Any chance of an Irish Gaelic course in the future?
Don’t see why not now that SSiBorg seems to be up and running fairly effectively - they just need people to write a script and do the recordings. Maybe Benny would be willing to lend a hand…
It’s definitely on the radar… once I’ve done my crash-test of the Manx course, I think we’ll be confident enough to start looking for volunteers
any updates on this? i’m dying to dive into irish; i actually have ties to it, unlike with welsh. using the ssi format is the only way i want to learn it since i can’t find any lessons near me.
We had a good alpha test of the Manx, have written some fixes into the code since then, watched a few bugs spring up, and have some patches to stick on the existing Manx sessions.
I need to make some changes to the seed sentences which I should be able to do in the next week or two, and then we’ll basically be a bit of bug-squashing away from a round of beta testing - and Adrian, the Manx Language Officer, has put us in touch with someone interesting on the Gaeilge front - so there’s a real chance Gaeilge might be part of the next round of beta testing…
YAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!! excellent news!!
Hopefully the Irish course does go ahead - surprisingly, there’s nothing online at the minute for Irish learners that follows the SSiW template!
I would definately try the Irish. I tried the Duolingo Irish and the thing I struggled with was wishing that I didn’t have to see the words. After SSIW I wanted to hear the sounds and nuances, something you don’t really get from the robot like voice on Duolingo.
I also got turned off by the some of the debates and differences of opinions on the Duolingo forum - there was a real negative feel, with strong opinions on correct grammar and things like that, that made me worry about how easy it would be to ever try to use the language without being judged on proficiency or whether an outsider might even be welcomed, trying to speak the language in Ireland.
Rugby Irish for Welsh people travelling to Ireland might be good. All the boys and girls from south wales who travel over to Ireland to follow the Pro 12 matches or on tours might be interested in have a sprinkling of cheeky Irish to use down the bars after the games, assuming there will be a few people to talk to.
Very much on our list…
To the best of my knowledge, Duolingo’s Irish course uses a real recorded human (perhaps because they couldn’t find a suitable robot voice).
When I dabbled in the Duolingo Irish course, it was a woman whose pronunciation was occasionally criticised in the sentence discussions by people who seemed to know what they were talking about; apparently, she was a non-native speaker.
I have since gathered that they have replaced (or supplemented?) those recordings with ones from someone else who speaks better, apparently.
There is still the occasional confusion due to dialects, of course; the speaker doesn’t just read out the standardised wording but uses her own dialect.
One thing I found with the Irish Duolingo course was that not ALL the phrases or words had been recorded, which I found really frustrating because when you’re learning new words, you want to hear what the word sounds like, so to get the pronounciation correct. Have these recordings been replaced recently? And have they included more recordings to the course?? If so, I might give it another go!
I don’t know whether they replaced the 3000 (or whatever it was) sentences by the old speaker with 3000 recordings of the same sentences by a new one, or added 3000 to the existing 3000, but either way, you’re not going to have audio for all sentences unfortunately – it’s a money thing mostly, I think (and partly time, perhaps).
This is a shame! This could potentially be a very popular course if it were a complete one (or as close to complete as you can get - ie: all audio provided for all phrases). The more complete and addictive the course, the better it will be for the language in the end I feel. If Duolingo intend to expand their vision to provide a great laguage learning platform to learn from, they will need to reconsider these restrictions. It will be a shame if certain languages will have to have lessons sold or subscribed to in order to expand or be maintained - particularly if the work to build them in the first place are largely voluntary (I believe the Welsh course was built this way - I could be wrong though).
I think the issue is with the availability of high-quality text-to-speech engines – presumably those either do not exist or were not suitable for Duolingo for some technical reason. I believe they do prefer using those where possible.
As I understand it, Duolingo is intended to always remain free – because those who need foreign languages the most are often least able to pay for them. So I don’t think they will ever introduce subscriptions or member-only content, even in order to pay for better voice coverage or such things.
And as I understand it, only about half a dozen courses were created by Duolingo itself (Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, German) – all others are created by teams of volunteers, including Welsh and Irish.
(Which also explains why course approaches can vary so much. Completely different teams, and not everybody is a natural instructor. The Hungarian one is pretty frustrating, for example, because of how it throws grammar at you [and also because much of the “English” sentences aren’t good English].)
sorry to resurrect this, but i just caught up on this discussion.
i agree with someone above; it’s incredibly difficult to find an irish course even remotely similar to ssiw online. much less one that’s free! it’s a huge disappointment, and i cannot wait for ssi to tackle irish, whenever that happens. i’ll be the first on board!
as for my thoughts on duolingo, i’ve played with their irish course a few times now and seen the improvements they’ve made. i still think that duolingo is best for getting the feel of a language and brushing up on skills you’ve already obtained elsewhere. it’s an effective tool for practice or a little experimentation, but leaves a lot to be desired when it actually comes to learning. that’s just how i feel though! ssi set a very high standard for me though.
I’m hoping that will be at some point this coming year…
I’M DYIIIINNNG I NEED IRIIIISH!!
just being a pill. carry on.
We’re about a fortnight away from starting the next round of beta-testing - so, dunno, pull a figure out of the air, maybe 3 or 4 months away from reaching out to some of our Irish contacts…
My girlfriend of 3+ years is from Ireland, and the past month I’ve been really itching for some Irish after spending some time on Gàidhlig (we live in Scotland, so I’ve dabbled with Gàidhlig on and off). I’m working through some Manx now and I’m loving to compare the two languages… and now, I’m real excited to properly learn Irish so that my gf and I can have a new hobby together (speaking Irish). We’ve talked about it for 2+ years or so, but I’ve never quite been able to speak, but my reading is not too bad.
(In my humble opinion, the Duolingo course is great supplementary material but not so great for learning from scratch, although I wish the best for it! It’s a wonderful website and is very dedicated)
@saethwr When Irish comes out, I’ll jump aboard and if you need a language partner, let’s do it.
i love this!! yes please!! you, your girlfriend and i should all have a skype date sometime once it starts! that’d be wonderful.