Achievement: Irish Beta obtained, what's next?
What a huge, huge milestone to go live with Irish in beta format. Congratulations to everyone that was involved in getting to this stage. In my own online circles and study group, this is being very, very well received. A bajillion lingots to the gang.
But what's next? I think it's clear that there's some legitimate concerns regarding the a) quality of the recorded audio and b) the quantity (not all has audio, missing from mouseovers, etc.) - this is independent of bugs (like incorrect audio playing).
Can the mods help us understand the size of the elephant?
~ Can we break down how many audio files we have vs need?
~ What format? What sampling rate? Is there a minimum decibel? Must be Stereo? Can it be mono? Between Google drives and other online file services, we can get ye the files, just need to know what/how.
~ Can we chop that number up into "sprints" / milestones? (need first 25 redone audio by September 14, etc. etc.)
Give us the specifications and put the community to work. What's the worst that can happen? We all get a stronger product? DuoLingo can always choose to not use newly created audio... but what if it's actually good?
Níl aon sluafhoinsiú mar do shluafhoinsiú féin. ;)
It's not even a week in Beta yet, so hopefully a lot of these problems will be sorted. If enough people report the faults and if we're let contribute (I understand that the Duolingo system may or may not allow this), then I see no reason why we can't have one of the best courses on Duolingo.
Having worked with computers and programmes, I know that what may seem simple is almost impossible if the entire system has to be rearranged to allow it, e.g. allowing crowed sourced audio or there could be legal issues also with the copyright of speakers (I'm completely clueless with law stuff). It's clear that the lives of the voluntary moderators were in danger from the impatient Duolingo community if the course wasn't released soon, and that there were problems with the original speech synthesiser, but the current audio is not good enough.
I have no doubt the guys and gal that volunteered to do it are the best people for it and are more than capable of making the course great.
That said, there are some valid concerns, which are unrelated to how Duolingo is coded. Hit an miss pronunciation in the audio is a huge concern.
The majority of people are just raising issues as they see them, which is part of what the beta is all about.
I know some idiots were getting angry in the weeks and months before Irish went into beta, but hopefully those of us with some common sense and real interest in the course can put our points across, without nagging or behaving like those muppets.
The distinction between broad and slender consonants is probably one of the most important aspects of Irish, and the audio does not differentiate between the two. It's a shame that it wasn't right the first time, and it will take time to change it. What I meant by coding issues was crowd-sourcing the audio. If a new speaker were to be found, the process should be straight-forward enough.
I've no doubt that the Irish team will sort these problems before the course graduates from Beta. And considering that Irish is the first minority language being taught here, if issues like these can be resolved, then there will be procedures for developing courses for other minority languages such as Welsh or Native American languages.
I'm all for progress, but don't be surprised if the course moderators aren't as enthusiastic as we are. Everyone's ready to go, because we've all just got a new toy to play with, but the course moderators have been working hard with this for months now. I imagine they'll want to take it easier for a while.
At the rate bug reports and alternative answers are getting checked at the moment, I think it's likely they are working as hard as ever.
Good point. I'll just clarify that I mean to say that the hard work they're doing now is at least easier on the mind than reconsidering certain elements of the course.
Would there be any harm if the community were able to provide the audio for all the words ?
Crowdsourcing is not the way to go, imo.
The audio needs to be done properly if it is done at all.
Quality control is an issue.
Also, just because a person has a computer with a mic, doesn't mean that they can record good audio with it.
Also, the number of people who expressed an interest in wanting to help build the course were clearly nowhere near fluent.
You would have this same problem when outsourcing audio.
I feel dumb. I appreciate team Irish so much. You guys are so down to earth. :-)
@Raltso gufcfan isn't on the Irish team. You can see the contributors here.
No but all I was saying was that it wasn't a mistake there isn't audio everywhere. But if that could happen I'd love it. But now I'm sticking with what I have and am grateful and not looking for too much change already because it is just in beta.
It won't let me comment on your last comment to me.
I'm not staff or one of the course volunteer coordinators. I'm just a native speaker who wants to help by doing the course and reporting bugs etc.
Maybe my profile pic confuses people.
Speaking of your profile pic, I honestly love it. Is that an actual screenshot of the trophy? As in, somebody actually finished the course so soon?
As I said above, I'm a native speaker. I finished the course in one sitting the day it came out. Nearly all of the course can be skipped by doing a test.
The final sections can be tested out like that also, but have to be done individually.
I wasn't the first person to finish it. I know at least one person who did it before me.
When you're a native speaker, you can often have the answer typed and submitted before the voice has finished playing what the question is (when audio is present).
So to answer your question, yes, it is a screenshot.
And also like someone else said it hasn't even been a week and you all are asking for more. These people aren't genies. So sit back relax and enjoy the course! ;-)
Fairly big difference though between "asking for more" and volunteering to help make more for free.