The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2002 (January-June) » Any Opinions on Galmac's SpeakWrite Software? « Previous Next »

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William Small ( -
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 12:58 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Has anyone used the Irish language software package called SpeakWrite by Galmac? It has three parts and is a bit pricey. Is it a good learning resource or just "bells and whistles?"

The advert says that you need a basic understanding of Irish. So, I suppose that means that their primary customers are Irish folks with some school exposure to Irish. I have that but not much else. I am really feeling the need for a more structured approach to the language, like a class. Here in Seattle there is a dedicated group of learners of Scottish Gaelic, but the Irish well is pretty dry.

So, I am hoping that a program like this could bridge the "class gap." Either that or go to Ireland for a month long intensive.

By the way, I am guessing that for a gruelling (in a good way) and intensive experience in Irish learning the University of Galway' s summer program is probably the best. Does anyone have an opinion on that?

Any advice or direction will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


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James ( -
Posted on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 01:21 pm:   Edit Post Print Post


I share your feelings regarding an immersion combined with a formal teaching environment. Oideas Gael in Conamara has several short courses to offer and I've heard good things about them. Another option you may want to explore would be one of the week-long immersion courses offered through this web site. From the main menu, look in the left-hand margin and click on "classes" or "events." There's a whole list of "local" options for you.

I studied Spanish for four years but didn't truly learn to speak it until I spent some extensive time in Latin America. I was put in a situation where speaking and eating were dependent activities! I think the greatest challenge to any adult learner of Irish is that this situation cannot be duplicated. If in Ireland one does not NEED to speak Irish to eat, secure lodging etc. Everyone speaks English and will readily speak it at the slightest hint of difficutly. I've contemplated having a t-shirt or hat made that says "Speak Only Irish To Me, Please." But, of course that's too long for a normal sized hat and I don't have the pectorals to put it on a t-shirt!

Anyway, Adh mór ort.


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Bocstaí ( -
Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2002 - 11:31 am:   Edit Post Print Post

With regard to James and his suggestions, Oideas Gael is in Gleann Cholm Cille, Co. Donegal. See website

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William ( -
Posted on Sunday, June 30, 2002 - 03:27 am:   Edit Post Print Post

James and Bocstaí

Thanks for your suggestions. It appears as though Oideas Gael has many good recommendations. It's the program that most people mention, so I will definitely check it out.

On the matter of immersion programs in the US, I have notice a dichotomy of East coast:Irish, West coast: Scottish Gaelic. But this is probably my uninformed impression. I can get to a Gaelic immersion course in Seattle as easy as pie.

No one seems to have had any encounters with the GalMac Irish software, so I am going to assume that its not all it's cracked up to be in spite of its maker's claims. If anyone ever runs into it, pass along your review to me.

Too bad RTE doesn't have something like Speaking Our Language--the Gaelic language TV program. There is the Now You're Talking program in the North, but its just not as massive as the SOL program--78 programs! I think it's a real help to see people actually speaking the language.
BTW does anyone know if the Now You're Talking videos has ever been produced in NTSC?

Well, thanks again for your advice.


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