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Joshua Ownby ( -
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 08:07 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I am 15 years of age and I want to learn a language... I have decided on Irish because I have Irish-Scottish ancestors... Does anyone have any tips or any books that would be good for my age group in learning Irish?

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fintan ( -
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 11:29 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Joshua a chara (Dear Joshua),

Try this one maybe. I have found it an excellent introduction for learners and a handy resource for more advanced speakers also.

The book is called "Gaeilge agus Fáilte"

Ádh mór ort (Good luck)

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Antaine ( -
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 11:40 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I posted this on another's what I used myself and used with my friends:

What I have found to be a good start, is the following collection:

Conversational Examples:
Buntús Cainte (with tapes). Criterion Press. ISBN 1-85791-065-6

Irish Grammar, A Basic Handbook. Noel McGonagle. Hippocrene Books. ISBN 0-7817-066704

2-way dictionary:
Foclóir Scoile (or Foclóir Póca). Datapage International. ISBN 1-85791-121-0 (Foclóir Póca is ISBN 1-85791-047-8

Verb Conjugation Examples:
Briathra Na Gaeilge, Regular and Irregular. Folens. ISBN 0-86121-649-0

Start with Buntús till you get the hang of it. When you're ready to start making up sentences of your own, use the dictionary for vocabulary, the grammar handbook for syntax, and the verb book to learn conjugations from easy to read tables. I've had and seen quite a bit of success with that combination. Something else, if you can get it (I believe it's now out of print) is
First Steps in Irish, by the Christian Brothers. It has no ISBN.

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Jonas ( -
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 03:13 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Joshua, it all depends on which kind of learner you are. If you want an easy introduction you could go for Teach Yourself Irish, Irish on Your Own or Buntús Cainte. The good thing about them is that they are very easy, the bad thing is that they won't take you that far. You should not expect being able to have lengthy discussions after having finishing them.

If you are truly dedicated there can be no other book than "Learning Irish" by Ó Siadhail. It is so much ahead of all other Irish courses that I can't even desribe the difference. Then, obviously, the good thing is that you will have come very far when completing the book. The bad thing is that it will take more of an effort. Another good thing about Learnin Irish is that it is actually based on a living dialect so you'll get used to the spoken language. It is not my dialect, so I'm not saying this out of any kind of linguistic patriotism ;-)
When you have complected Learning Irish you will know all the Irish you need to know to go to Ireland and immediately start speaking Irish. I did. Of course you'll need practice, but you will have everything you need.

So I guess it's all up to you. The more effort you are prepared to put into it the more you will get out of it. 15 is a good age to start, by the way. I was 18 myself when I started to learn.

If you are interested in more details concerning any of the books I'll be glad to help you. If you can't find them in any bookstore you can order them on-line from

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