If you go back and practice each lesson, I've noticed, it brings up things it hadn't taught you before but tested you on. I dealt with the same thing. Even if you don't have any "weak words" go back and practice, new lessons will come up.
Is the vocal in "do" silent? I don't think so but I only hear "tá d'mhilseán agam" in the audio. No vocal.
It sounds like neutral/unstressed vowel "schwa" ə (like the middle o in octopus).
I wrote another comment at https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/6379668 where the speaker says "Conas atá do mhilseán?". I found her 'do' in that one even harder to hear. I came to this one a little further on and could just discern it. Maybe because of all the attention I had paid to the earlier one! But, of course, we all engage in such elision in our normal day-to-day speech. Just a little difficult for beginners.
There is no elision in in either of these exercises - you might not be able to distinguish the individual words, but that's a matter of practice on your part, it's not because the words are being elided.
I still get this wrong every time because I don't know which one is "sweet" and which one is "sweets"
“Sweet” is milseán, and “sweets” is milseáin. A change from a broad final consonant to a slender final consonant is a common way of differentiating between a singular noun and a plural noun.
Interesting...if I can ever remember that. There is just so many little things like that to remember....maybe in time...
Ok, broad and slender consonants don't really tell me anything. I'm German and we rather refer to the length of the vocal. So could you say that milseán has a "short a" and milseáin has a "long a"? That's kinda how it sounded last time I heard both in comparison.
No. a, o and u are broad vowels. e and i are slender vowels. It has nothing to do with the sound of the vowel, but the sound of a consonent is affected by whether it is adjacent to a broad or slender vowel.
á is a "long vowel" that doesn't sound the same as a, but á is still "broad". é is a "long vowel", but it's still "slender".
I searched my mind for some other words that might help me to know, how it's pronounced, one with the combination "-in" and one with "-an". So "milseáin" is slender, because of the "i". Does it kinda sound like in "cailín" with the tongue pretty close behind your teeth (at the alveolar ridge)? As for "milseán", does that kinda sound like in "nuachtán" with your tongue just a little bit higher (between alveolar ridge and hard palate)?
milseáin isn't slender. The n in milseáin is slender.
I wouldn't compare the sound of cailín to the sound of milseáin, because the í in ín is itself pronounced, whereas the i in áin is primarily there to make the n slender.
I really can't comment on the mechanics of the sound as you describe it.
Half of the audio buttons don't work in this course. It's really frustrating, I spent a few hours researching Irish pronunciation last night: it's very regular and actually not as bad as it seemed before I did the research. Now trying to put it into practice in Duolingo is the hard part because I can't listen to even half of the course...
Duolingo uses the same web template for all it's languages during lessons - audio buttons on exercises for the language that you are learning, no audio buttons on exercises in the language that you are learning from. It doesn't check to see if there is any audio available before it displays the "button". (Before the recent web upgrade, the Irish course only displayed the button if the audio was available. This is still the case when you click on the Discuss button, because that code hasn't been updated yet).
Because Irish doesn't have a suitable text to speech engine available, the Irish course relies on manual recordings, which are both far more expensive to create, and far more complex to manage, so only about a quarter of exercises on the Irish course have audio. Don't think of it as "some of these exercises don't have audio", think of it as "some of these exercises DO have audio" - the audio is an added extra, that Duolingo jumped through extra hoops to add.
Ignore the button. If the audio autoplays when the exercise opens, there is audio, if it doesn't autoplay, then there isn't any audio.
Yeah, I understand that it's manual. It would be great if Duolingo accepted user submissions for audio that could be voted on by users. Then we could have multiple recordings, from a variety of dialects. For courses with T2S (like French), the computer-generated speed is often a little robotic.
Yeah except some of the lessons are "listen to the Irish and type the Irish" with zero words given and NO AUDIO. So you have to skip them, look at the answers, and then guess those answers later to complete the lesson. It's a clear flaw.
It looks like this is a new bug that has cropped up in the last day or two. I've submitted a bug report (https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204728264-How-do-I-report-a-bug-). I encourage you to do so too.
Is mhilseán pronounced "vill-shan" here or are my ears not attuned enough to this yet?
That is what I am also hearing...but I am not confident in my listening skills yet.
I've heard "sweets" before to refer to candy (I'm in the US) but it's not common. I don't think I've ever heard it used in the singular before though, is that common in areas where "sweets" in used?
Yes, it's normal to refer to "a sweet" in the singular. When offering one to someone else, you ask "Would you like a sweet?".
Obviously it's less likely to be used with M&M sized "sweets", and more likely to be used for individually wrapped sweets.
Username/Avatar makes me think you're from Philly? Are there any good Irish language clubs in the area?
There are a few different classes around, and both UPenn and Villanova University offer undergraduate courses in Irish, but there isn't anything cohesive, and I'm not aware of any open ciorcal comhrá type event, and I don't know that there's the critical mass there for a pop-up Gaeltacht, though the Irish Language Learners facebook group had one last year (May 2017)
Because of the long history of emigration from Donegal to the Philadelphia area, Ulster Irish is often the preferred dialect for Irish learners in Philadelphia.
milseán is not the Irish for "dessert". The "sweet" in this exercise is not a dessert.
seán does not mean "old". Fadas are not just for decoration, and sean and seán would be two different words if seán was an actual word.
It isn't always clear with pronounciation when is is singular "milsean" or plural "milseain". It doesn't differentiate that clearly in the audio. Maybe a variety of dialects would help.