Welcome to the Irish Suggestion Box! Here you can suggest anything and everything relating to:
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Please leave your suggestion in the comments below. Give as much detail as possible and we will try our best to implement them (if possible).
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The tips and notes for the plurals skill says:
Plurals Forming plurals in Irish is quite irregular. Some patterns do develop but it is best to learn these when learning a new noun.
Sorry if it seems like I'm moaning (I'm really not: the Irish course is fantastic), but could the tips and notes be expanded to give examples of some of the most common patterns?
Not sure if it's exactly a suggestion, but I've been having some problems with the strengthen skills feature on the Irish course. Quite often, I'll go to practise Basics 2 and find, instead of the standard 20(?) questions, there will be five, all some variation on translating "na fir" back and forth. I've also had ones on Basics 1 and 2 where there's only been one question, which meant that even though I got it wrong I still got 10 exp for completion + 2 exp heart bonus, and that just so feels like cheating to me. And, especially on Basics 2, I'm only being tested on a small portion of the content - it's almost always "ithimid", "an fir", "bainne" and "páistí" and never anything else ("sibh", "ólaimid", "aige", "aici"). I've not seen anyone else mentioning this anywhere, so I don't know if it's just me or not, but I thought it was worth bringing up.
If anybody wants workbooks, I recommend "Basic Irish" (http://www.amazon.com/Basic-Irish-Grammar-Workbook-Workbooks/dp/041541041X/) and "Intermediate Irish" (http://www.amazon.com/Intermediate-Irish-Grammar-Workbook-Workbooks/dp/0415410428/). If you want a good pocket dictionary, this is a good one: http://www.amazon.com/Focloir-Poca-English-Irish-Irish-English-Dictionary/dp/1857910478/
There's lots of worthwhite information on the Foras na Gaeilge site: http://www.gaeilge.ie/
Those are definitely good book recommendations. Thanks!
Some alternatives to amazon (and a way to support independent Irish bookstores!) are:
An Siopa Gaeilge: www.siopagaeilge.ie
Kenny's Bookshop: www.kennys.ie
Kenny's has the two grammar books, and Litríocht and An Siopa Gaeilge have the Foclóir Póca.
Anyone else have some more website recommendations to order books in Irish?
I've mentioned this already.
For the other XXX -> English courses I don't bother reporting "ye" as a suggested translation, but I feel that Irish should accept "ye", because it is the pronoun of choice (along with yous(e)) in Hiberno-English. I hope they'll consider accepting it.
I am very pleased to see this course. It made me change my mind about only studying one language at a time. Three questions: 1) Is there a simpler way to change back and forth between my courses rather than going into account settings and changing languages there? 2) When asked to choose a picture as an answer, is it possible to hear the word pronounced like it is in my Italian course? I find that really helpful. 3) When I do the review lessons, I keep getting asked to translate "Menu" which is a word I haven't learned yet (I only just completed Basics 1) Is there a way to prevent this?
Thank you so much, I really like this course!
As for number 2, it may not be possible yet. Due to this course relying on real voice recordings instead of Text-to-Speech, not all of the sentences have audio but each word is included in at least 1 recording. This may change as the course graduates from beta, but give it time :)
I hope it does gain more audio. I find that I've seen the audio for leabhar once and typing/translating it much more, but when I'm reading to myself I think I'm totally butchering the pronunciation. I'm certain of it. I need to hear things an ungodly number of times to get it right.
Not so much a suggestion, but an observation.
In exercises with multiple choice answers, they can often be answered without really understanding, because one or two of the possible responses has seemingly randomly capitalised letters in the middle of them, which to my mind, gives it away.
I notice that the prepositions don't have tips and notes, which is fine of course, but I know in spanish when there is an idiomatic phrase used, they would allow the literal translation, after you submit your answer they provide an alternative translation which is usually in more correct english.
I notice that if you translate "Tá ár gcótaí orainn" as "we have our coats on" you don't get the alternative translation "we are wearing our coats". If you translate as "we are wearing our coats" you DO get the more literal translation of "we have our coats on". It's hard for me to see this from the point of view of a complete beginner, but I'd say that it's important to see the alternative translations of these constructions or you might never know that both are considered acceptable translations.
I second the request to add Notes & Tips to the prepositions. What would also be great would be to be able to click on them and have them conjugated, as one can do with the verbs in French and Spanish, say.
Explicitly, it would be nice to have an explination of the difference between "tá ... uaithi", "tá ... ag teastáil uaithi" and "teastaíonn ... uaithi" for "she wants" or "she needs". In English one doesn't really say "She is needing ...", which makes me think that "tá ... ag teastáil uaithi" should translate the same as "teastaíonn ... uaithi".
I don't know your plans, Alex, but I told you ages ago that I thought it'd be wise if you made a blog full of common learner questions and such to go along with this. You should mention the work you've done here when you're applying to unis somehow and maybe a blog could further showcase. everything.
Also, is there any interest in a Irish FB group like the Spanish (and other languages) we have?
I have a suggestion for the lessons on eclipsis and lenition.
The fact that the beginnings (and not only the ends) of words in Irish change according to grammar and syntax has been one of the hardest things for me to get used to, as someone who's only studied Romance and Germanic languages so far.
I found the grammar tips for these two units too much to grasp at first. Perhaps it would be pedagogically simpler to separate what eclipsis and lenition are (and what exactly happens to the consonants), and then gradually introduce later what grammatical situations require their use. To get everything in one chunk is quite a bit to digest at once. For example, eclipsis could be covered just by introducing "ár" (cat - ár gcát), and lenition by introducing "mo" (cat - mo chat). Then in later lessons we could learn about prepositions, the article with feminine nouns, and all of the other special cases.
It's a fantastic course. Your hard work is plain to see, and it really paid off! I'm having tons of fun working through the beta. Thanks!
I've been studying Irish for about 6 months now but have not been progressing at a rate I want to be, mainly because of the overwhelming amounts of Irish to English translation in the course. Due to this, my growth and interest in the languages has been waning.
With Irish to English translation, translating is too easy, loses my focus, and makes it very difficult for me to remember words and most importantly, form sentences in Irish fluidly. The rare times I do get to perform English to Irish translation, it engages me, challenges me, and forces me to think, process, and produce content in Irish while allowing me to memorize words.
I would also like to suggest more listening practice and the implementation of speaking practices. These practices are already in other language courses, and would many practitioners here improve their verbal application of the language.
I love using your site, and because of it, I have sparked my passion for languages. However, I need to get serious about learning Irish, and the current model of the site not allowing me to grow to my fullest.
Thank you so much for creating this amazing, wonderful course for the beautiful language, and I wish you the best of luck!
Go raibh maith agaibh!
I would love to see a list of children books in Irish that are a good place to start reading for beginners. I've personally found one I believe is a great choice, as it is a very popular book and most people should have heard of the story in their own language:
The Little Prince by Saint-Exupéry > An Prionsa Beag
If anyone knows of any other similar books, I'd love to hear suggestions.
While I'm kinda "meh" about Immersion on duolingo in general, I think that if you get a book in Irish that was translated from English (or any language you know very well), you can reference the original to correct yourself. :) This is what I plan to do with An Prionsa Beag eventually. I need to get through the Tree first, and it sounds like it's going to take me quite some time (I'm currently in the Present Tense Verbs).
I don't know what you have already planed for the new Irish Tree 2.0, but I express my wishes to you though. I would welcome it, if there were more extra skills about "Relatives particles" (the person who..., the thing that...); the Copula itself (like with which words it can be combined and explain the special ones, e.g. is cuma le, is dóigh le,...); and many others that haven't been explained sperately here yet. Because I find it hard to figure out on my own when to use what, e.g. go, gur, gurbh (huh?!) and others. And to me, the skills are kind of too less here for me. In the Welsh Course for example are way more skills than here. But not that I don't like this course. I am really glad about that there is an Irish Course here. Now that I have started, I would like to become as good as possible in Irish, because otherwise it's a pity for Gaeilge, since it is teanga álainn!! Go raibh míle maith agaibh!
Forgive me if it's in there and I haven't seen it yet, but is there any way to include learning the genders of nouns? I always forget Irish has genders because it doesn't affect the definite article, but since it does affect other things. Maybe in the hover translations? Are there any rules to be able to predict the gender of words?
Not sure of the best place to put this, so I'll just mention it here.
In other languages, when mousing-over or introducing words, the audio is always attached to it. With Irish, I'm getting hit by an introduction to a word using pictographs, for instance, the audio isn't there when I select '1, 2 or 3'. Then when I get tested by the audio to 'Write what I hear', I am not familiar with the pronunciation well enough to figure it out.
The first in this category that I got was 'Uisce' - hadn't heard it before, and I didn't know how to spell what I heard. Not a huge deal, because now I know and will just re-test any section where this comes up. The only thing I can imagine is that the audio is geared towards sentences and not single words?
Duolingo and the Irish volunteers found that no existing text-to-speech software they could use was suitable for Irish. They didn't go into specifics, but I believe that the best one they tried, just couldn't capture the nuances of the language.
As a result, they have abandoned that approach, which has been used for every other language pair on duolingo (to my knowledge), and instead elected to make actual audio recordings of each phrase.
As you can imagine, that is probably incredibly time consuming. I have no idea what their long term plan might be, but for now, only some of the sentences have audio recorded for them.
Personally, I think it is a far better outcome, as TTS can often be quite bad at replicating the sounds in languages.
I understand the TTS aspect, but the issue is that singular words like 'Uisce' are in the database of audio recordings made by the live person. However, when they are presented in multiple-choice format (i.e., the pictures you will randomly get when introduced to a word) , or when I hover over the word by itself, I don't get the audio played back. Hence why this is a suggestion.
It seems like Duolingo code only allows TTS on those features (hover, or selection), and I feel this could be enhanced to playback the words/phrases that are already in the database.
I'd like audio for individual words in a sentence. I usually need to focus on one word at a time.
Forgive me if this has been discussed before, but to our wonderful moderators, what stopped you from adding your own voice as supplemental audio for single vocabulary? As the voice actress did mainly sentences, could you add individual words to hover over, similar to the TTS with other courses? With a group of you, you could record several options and decide as a team which is the most neutral sounding and add it...? Maybe? (I've loving the course, by the way, so I don't want to sound a nuisance!)
In addition to what Alex said, everyone thinks they can record good quality audio with their existing computer. This is rarely the case. Unless the audio can be very good quality, I think it does more harm than good. Not just because of the lower quality, but because it could hurt the credibility of the course a lot, in my humble opinion anyway...
After trying a few pieces of software, they realised that there is no good text-to-speech software for Irish, so anything that is voiced has to be an actual recording of that specific phrase. It seems that decision wasn't made that long ago, so we have to be patient.
I know the course is publicly available, but we have to be mindful that it is very much a work in progress, despite how well put together it is generally.
I know you weren't complaining, just letting you know what I think is happening.
Thanks for this! I've been on and off trying to learn Irish (but being very lazy about) over the past several years. This affords me a fun, great way of learning that is lot better than a bunch of tapes. The only problem I have is the lack of audio. In the Spanish course I also take here, there are regular and slow audio and you can click on or hover over them to repeat. This helps me tremendously. On the Irish, I'm getting the written down little by little but I'm not have the best time with the pronunciations. Again thanks for taking the time to put this course together.
yeah, there really has to be more audio. I have gotten through 3 of the 5 food lessons and there are a bunch of words I have never heard spoken. The words for fish, beef, congratulations, strawberries, sugar, and a whole slew more I've only heard once or twice and can never remember how to say. And I have done each of the lessons several times (or more) and a couple dozen strengthen practices. I can read and write pretty good, but my speaking and listening skills need a lot more work.
i know this has been mentioned but i am just giving my two cents. Audio as you hover over each word would be a great help. I am so happy to see the Irish language on duolingo, i am from Ireland myself and have "studied" Irish all my life and can hardly put a sentence together. I loved the language but was taught to dread it. But with a program like this I can learn it the way it is supposed to be taught. Maybe the educational system in Ireland could change to try and keep this language alive, teach kids to speech Irish rather than teach them how to pass an exam. rant over lol Thank You Duolingo
I guess not much has been posted here, but my suggestion invovles Prepositions 1. I know that there are several other prepositions sections, but I wish that the prepositions could be split up a little bit more. It was kind of overwhelming to learn so many prepositions particularly when they're not completely regular. I actually have no idea if you can do this now that it's been released into Beta, but perhaps for ones that are special (i.e. prepositions used to express "to have" and "to want") could actually be separated into their own skills.
Loving this course guys! Always wanted to learn the language my Mum and her Irish family can speak (well most of them anyway haha)!
At the moment I'm on the present tense skill at the moment and really struggling. I think it would really help if I could see the infinitive version of the verb before it is conjugated so I can get my head around these conjugations.
Irish verbs don't have an 'infinitive' form. The basic form of the verb is the singular imperative form.
The present ending is -eann for slender verbs (those whose final vowel is either e/i) and -ann for broad verbs (those with a/o/u as the last vowel). For the first person singular and plural, there are synthetic forms that are generally used. These are -im/-aim respectively for the first person singular and -imid/-aimid for the first person plural.
Additionally, there's the impersonal form, which end in -tear/-tar respectively. This is used for passive-like constructions.
Here's the present tense conjugation of the verb 'cuir' (put, send, bury), a slender verb. I've put a hyphen in to separate the root of the verb from the suffix:<pre>
cuir-im cuir-eann tú cuir-eann sé cuir-imid cuir-eann sibh cuir-eann siad cuir-tear</pre>
And here's 'mol' (praise, suggest), a broad verb:<pre>
mol-aim mol-ann tú mol-ann sé mol-aimid mol-ann sibh mol-ann siad mol-tar</pre>
Irish verbs are very regular and their conjugation is very straightforward.
Add a recommended reading list for people at different stages along the tree. For instance, at which stage would someone be good enough to read, say, Lord of the Rings, to pick a popular book? Or maybe something nonfiction (Maybe something on Irish history, given the geographic origin of the language in question?)
I've been away from Duo for a while (two months in Connemara!!!) but returned to an incredibly improved voice! Thank you guys!
Slight issue, however: the recordings seem very soft/low, which is not the case with Russian, French, Spanish -- meaning I have to adjust my volume when changing languages here in order to hear the spoken Irish.
Again, thanks for all the improvements!
To get a feel for the pronunciation try www.alison.com there is an irish course there. Its not great. Its based on slides with an Irish speaker reading the Irish sentences, and an English translation. There are some minor errors on the slides mostly with spelling, but I've been told they are planning to fix them. However it does give you a basis to start.
It's not just the noise annoying other people, it's the background noise of the bus. I sometimes get overwhelmed by noises, I have a problem with being able to separate background noises with noises I should be listening to. It's bad enough while I'm talking English, let alone Irish! XD
If this has already been suggested, I apologize ahead of time. But in the German learning part of Duolingo, you're able to hear the individual words as you press on them (as long as they have the dotted line under them), as well as choose a fast and slow version of the spoken word. Is this something in the works?
And like in the German one, will there be a time when we'll be able to practice our pronunciation? Being able to speak and allow the program to let us know if it's correct or not? Reading Irish is going great, but I feel my pronunciation is just horrendous.
I noted a mistake in "Tips and Notes" of the lesson "Verbs: Present 1"
Again, the verb bí is an exception in this tense, as well as the verb abair say:
•Tá tú You are
•Níl tú? You are not
•Táimid We are
•Nílimid? We are not
•Deir tú You are
•Ní deir tú You are not
•Deirimid We say
•Ní deirimid We do not say
I think it should be:
•Deir tú You say
•Ní deir tú You do not say
•Deirimid We say
•Ní deirimid We do not say
I may be mistaken, but I don't think there are any hard and fast rules to what's "masculine" vs "feminine". It's almost entirely arbitrary and simply agreed upon by tradition. You can follow this link for a guide, but I have always found it easier to memorize words with an and note whether the word is lenited.
Edit: And maybe I would add this very general note (without having tested it personally, so emptor caveat).
A little suggestion for those bonus skills that you can get in other languages on Duolingo: Now probably isn't the time to implement them in Irish, but whenever you moderators do get to them, my suggestion would be to make bonus skills (or even multi-skill lessons) for the three dialects, highlighting some of the most useful differences from the standard dialect. That would be really neat!
I love that you go over grammar and conjugations or leave a tip for us when we go to work on something like food! I know that as you go to work on a lesson there is a list of vocabulary under it but I was wondering if you could add in the tip/grammar rules portion a vocabulary list with the English translation? It would help immensely! Thank you!
I ran into one problematic question: pictures of radios, where you're expected to type the Irish for radio. The "correct" answer is given as "radió", but I learned elsewhere that it should be "raidió." I've tried repeatedly to report the problem on that page, but the reporting function doesn't seem to work. Elsewhere a "Thank you for reporting" message comes up, but it doesn't here. Dunno what the bug is. Or is "radió" an acceptable variant?
This is a rule that could well be relaxed for new words taken over from other languages. The most annoying example is surely 'meaisín', used for a parking ticket machine. Apart from the fact that there must be a better word for 'dispenser' in Irish (roinnt? íoc? dáil? riar?), I see no good reason why, if we have to use the word 'machine', we can't simply spell it in French, the way the English and Americans do.
That rule is typically only relaxed with compound words. Relaxing it too much would make the spelling system much less predicable. Old Irish didn't enforce 'caol le caol, leathan le leathan' as consistently, and its spelling systems was much more complicated than modern Irish.
Words like 'machine' are respelled when borrowed into Irish so that they fit the orthography. Otherwise you end up with an unpredictable mess like that of English, which has multiple conflicting spelling systems depending on the origin of the words in question. English was able to borrow the word 'machine' wholesale from French on account of how much of an influence (for better or worse) French orthography has been on English orthography. English is unusual in how it tends to borrow words wholesale without respelling, and it's not really a property that Irish should be looking to emulate: Irish has a relatively straightforward orthography because it respells words, not in spite of it.
If you want another word for 'machine' in Irish, 'inneall' is a good choice, even if it's generally translated as 'engine', even though 'engine' is only one of its meanings.
The accented letter is simply a different letter. A letter that is accented in a word will always be accented in that word, even in different forms of that word. There are ten plain vowels in Irish, a e i o u á é í ó ú. You just have to learn the spelling of each word, there is no rule for altering accents. But the accent is linked firmly to the pronunciation (except when this program tells you that 'cairéad' should be pronounced 'caireád'. It shouldn't.)
Will the Irish course develop an immersion-translation section for those seeking extra practice?
I would love a vocab list at the end of each lesson if possible. I don't always have my notebook handy so it would be great if I could just go to the end of that section and see the list of words(just the main ones, nothing fantastic) used. It can be as simple as apple - úll. *side note I am a very new speaker to this and am loving duolingo!
Hi, I have a suggestion related to the practice weak skills tab. It seems like when you press it it just selects a single random weak skill and quizzes you on vocab only pulled from that lesson. I really wish that it would vary things, more mixing different lessons together so that you were getting more holistic practice. That would be more fun and also help me learn, I feel, since I would be seeing words in a new context and asked to understand them (rather than in a context where I am primed to understand them because I already know it's going to be connected to dates/animals/food/whatever).
It would be helpful to have more information on broad and slender consonants. I've read conflicting information on how they are used with broad and slender vowels. Some say you can mix other information has it that only broad with broad and slender with slender. Go raibh maith agat.
Hello, just wondering about the percentage fluency feature in spanish and whether one could be developed fr Irish. It is not a useless feature as I was told by other as there usually 100 certain words that make up a large percentage of any language. For example the Dolch list in English. Many thanks
When I use the app for Irish, the audio button only works one time. If I use it in other languages, it will repeat it as many times as I need to hear it clearly. I have since discovered it works properly on the computer, and it has been a consistent problem with the app, so it seems like it must be a bug.
Sorry if this has been brought up - I didn't read all 136 comments - but in French there is a "words" tab at the top of the screen where you can access a vocab list. I would find this very very useful for Irish. Is something like this in the works? I assume that anything that is a feature in the more popular languages is already being thought about for the less popular languages but I love that feature and thought I would bring it up.
Dia duit! I have a few suggestions
In questions, can we get more practice outside of the 5 H and why? More questions like "does she come from Dublin?" or "does the green cat eat elephants?"
More individual word translations in the Android app. Learning is quasi impossible without them.
Please include the skill tips & info in the app.
I first became aware of these tips when I saw the lightbulb button in my German and Chinese courses, and was disappointed that Irish did not have them. I never go to the Duolingo website, and only thought to check there after seeing a comment on a exercise discussion thread. It never would have occurred to me that what was available on the website version of the course was different from the app.
These tips are extremely useful, and I would very much appreciate them being integrated into the app, as they already are for other languages.
Design decisions about the various different Duolingo apps are up to Duolingo, not the course contributors. Some "core" language are created in-house, but most courses were developed by volunteers, and Duolingo may treat those differently in whatever version of the app you're using.
As there's nothing to prevent you using the website on your phone or tablet, you can access the Tips & Notes there, keeping them open while you use the app, which is actually an advantage over accessing them within the app (though this doesn't help users discover them in the first place).
While flipping back and forth between app and browser may indeed be useful, I think you put your finger on the nub of it when you said it wouldn’t help with discovery. As I said, it never would have occurred to me to look, and surely I’m not the only one.
Along those lines, trying to find where to post this suggestion wasn’t all that easy, either. So if this sort of functionality is up to Duolingo rather than specific language contributors, where ought I to go to provide feedback?
Duolingo isn't really big on user suggestions, and the attitude to Tips & Notes has been ambivalent over the years anyway - you can always submit a bug report, but if the people who are responsible for the Android app wanted to make the Tips & Notes available, they'd already be there.
You could post about it in the Troubleshooting forum.
I finished all 320 units of Irish the other week..very chuffed! But the unit that gave me the most trouble on all levels was the Verbal Noun. That one unit throws together too many usages like a dog's breakfast: (1) the progressive I am drinking type; (2) the progressive which takes an object in the genitive as in I am drinking a beer type; (3) the progressive which takes a first, second person pronoun object (altho few of these given) as in I am seeing you type; (4) the progressive which takes a third person singular or plural object with requisite spelling changes on the verbal noun and the acute accented 'a' as in I am seeing her, him, them (5) "going to" type constructions with chun/le (differences in these not made clear in Duolingo) as in I am going to give this to you; (6) purpose type expressions with chun/le and sometimes nothing but not involving "going to" as in I am coming to sing, I am coming to get this book; and finally (7) the rather passive construction (forgive lack of fadas as I am on a PC I'm not used to and set for US English but as example from Duolingo "Ta an beoir a hol agam" which is rather like the beer is being drunk by me). For a student, this is a total mess to wade through. I was thinking I was doing so well at one point typing in Taim ag ol beorach but then got was corrected to this latter usage!! Please consider breaking this Verbal Noun unit up into smaller pieces better grouped for structures that students need to learn.
I think it would be helpful if rather than just having all the lenition rules together and all the eclipsis rules together, if they were organized in paired lessons. Possessive Pronouns (both lenition and eclipsis) Numbers 1-10 (both lenition and eclipsis). And then perhaps split prepositions into those that use lenition and those that use eclipsis. Also, it would be helpful to know which nouns are feminine and which are masculine for lenition purposes. Maybe a separate Dental Dots lesson. Or Other Exceptions. It might also be nice to have a new vocabulary section in the tips of each lesson with their genders and how to make it plural for nouns. A lesson on cases might be nice as well early on since that isn't really taught in English grammar classes. And more on sentence structure would also help instead of just trying to glean that from multiple examples and hope for the best. I would also like to see a pronunciation guide section like in French where I can just click on a letter or combo and listen to the sounds in all three dialects. The diphthongs and digraphs and trigraphs are especially difficult to master with all the nuances of broad and slender. The Irish Alphabet would be a good first foundational lesson. I would also love to see stories in Irish! They have been so fun in French.
I really enjoy learning the Irish language, but I'm mostly (solely) on app, because I only have time when I'm commuting. There is no Tips&Tricks section in the app for Irish, which makes it really hard to progress in the course, as you have to deduce grammatical rules all by yourself (especially with things like eclipsis and lenition this is almost undoable). This has caused me to almost give up on the course. Could you please add a Tips&Tricks section before each lesson in the app as well (I understand they are available on the site/forum, so why not in the app?), as is customary for, for example, Spanish?
Decisions about which features are supported in the app and the website are made by Duolingo staff, not by the contributors who developed the Irish course. Spanish for English speakers is an "in house" course, developed by Duolingo themselves, so it gets features that aren't routinely available to courses created by volunteer contributors.
It's unlikely that Duolingo staff will see your suggestion in a post in the Irish Discussion forum, but you should be able to open the Tips & Notes in the web browser on your phone, to read outside the app.
Ah I did not know that, I apologise! Thank you for your clarification. I once tried to click on a link provided in the discussion topic in the app, but instead sending me to the website outside the app, it brought me back to the home course in the app. I will try your suggestion next time.