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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (October-December) » Need a little encouragement! « Previous Next »

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Br James (eli-208.186.190.241.dslextreme.com - 208.186.190.241)
Posted on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 08:37 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hi, I recently began studying Irish, and I just started the third lesson in Mícheál Ó Siadhail's Learning Irish. It's starting to get intimidating! I didn't expect it to be easy, but I'm getting a little discouraged.

Does anyone have any advice and/or tips to keep myself from getting too discouraged to continue?

I think that as far as Ó Siadhail goes, it's pretty easy to get into it, but I always feel blown away with the English to Irish translation at the end of the lesson. It's always a question of whether the correct literal translation came out of it or not.

Anyway, I'd appreciate any tips you can give me.

Thanks,
James S.

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Beth (ha18s171.d.shentel.net - 204.111.21.171)
Posted on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 09:48 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

James a chara,

This book is considered a difficult one, but I have found it very rewarding. Take it as slowly as necessary, listen to the tapes constantly, review all previous chapters before starting each new one, and check out the link for the online O Siadhail workbook which was sent in under the heading "What the heck does this mean" earlier last week. Also, there seem to be a bunch of us reading this forum who are familiar with the book, so post a message if you get really stuck. Adh mór ort, good luck!

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Bradford (dtg-66.216-16-15.dtgnet.com - 216.16.15.66)
Posted on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 09:04 am:   Edit Post Print Post

James, a chara,

I'm also using Learning Irish, and to echo something Beth mentioned, my one piece of advice for you is to not be afraid to take it S-L-O-W-L-Y! I've been known to spend weeks on a single chapter if need be. Take as long as you need to really master the material. Since the chapters build on each other it's critical.

Also, I hearily agree with everything else Beth mentioned.

Best of luck!

Le meas,

Bradford

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Paul (server1.embryoninc.com - 66.152.218.225)
Posted on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 10:02 am:   Edit Post Print Post

James, a chara,
Regarding the O Siadhail book, I found it helpful to also work with materials that have a more conversational approach, such as the booklet/tape BunGhaeilge do Thuismitheori (available from Kennys bookshop in Galway) and the book/tape series Buntus Cainte.
Attending immersion weekends and days are great, too, if you're able.
Adh mor/Good luck, Paul

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Al Evans (tbtm.org - 208.188.101.145)
Posted on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 10:44 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I've been studying Ó Siadhail's _Learning Irish_, somewhat obsessively, for about a year. I agree that taking it slowly is essential. There are lots of bits of important information hidden in the footnotes or shown only once in the Irish texts. There are even a few outright mistakes, mostly caused by typographical errors. The lessons require close scrutiny.

You will find Nancy Stenson's worksheets...
http://nexus.brocku.ca/rogawa/gaelic/
invaluable. Again, they require close attention, and there are some typographical "mistakes". The "errors" are as valuable as the right answers, because they force you to do your research. I print each one out, and complete it before I try the exercises at the end of the lesson.

As others have suggested, review frequently, and make sure you understand each lesson thoroughly before you go to the next.

I would also strongly advise you to get copies of the standard Irish-English and English-Irish dictionaries as soon as possible: Ó Dónaill's _Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla_ and De Bhaldraithe's _English-Irish Dictionary_. Ó Dónaill provides extensive amplification on the too-short definitions of the vocabulary words, and is essential if you're trying to do any "outside reading". You need De Bhaldraithe if you're trying to write anything as Gaeilge, which you should do.

My experience? I'm up to lesson 30 in _Learning Irish_ -- as I say, I've been pretty obsessive about it -- and I find I can make sense of most of the Irish writings I find on the net, with more or less effort. My Irish composition skill still sucks rocks, but it's slowly getting better.

I've ordered a few "real" Irish books, and as soon as they come, I'll start reading them. I find that jumping into the real literature of a language with no safety harness is one of the best ways of learning. As soon as I'm reasonably comfortable with my skill in writing, I'll start participating in one or two of the Irish discussion boards on the web. Again, I've found that getting involved in the subject matter is a great antidote for obsession with linguistic details. After all, it's really about communication!

I should mention that I have a fair amount of experience in learning other languages -- I'm very fluent in French and reasonably so in Russian -- and the advice I give above is what works for ME. I have no idea whether it's really applicable to anybody else:-)

I hope this helps!

--Al Evans

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James (209.48.182.219)
Posted on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 02:32 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

James, a Chara:

Here's my two cents worth re: O Siadhail.

He's got a great book with some really in-depth grammar information. Unfortunately, you'll need to read every footnote, every small print and every parenthetical phrase and statement to find them. Additionally, he's got a number of typographical and pure editorial errors that can drive you nuts--especially when you are first starting out. Now, having said that--I think he's got the best purely academic self-teach book on the market.

My outlet has been Buntús Cainte. It's purely rote memorization. See the picture, hear the tape, say the words--nothing too difficult. When O Siadhail weighs too heavily on my academically impaired brain, I use Buntús Cainte to reinvigorate myself. I can make some progress (broaden vocabulary, pick up some neat phrase, here or there) and not really care why I'm saying what I'm saying. Invariably, I'll find the why sooner or later in O Siadhail.

The key to learning Irish is this (it's nothing that hasn't been said by others):

Take your time

Use this site

Have fun

Practice every chance you get.

Ádh mór ort.

Le meas,

James (eile)

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Br James (eli-208.186.190.13.dslextreme.com - 208.186.190.13)
Posted on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 03:31 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thanks for your suggestions! It is quite intimidating learning a language completely alien to what you've spoken all your life. I hope to become fluent enough that when I have kids, they can be taught Irish at home. Some of my mexican friends who are bilingual taught their kids Spanish before they went to school, and they picked English right up. I want my kids to have two languages to be grounded in, as I think it'll make it easier for them to learn other languages if they so desire.

Perhaps one day I'll immigrate to Ireland, and make real use of Gaeilge in the Gaeltacht. One can always dream ;0)

Le meas,
James

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Bradford (66.231.2.121)
Posted on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 06:32 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

That's the spirit, a Shéamus! I've also dreamed of someday living in one of the Gaeltachtaí. Of course we've got a virtual Gaeltacht right here on this board in the meantime! :-)

Keep at it and best of luck to you.

Slán,

Bradford

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Julia (12.91.156.75 - 12.91.156.75)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 11:39 am:   Edit Post Print Post

This seems to be the best place to put these questions...I'm on chapter six of O'Siadhail and before I go on to 7 I just want to make sure I understand a couple of things.

1. Should I get hung up on adverb placement...for instance "Ni raibh Maire bheag ariamh ann" or ...
"ach bhi Maire tinn agus mar sin ni raibh si ann ariamh" Does the twist in the "never there" mean something or not?

2. "Ta bia agus deoch anois (?) ar an mbord mor"
There is food and drink on the big table now. I stuck the "anois" on the end of the sentence when I was translating this...what is (if any) its proper placement?

3. when you have two adjectives describing a noun, does it matter in which order they go...two examples " Ta fuinneoig mhor dheas ann" = There is a nice big window, and "ta suileail bhrea ard ann" =. There is a fine high ceiling. O'Siadhail's got them going both ways so I'm thinking it doesn't matter... or is this in the "typo and errors" category?

This stuff doesn't bother me when I'm going from Irish to English but when I'm going from English to Irish it drives me nuts...and believe me it's usually a short trip. Please excuse the absence of fada's in my post,and thanks for whatever clarification you can provide!

Le meas,

Julia

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Larry (217.42.54.25 - 217.42.54.25)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 12:44 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Julia, a chara.

A quick answer to #3 before I have to dash off.

First place is given to a descriptive adjective when two or more adjectives follow a noun. For example "Tá gruaig fhada dhonn orm" - I have long brown hair. An teach mór úd, úll milis dearg etc etc. It's similar to the order of adjectives we use in English.

Le meas,

Larry.

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Julia (12.91.158.65 - 12.91.158.65)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 08:33 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Larry, a chara.


Go raibh maith agat!

Julia

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Al Evans (208.188.101.145 - 208.188.101.145)
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 10:05 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Numbers 1 and 2:

As far as I know, the difference in Irish is about equivalent to the difference in English between

Mary wasn't ever there.
Mary wasn't there, ever.

or

There's food and drink now on the big table.
There's food and drink on the big table now.

One of the things I really like about Ó Siadhail's book is that it gets less and less exact as you go from lesson to lesson. If you move on to real Irish language and literature, though, you'll have to give up any illusions of consistency in pronunciation and spelling, too. It's all part of the fun.

--Al Evans

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Julia (12.91.184.207 - 12.91.184.207)
Posted on Saturday, October 04, 2003 - 07:30 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Al,

Thanks for responding...I'll try to loosen up and just enjoy myself. I began this quest because at first I was trying to master Old Irish and got hung up on understanding the relative clauses and thought modern Irish would be easier and I would transfer my knowledge of the grammar (and of course, taking into consideration all the changes in vocabulary, cases, etc.) from "new" to "old" ....wrong!!! I like the O'Siadhail book because of the presentation...but I wish someone had spent more time proofreading. But I like the challenges it presents and will persevere.

Le meas,
Julia

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Jonas (213.243.191.58 - 213.243.191.58)
Posted on Saturday, October 04, 2003 - 07:43 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Julia, I forgot to answer you about Iarla earlier, tá brón orm. Unfortunately Seacht isn't one of the songs I've written down and my cd is in Jakobstad (500 km away). How are you doing with Lasairfhíona's lyrics?

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Jim (67.81.112.165 - 67.81.112.165)
Posted on Saturday, October 04, 2003 - 10:37 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,

Tá mé ag foghlaim ceachta a trí na “Learning Irish.” Agus tá mé obair a dheanamh le “gaelic language reader.” Agus ta mé ag foghlaim amhráin mar “Óro sé do bheatha bhaile.”

I feel I must develop a program and keep to it. Two or three chapters of “Learning Irish” a song a chapter of “Teach yourself Irish” then repeat or something like that. Too much flexibility I think leads to slacking off. Too much “Learning Irish” and you seem to be missing out on a lot of exciting content.

I would appreciate any corrections to my Irish paragraph above. Ma's é do thoil é. I hope I am incorporating your previous corrections!

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Julia (12.92.124.146 - 12.92.124.146)
Posted on Saturday, October 04, 2003 - 09:48 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hey guys,

First, Jonas, that's okay...I'll just have to sit down and concentrate on listening to Iarla and who can complain about doing that?? I can sing along with "Bean Pháidín" on Lasairfhíona's CD so I am progressing. Another great song I'm trying to work with is "An Poc Ar Buile" on a Cherish the Ladies CD...Its sung by Liam O'Maonlai, and I can't distinguish where one word starts and the next begins, its just like one big stream of Gaelic..that's where I'd love to be someday.

Jim..your program sounds very well balanced.I'm pretty sure I understand all of what you wrote!! I started with "Teach Yourself" and while it had alot of conversational content, I didn't know why I was saying what I was saying, so I switched to "Learning Irish". I'm having trouble with the pronounciation, basically because I have no-one to talk to. That's why I listen to as much music as I can, so I can hear the language in action, so to speak. I'm really hoping to go to one of the immersion weekends...I want to talk!!!

I do temp work at conventions in the Washington DC area, and every now and then, we do an international conference and I've been lucky enough to have registrants from Ireland come up to me to get their badges, etc. I say "Dia dhuit", and I get a blank stare, and I say "Dia dhuit" again, and maybe it takes two or three trys until they get it, but it's because they're so suprised to hear it from someone over here. We don't get much past "Conas tá tú" and "Go raibh maith agat" but hey, I'm speaking Irish and it feels great! So I'm sticking to it, and I appreciate y'alls help (that's from Julia - The Texas Years).

Julia

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Jim (67.81.112.165 - 67.81.112.165)
Posted on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 11:06 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Jhulia, a chara,


Go raibh maith agat! It is nice to know that I might be communicating in Irish on some level, however “briste!” I think we may both be at similar levels in our study. I have in the past progressed to Chapter 12 or so, but I didn’t do a very thorough job and so now I am reviewing and moving forward.

I worry that when I try to compose an Irish sentence. I often use Irish vocabulary and English grammar.

I have made some whoppers on this site!

I was especially curious about:

“ Agus tá mé obair a dhéanamh le “Gaelic language reader.”

It looks somewhat like this example from Jonas:

“In the same way
3a. He would like TO OPEN the window.
"To open is in the infinitive.
3b. Ba mhaith leis an fhuinneog A oscailt.
Infinitive in English, A+verbal noun in Irish.”

But obviously it is not exactly the same and there-in lies the rub. I would be grateful for additional correction from anyone!

Le meas,

Jim

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Jim (67.81.112.165 - 67.81.112.165)
Posted on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 12:06 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,

I was reading over the "sentence structure" string and see that this sentence is the same kind of mistake I was making there! Hopefully, two rounds of embrarassment will drive this point into my head!

le meas,

Jim

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Jonas (213.243.174.29 - 213.243.174.29)
Posted on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 12:13 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Jim!

Some notes to your posts. First, I often see that my name is transformed into "Jhonas" on this site, just as "Jhulia" or "Jhim". The correct forms would be
-A Julia
-A Jim
-A Jonais

In men's name the final consonant is slenderised, but "j" is not an Irish consonant and should be left unmutated. The same goes for names beginning in H, L, N or R as well as the all other foreign consonants (J, K, Q, V, W, X, Y, Z)

You are quite right in doubting the sentence "Agus tá mé obair a dhéanamh..." and it's always a good sign when we spot our own errors. I often don't ;-)

First, there is hardly any need for both "obair" and "déanamh".
-Táim ag obair = I'm working
-Táim ag déanamh... = I'm doing
Of course you've used "obair" as a noun and indeed you can use both "obair" and "déanamh". I've heard it quite a lot, but in this case I would go with "obair" only - that is, depending on what you want to say. (I'll come back to this)

Táim ag obair le "Gaelic language reader".
I'm working with "Gaelic language reader".

That would be the easy solution. By the way, I use "táim" instead of "tá mé", both forms are correct. "Táim" is Munster Irish (and Standard), "Tá mé" is Connacht and Ulster. Since you are using Learning Irish (excellent choice) I'd suggest that you stick with "tá mé".

To say "I'm doing work with GLR", you'd say
-Táim ag déanamh oibre le GLR

After a verbal noun you must use the genitive of obair -> oibre.

If you wanted to say something like "I have to do work with Gaelic language reader" you would say:
-Tá orm obair a dhéanamh le GLR

So you can't say "tá mé obair a dhéanamh", but you have plenty of other possibilities. ;-)

Please tell me if something was unclear and I'll try to better my explanation.

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Jonas (213.243.174.29 - 213.243.174.29)
Posted on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 12:17 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Haló aríst!

I posted my message before reading your second one. There is no embarassment in being wrong, at least there shouldn't be. But if there were, then the one who spoke the best Irish here would be the one that has been embarassed most often. There are in fact only three ways to improve one's Irish: Practicing, practicing and practicing

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Jim (67.81.112.165 - 67.81.112.165)
Posted on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 03:41 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Jonas,

Go raibh maith agat! Your post was extremely helpful- I deeply appreciate your help!

le meas,
Jim

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Jonas (213.243.177.32 - 213.243.177.32)
Posted on Monday, October 06, 2003 - 05:54 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Jim,

Tá fáilte romhat, I'm glad you found it useful. Keep ut the good work, what you said about too much flexibility is very true indeed.

Slán go fóill,
Jonas

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druniel (81.114.174.254 - 81.114.174.254)
Posted on Monday, October 06, 2003 - 09:49 am:   Edit Post Print Post

hi.Can you suggest a way to learn irish with a certain system? Anyway, in november I will be in Ennis,for the music, and maybe in the West I'll find some teacher.thank you.
druniel

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