Maybe you need good speakers on your computer as mine are loud enough but I have an issue with the speed of delivery.I have seen one site where you can actually adjust the speed.I wish you could on this one. Its never going to be easy if your first language is English tying up the written word with the pronunciation and the effect of one word on another. Different accents involved as well as different dialects. A good memory of the sounds and understanding all the rules involved is required. How it evolved like this over time amazes me ! !
For a week or two after the new speaker was introduced at the end of April, 2016, the volume on the audio clips was quite low - that's when Eithne's comment was posted. The Duolingo engineers modified a parameter to increase the volume on the clips.
While it is technically possible to slow down recorded audio clips, such as the ones used for the Irish course, it is not nearly as straightforward as it is to slow down the computer generated speech used on many of the other Duolingo languages. I think that it is extremely unlikely that we will see such an option available for Irish, or the other languages that don't have a suitable TTS engine available, and that rely on recordings. There are speed options available on http://abair.ie (unfortunately, the audio quality on abair.ie is more lo-fi than hi-fi).
Nonsense. She's speaking Irish, and what she is correctly saying is An dtéann na cait bhuí chucu?.
Becky's difficulty in interpreting spoken Irish won't be helped by writing gibberish that doesn't even accurately describe the sounds here, especially as your accent in English probably doesn't match Becky's.
There are a couple of different ans. When an comes before a noun, it's usually the definite article "the" - it will cause lenition if the noun is femine. When an comes before a verb, it usually turns the verb into a question (and causes eclipsis).
Téann na cait - "the cats go" An dtéann na cait - "do the cats go?"
(An also crops up in some other places, such as an intensifier, eg an-te - "very hot").
Ok, I see. I am trying to understand lenition. Believe it or not, every time you guys tell me to go back and read the notes, I do and I understand a little bit more. I was told to go back to them today again and actually understand most of what lenition is talking about now :) I don't think I'll heap eclipsis on top until I really know all the rules or lenition. Thank you for your answer, very helpful. I do get why the "d" is there now though. I'll be looking for those "an" questions with verbs after them and know it is eclipsis if the beginning letters change.
It's not as if the current speaker is perfect - she doesn't even speak the dialect that the course is supposed to be teaching (some people actually think that's an improvement, and therefore excuse some of the more prominent flaws in her recordings). As a course for beginners, a speaker that speaks too fast for inexperienced listeners to be able to make out what she says is a real problem - it's far easier to speed up something that you have learned at a slower pace than it is to try to learn it at an (unnecessarily) high speed in the first place. This is particularly true for app users (the vast majority) who don't have access to the sentence discussions. She does get easier to understand with practice, but how many people will give up in frustration before they get that far? Those users certainly are NOT much better off with the new audio.
It'd be interesting to see how the drop-out rates for new users compare before and after the change of speaker, though I doubt that that information will ever be released.
The previous speaker did a lot of things wrong, but she was still better than the current speaker in certain respects. And in fairness to the current speaker, I think the problems are a matter of the instructions that she was given, rather than her ability to speak Irish (which isn't in question). She should have been told to speak more slowly and clearly, and to avoid dialect forms where they conflict with the written text
This is less of a problem for me if only I could get it to replay on demand. It randomly plays after six to ten clicks. I got the first two words but was too frustrated after three to four minutes trying to get a mere two more plays. Some exercises will not play at all after months of complaining (yes months). My conclusion is that this is now a closed project with no one working on it anymore. Probably ran out of the grant money.
I'm very pleased with this new audio because I can tell it's authentic. I'm having a heck of a time with it, but I have confidence I'll learn it with repetition.
I wonder if we could have a turtle version like we do in Spanish?-so that we can hear it fast (regular), or click on the turtle to have to slowed down? That would be so nice!
Most of the other languages on Duolingo use a computer generated voice - slowing the audio down just involves changing a single parameter during playback. There is no suitable TTS (Text-to-Speech) system available for Irish that Duolingo can use, so all the spoken exercises are recordings. While it is technically possible to process such recordings to slow them down, it would require a completely different support system than the other languages, and it is unlikely that Duolingo will devote the engineering resources necessary to implement such a change for the sake of Irish, and other "small" languages that don't have a TTS system available.
Whatever about licensing and/or technical issues, I'd have some concerns about the actual audio quality too. abair.ie isn't ideal for hearing the nuances, because the Munster and Connemara voices are a bit gravelly or husky, and the Donegal voice is often clipped in odd ways. The site is really useful for comparison, but I don't think it would do for Duolingo.
I'd have to agree about their pronunciation. It's better on http://www.teanglann.ie/en but only works with basic words. I suspect it is just recorded. It just means we have to live with cross-checking across as much as possible and, hopefully, finding a local native speaker. They are few and far between where I am!
All of the audio on the Foras na Gaeilge sites is recorded, rather than computer generated. They use a number of different speakers (you will sometimes find very similar words that were obviously recorded by different people, because there is a noticeable difference in the voice, and sometimes even a noticeable difference in the pronunciation, because even within the dialects, there will be variation between speakers).
Even if the current speaker on Duolingo was perfect, and every single sentence could be listened to, it would be necessary to listen to other sources too, because of that variation.
No. I was hoping the owners of the guesthouse spoke it, but they didn't. Some of the people at the church and restaurant did, but I didn't have my laptop. It was a very quick trip. I am disappointed that I didn't have the chance. As you probably know, not everyone in the Gaeltacht speaks it.
Aw, this explanation could have been part of the Plural and/or Lenition tips and notes, unless it comes up later under a different skill.
One more small mystery solved, thanks for the explanation. This sentence is somewhat brutal for audio recognition ("type what you hear") the first time it is heard :)
There is no sign that the engineers at Duolingo have any interest in making those kinds of usability changes to the website. While they seem to tweak various features in the Android and iDevice apps on a regular basis (at least based on comments in the Duolingo discussion stream) they tend to leave the website alone.
The feature to turn off audio for one hour is on the website now (Oct 2018, using Safari).
I discovered it by accident thinking it worked like 'skip' because I couldn't understand what was said and just wanted to 'get it wrong' and discover what it was and move on. Now I'll have no audio for an hour instead lol.
If I open the URL below in Microsoft Edge, I can right-click on the player and set the "Play Speed" to 0.5 to hear this exercise at half speed.