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Siobhan ( -
Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 12:48 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hello, I started learning Connacht dialect but it is my hope to know others too. Does it take much time and 'pain' to learn another dialect once I know one already? In short words: is there a huge difference between the three main dialects? And what about the standard Irish: how much people speak it?
Thank you in advance :-)

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Seosamh ( -
Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 12:09 am:   Edit Post Print Post

It shouldn't be very difficult to learn the other dialects, as well as Standard Irish, once you have reasonable mastery of one of them. But it is true that it is frustrating to many people to be exposed to the different varieties all at once and too early on. You do not have to be able to use other dialects, just passively understand. Some people stick to the standard in courses like Buntús Cainte, Teach Yourself Irish and Linguaphone, at least until they have the basics down. Although I encourage people to learn a dialect, any form of Irish that follows the overall rules of the language is legitimate.

I have a small advanced group that learns Ulster Irish, one of whom is primarily interested in Gaoth Dobhair Irish (the kind they speak on the left side of the main road :-) Tonight we did work on the conditional. Even though it was just review for them, they insisted on learning the standard version of the conditional. They'll deal with the local variation later. And they will. But they are dealing with the language as a whole, the only way to go in the long run.

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