish? (And if I still lived in Ireland I would have moved to the right area for my son to attend such a gaelscoil. Apparently they have far better results across the board in national exams - bilingual learning across the world apparently boosts academic performance. Same thing happens in Welsh schools, apparently.)
have you seen the site abair.ie good for pronunciations http://www.abair.tcd.ie/?lang=eng&page=synthesis&synth=gd&view=listen&speed=Gn%C3%A1thluas&pitch=1.0&xpos=&ypos=&colors=default
I'm doing the Irish course on my iPhone and have some comments. The course, while great, should concentrate on words that might actually be used in a conversation. E.g. Elephant is not likely to come into any conversation unless one is at a zoo or something! I cannot understand why it would arise 6 or more time in one lesson. Monkey is another word like that. For words that are similar in Irish and English such as these and cat, their use should be reduced, especially in word match tests.
When you pick word to start a sentence, I suggest that capitals get eliminated. E.g. of the suggested words the correct first word ALWAYS has capitals therefore it is not a good test.
No, there’s no option to change the font; Museo Sans Rounded isn’t the best choice for distinguishing between i and í. If you use a computer for Duolingo, your browser might have a “zoom” feature to increase the size of the typeface, which can help to distinguish them. I don’t know if a similar option exists for Duolingo apps.
There will never be full audio for Irish; the voice synthesis system that Duolingo uses doesn’t support Irish, so all Irish audio comes from recordings of an actual person. Creating quality recordings and associating each of them with its particular exercise requires time, talent, and money. (The new recordings replaced the old ones in late April 2016.)
A bit of feedback on the lessons later on in the course––they tend to be very vocab heavy with very few sentences. Mostly, they ask you to translate "an X" into English as "the Y," but they're not put into the context of a sentence. In addition, they are definitely skewed towards Irish-English rather than English-Irish. As a result, these lessons can be a little dry, and I also feel that this is a missed opportunity––it would be possible, for example, to learn new vocabulary WHILE ALSO practicing the past tense, the future tense, the verbal noun, etc. In future iterations it would be nice to include more sentences rather than just words. Thank you again for a great course.
I just started the Irish course and I am loving it! I was in the Esperanto course only, and when I started this new one, I was shocked for how difficult it is compared to Esperanto. Real languages really have a lot of details, right :D I am loving it. I think it is amazing that I can study such an incredible language on here. Thank you for your hard work!
I have always wanted to learn Gaelic, I didn't know there was Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic. I honestly don't know why I have always felt drawn to the irish gaelic language, maybe I am closer to the irish heritage in my family or something, my family background is Irish, Scottish, and English, so I don't know shrugs. Anyway, I love that you guys added Irish Gaelic, my girlfriend turned me on to your site, once Irish Gaelic was into Beta. I am really enjoying it so far!
the course is well layed out so far, enjoying it a lot. have a small bit from school and picked up bits from friends and family but always struggled with the rules of it, some of them starting to click with this, thanks. like when the strength level goes down on previous lessons, pushes you to take a step back rather than unrealisticly always going forward.
there is an option to do a test on all that has been done so far, is there a recomendation on how often you should be doing a test?
I'm brushing up on Spanish and trying out French, Esperanto and Irish. Irish is by far the one stretching my mind. I'm still getting used to getting the verb first. As to pronunciation, would it be possible to add a unit that was purely drill? I'm thinking of a listen-type for people with no microphone and/or a read-speak for those who do have a mike.
BTW, I find that verb first really makes a difference in how I think about, and listen to, a sentence. It creates an initial context of an action rather than a subject.
There is no percentage given for Irish. Judging by the "percentage fluent" Duo gives for German, I wouldn't put too much faith in such a percentage, anyway. ;)
If you want to test your Irish, I suggest you go to http://www.ranganna.com/tastail.aspx?id=1&lang=en and take the test. It's kind of long, 100 questions, and I suggest you follow their example and stop at the point where you're just guessing, so you might do only 50 questions, say. The link will take you to the English page, but you can switch to Irish at the top of the page, if you prefer. The test is free, and they don't send you spam or try to sell you stuff. Your result won't be a percentage but a suggested level from 1 to 7.
You can also do Chapter 1 of any of their books/courses on line for free, which is a great deal because if you do decide to pay 45 Euro for three months access, you've already done one of the chapters! Again, no spam.
You're right regarding not putting too much faith in the "percentage fluent" feature on Duolingo. It's not that important.
It's also interesting how you comment on the German course. I'm supposed to be 12% fluent but I'm a low beginner. So I totally disagree! However, for the Spanish course I'm 49% fluent which I think is more accurate as I am at an intermediate level.
Also thanks for sharing the website for the Irish test. I'm also a beginner with Irish so I probably won't take the test for awhile.
Well, there are plenty of explanations on grammar and conjugations in the relevant skills (Present, Future, Genitive case, etc.) but if there is any skill in particular that you think could use an extra explanation, or if you think a concept isn't explained enough, we'd happily take some suggestions :) Just tell us the skill, and we'll look into it!
Unfortunately, we can't add any additional lessons at the moment, but we will look into expanding important grammar lessons in the future.
I'll admit right away that there was an error on my part. I've been using the mobile app and only the mobile app from the very beginning, and it doesn't show all the attached info. I logged on today to see how the computer site functioned and am very pleased to say that I have found exactly what I was missing on the mobile version.
actually, just based on the number of comments on sentences regarding when to use Bi and when to use Is, I think some more explanation/practice would be good. For someone whose native language only has one verb for to be, it's not intuitive figuring out when it should be a Bi construct and when it's an Is construct. So far, the only thing that has helped me (and I suspect there will be plenty of exceptions) is two nouns use Is, otherwise use Bi heh.
There was an explanation of when to use Is. It was in it's own paragraph titled 'The Copula" and it stated to use Is when two things are equal, or to show someting belongs to a class/category. For example; I am a woman= Is bean mé. I am in the female category therefore I=woman. Same goes for nouns and pronouns. It is an apple= Is úll é because it=apple. I hope this helps!
If you’ve ever studied Spanish (or Portuguese), the distinction between ser and estar is similar to the distinction between is and bí.
If you haven’t studied other languages with a copula, a rough division is that descriptions of (what could be) permanent characteristics use is, and observations of (what could be) temporary states use bí. For example, is is used in Is cailín cliste í because the girl’s cleverness is presumed to be a permanent characteristic of hers — what she is inherently is a clever girl. Tá an cailín sin cliste uses bí because it’s an observation rather than a definition; that girl is clever, but her cleverness doesn’t define her — e.g. she might be thought of as a kind girl who is also clever. A permanent characteristic such as Tá sé marbh still uses bí because the sentence neither identifies him nor classifies him; it merely describes him as dead. Is fear marbh é uses is because it classifies him as a dead man (i.e. he is one among countless millions of dead men), and Is eisean an fear marbh uses is because it identifies him (rather than some other guy) as the dead man being discussed.
thanks for the reply--marbh is one of the words that continued to confuse me heh. A couple weeks ago I FINALLY figured it the copula out. But it was a really painful few weeks trying to understand why some sentences required bi and some required is. It seemed very random and was mostly memorization for me. I am sure there are exceptions to the rules you note, and I am sure i will trip over those in lessons to come. I really feel like this course could use a lot more explanation/practice with bi and is. Like i said, for people who didn't grow up with that in their native language, it's super confusing.
If you know the material included in all the skills between where you are and the "Numbers" skill, you can use the test out function at the checkpoints or in each individual skill (you will be asked to complete a short test and the system will determine if it thinks you know the material, and will allow you to skip ahead), if you don't know the material between where you are and the "Numbers" skill, you just have to work through the rest of the course until then :)
I understand what you mean. I learnt Irish in school in the 80's and have returned to the language to relearn and get better at using it in conversation.
Pronouncing Irish words can be difficult. For example some letter combinations can have 'soft' sounds, -agh which is provinces like -ahh. Also if you see a fáda over a vowel it lenghtens the letter. For example tá is like 'taa' (or pronounce like thaw in English)
Try these links if you're having trouble with some words
Some words and sentences don't translate literally to English, which can also be hard to get your head around. For example Tá orcas orm (I am hungry) literally means I have hunger on me. This can add problems when trying to apply word for word translations. But keep practicing as it is a beautiful language to learn
Go n-éirí leat
Because Irish sentence structure is so fundamentally different from that of English, I think it would be very helpful for there to be two translations when working through lessons- a semantic translation (as currently is) and also a word-for-word translation. This would make it a great deal easier for me to understand what I am saying and why, rather than trying to memorize chunks of phrases by rote. It would also help me grasp structure much faster and be better able to generate new sentences on my own. Sometimes word-for-word translations are available in the discussion of a question; but not always.
I agree, speech correction would be a really great feature to have! Unfortunately, it isn't a feature us contributors can create, and I'm not even sure if Duolingo makes the speech correction software themselves (they probably outsource it from other companies). Since there is no Irish speech recognition software currently available, it is an unlikely feature for the foreseeable future. :/
So I have a question about the very first basics lesson. In the initial menu for basics one where it lists the words you will be learning, the word for "man" is spelled "fhear" but in the lessons themselves it is spelled "fear". Which is correct? Sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong thread, I wasn't sure where to ask.
I get the Irish word for the day from the Transparent Language website. Today's word is an mhuc. The sentence it is used in is Rinne Circe muca d'fhir Odaiséis. Why did they use d'fhir instead of a fhir? In English it's translated to Odysseus's men, which we would say his men, not your men. Is this a quirk of Irish or did they get it wrong? thanks
So. I studied a bit of Irish a few years ago, under an Irish Professor by the name of Padraig. I'm noticing the pronunciation he gave us for go raibh maith agat, and words like agat, fáilte, and a few other things are a little different. Is this a different dialect from Ulster? I'm brushing up; but, am marginally confused by the differences I'm hearing in audio format.
I'm Irish with a very poor knowledge of the language, largely from poor teaching methods but largely from a failure to have any interest instilled when in school. My first teacher was a Munster man, so we learnt the Munster pronunciation, even though we were in Connaught. "Raibh" to me is more "rev" than "ruv".
Hi!! New learner here!! I find this language extremely fascinating but difficult. I personally can not remember the words at all, which did not happen with other courses like German or Spanish. I do not know if it is possible but I would find useful to have all the words learned at each checkpoint... I have the impression that in the description of the learning unit not all the words are mentioned... Am I wrong? Maybe you could put the gender in the description of the unit as well! Maybe using colors? (Red=feminine Blu=masculine) Just brainstorming here.... In any case so far I am really enjoying learning Irish! :D Thanks for the hard work!
First off, I'm Irish, and had to learn Irish for 10 years in school. I hated it and so have never had a decent grasp of the language. I'm really enjoying this course, but like you say I'm struggling to remember words too. I find it fascinating how some words have stayed with me for 50 years, while others have been totally lost. My biggest issues are when to add a "b" or "m" before a word, and when to add a "h" after the first letter. The verbs are also an issue. They seem to change without my really understanding why. I feel that if I could understand the reasons, I may start to make more progress with the vocabulary. Just to re-iterate, I'm really enjoying the course and feel that I've learnt so much in a short time
A “b” would be added before a word when eclipsing a noun that starts with a “p”, e.g. póca (“pocket”) becoming i bpóca (“in a pocket”). An “m” would be added before a word when eclipsing a noun that starts with a “b”, e.g. bád (“boat”) becoming ár mbád (“our boat”). An “h” is added after the first letter in any case of lenition of lenitable consonants, e.g. cat becoming mo chat ; a feminine noun like bean becoming an bhean ; addressing someone — cara becoming a chara ; etc. You’ll get more practice with verbs as you proceed through the course, but if there’s something in particular that you’d like to have explained about them, feel free to ask.
Irish has very few irregular verbs (or so my father tells me) either eleven or twelve. So, with some fine tweaking I feel the verbs could really be easier to learn well.
I agree with you that this is a fine course. And I am really looking forward to the new voice.
But I do agree, some points of Irish grammar (lenition and ellipses) are very hard to grasp. I guess we will have to keep practising!
My brain is having a lot of difficulty with those irregular verbs too. Memrise has a course and I hope the link below works for you. The course does have some flaws and errors and I don't think it's being maintained, because I've asked a few questions and made a few comments on it, and never had a response, but it isn't bad apart from that. (The hard part is realizing that some of them are either wrong or could be expressed a bit better.) http://www.memrise.com/course/379468/irish-irregular-verbs/
The course is certainly very interesting. Due to the lack of explanation I've had to guess at grammar rules and stuff like that but it is a start and I am enjoying it a lot.
I've had a few laughs about how it first presented the word for man though:
What is a man?
picture of a man smiling creepily with a camera in his hands
As much as I am fascinated with the Irish course for English speakers, I really do wish that the program would have more audio recordings for all their words because half of the time, I am unsure of and cannot always correctly pronounce the words that I see. Having an audio recording of a word I touch or click on would greatly improve my understanding of the language.
Hello, I am a 78year old woman, who was born in in Ireland and I spoke fluent Irish when I was at school there. But I have forgotten most of it and am trying to relearn it through your program,which I think is a really good program. But I am not very tech savvy. So can you please tell me how to get to the next lesson after lesson 3? I am finding no directions and I am stuck there. Thank you.
I'm just guessing here, but I guess that you have finished the first group of lessons (Basics 1, which consists of three lessons). Usually, once you've finished a group, you will end up back at "home" and then you can go on to the next group (which is "Phrases" in this case.) If you have been strengthening, then it probably won't return you to home, but that's OK, because you can just click on "home" at the top, which will bring you to the entire list of lessons, so then you can move on to the next group of lessons. I hope this makes sense, and that it works for you.
I'm guessing you mean "level 4" as you are on level 3 at the moment. You get to the next level by practicing and building up what they call XP (short for experience I think). The more you practice they more XP you will get. After another 30 XP points you will be on level 4. You can see that on your profile page.
As for the lessons: if they are grey coloured they are not available until you finish the previous lessons. If they are brightly coloured or gold, you can do them. So do some of those you have done already again, or move on to the next lesson and you will get XP for the next level.
Irish sentences are, basically, VSO - Verb, Subject, Object. They start with a verb, go to the subject of that verb, and then on to the object. I was told this early in my studies, but it has taken me a long time to really get it! Of course, sentences can get more complex, which can distort the VSO structure, but while you're at a simple level, it works.
Dia daoibh - i have a question, not sure if this is the correct forum.. if not, i'm sorry! Working through the courses here, i came across the following sentences : "An úsáideann siad an euro sa Ghearmáin", but "Ní úáideann siad an euro i Sasana". Why is there the difference sa Ghearmáin / i Sasana ? any tips would be very apreaciated!
Go raibh maith agaibh!
Many (most, really) countries' names include 'an' http://www.101languages.net/irish/country-names-irish
'In' is 'i' in Irish, and i+an=sa (san in front of a vowel) 'An Ghearmáin' belongs to this group.
If a country doesn't have 'an' as part of its name, just say 'i(n).' Sasana is part of this group
Gaelic is a group of languages, like Germanic or Romance. Having said that, I have to admit that the English name for the language spoken by many people in Scotland is (Scottish) Gaelic. That language is not spoken in Ireland, although it has many similarities to Ulster Irish. The language spoken in Ireland is called Irish, or Gaeilge when you're speaking Irish.
There is one standard written language in Ireland, and this is the written form Duolingo is trying to teach.
There are three main dialects in Irish: Ulster, Connacht, and Munster.
There is no standard spoken Irish; if someone is hired by an Irish-language television or radio station, that person speaks their own dialect.
I've been told that the woman speaking in the Duolingo audio is speaking standard Irish with a Connacht accent.
3 dialects are Connacht, Ulster and Munster. Personally I find the Connacht dialect particularly difficult on the ear, even though I was born in connacht. that may be because my first Irish teachers were from Munster. Unfortunately, they were poor teachers or I was a poor student.