Oh dear, what have I gotten myself into?
I wasn't expecting the Irish course to be easy, but I don't think I was fully prepared for what the language would be like. Here I was, three North Germanic courses under my belt, thinking I must be hot stuff to have managed it. But I got knocked off of that high horse with the first lesson of Basics 1.
It's going to take me a long time to climb to the top of this tree. I'm sure I'll appreciate the journey once I've made it, though.
Irish is a tough language. It comes easier to some than others, but I'd say it's definitely... tough. However, I may feel this way because it's the first language I've seriously tried to learn, and they say your first is the toughest. But what makes it seem this way is that it is so different than the Germanic and Romance languages. The grammar rules seem bizarre and random, but they're surprisingly regular (more-so than English, in my opinion!). Pronunciation is another one that trips people up, but again, there's a surprising level of regularity with that as well.
When I started my Irish tree, it was actually pretty simple for a while, but once I got to the Eclipsis and Lenition lessons, holy moly! This was a whole new level of difficult. Eventually, though, these concepts became more natural to me. I still trip up with them, but more often than not I find myself naturally knowing when to lenite or eclipse words. The next major toughie for me was Genitive Case... I still have troubles with this! Verbal Nouns was hit or miss for me... sometimes I get it down like a pro, other times I'm missing every other question. :-/
It took me 6-7 months to complete the Irish tree... but man was I proud when I did!
I am german, for me English was my first foreign language and it was much easier for me to learn. Irish is very hard for me, I don't get the eclipsis/leninition stuff. Normally I am really good at picking up grammar, I never understood why a lot of people in my school had that many problems with the english grammar. Also spanish wasn't that hard for me. But this time I really struggle. But I want to learn it.
Decided to learn this so I could understand all the Gaelic songs in my massive Celtic music collection (and possibly translate some). Translating Gaelic to English is pretty easy, but going the other way I'm working on--all those bizarre spellings and syntax threw me for a loop at first, but I'm slowly but surely getting the hang of it--the notion of translating (and maybe even singing along in!) this beautiful language keeps me excited and motivated.
Oh yes, Irish is indeed a challenge! I started it a little before Dutch, and while I have finished the Dutch tree already, I haven't even gotten to the second checkpoint in Irish. I strongly recommend also doing the Memrise course that goes along with it. I am working on the Dates/Time skill right now. At the pace I am going, I don't expect to finish the Irish tree before Christmas 2015.