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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2004 (July-September) » Archive through August 06, 2004 » Help!!! « Previous Next »

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Amanda (24.164.85.139 - 24.164.85.139)
Posted on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 01:41 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I'm in college and I might be spending a semester or two in Ireland! But I really don't speak or read much Gaeilge. I know that most people in Ireland speak English but I would like to be able to speak and read the Gaeilge language. I am kind of embarressed because I have Irish roots and my Great-Grandparents use to speak it all the time, but now they are no longer with us and I really can't remember what they tried to teach me. Any suggestions on how I can recapture the language of my ancestors?

Any help would be nice.
Amanda

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Fear na mBróg (213.94.244.93 - 213.94.244.93)
Posted on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 02:37 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

>I'm in college and I might be spending a semester
>or two in Ireland! But I really don't speak or read
>much Gaeilge. I know that most people in Ireland
>speak English but I would like to be able to speak
>and read the Gaeilge language.

If by most you mean 99%, then you're right - we speak, write, sing, read English in Ireland. As for people that speak Gaeilge, they're few and far between.

>I am kind of embarressed because I have Irish
>roots and my Great-Grandparents use to speak it
>all the time, but now they are no longer with us
>and I really can't remember what they tried to
>teach me. Any suggestions on how I can recapture
>the language of my ancestors?

You shouldn't feel embarassed - Ireland is full to the brim with people who are Irish and don't speak Gaeilge.

As for learning the language, a lot people here have CD-books and attend some sort of class.

Go n-éirí an t-ádh leat.

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Amanda (24.164.85.139 - 24.164.85.139)
Posted on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 04:35 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thanks, but any suggestions on what books or tapes would be best?

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An Díobhlásach (160.136.109.6 - 160.136.109.6)
Posted on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 05:06 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Amanda,

You don't indicate where you'll be and that might assist in suggestion a "dialect specific" resource. I'll give you my opinion (and it certainly is nothing more) on what I feel are the best resources available. In each case, you simply must get the tapes that go along with the book. As a native english speaker (which is my assumption) you will never make sense out of the unique usage of consonant/vowel combinations in Irish without the assistance of the tapes/CD's.

Learning Irish by Micheál Ó Siadhail:

It teaches the Cois Fhairrage Dialect which is spoken west of Galway. (I think I've misplaced a fada or two in his name, but google search will turn him up in no time). This resource is probably one of the most comprehensive from a grammar standpoint. Unfortunately, that level of comprhensiveness can be rather overwhelming. Key points are often in small print, parentheses or otherwise obscurely located in the text. For this reason, I also recommend

Irish Grammar: A Basic Handbook by Noel McGonagle.

It's a very straightforward compilation of Irish grammar rules. You'll never understand it if you try to read it by itself, but used as an adjunct to "Learning Irish" it is quite useful.

If you really don't want to hassle with the grammar just yet (you'll have to eventually, though..it's just that way) I would recommend

Buntús Cainte

There is absolutely no attempt to teach grammar in this series. None what-so-ever. But, it is a very easy and quick way to pick up some phrases and such. It's taught from a "Standard Irish" dialect perspective (if there can even be such a thing) and I still use it when I want to give the brain a rest and just listen and repeat.

Teach Yourself Irish has two different versions. One is good, the other not so much (or so I've been told). They both focus on the Munster dialect, I think. This is more central Ireland and a more neutral dialect (get ready for the debate that will ensue over this...everyone has their favorite dialect!)

Then, there is the Ulster dialect which is spoken in the North as well as the upper northwest. If you do a search using the "search" tool to the right, you can get some really good info/links to some on-line courses for this particular dialect.

Now, having spent so much time on the dialect issue, let me say this. It really doesn't matter!

Most of us have started out with one, switched to another and some have become reasonably proficient (and fluent) by settling in with a 3rd!!! The point is, just learn Irish...the dialect thing is really a minor concern that will work itself out in the long run. With just a few exceptions (different words, or different pronunciation), you'll be able to converse uniformly, regardless of the dialect spoken.

Good luck and welcome to this site. There are some amazingly helpful and gifted teachers here. Visit often, ask tons of questions and most of all...have fun!!!


Le meas,

An Díobhlásach

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Amanda (24.164.85.139 - 24.164.85.139)
Posted on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 05:27 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thanks for the tips! I'll see which one will work. Still if anyone has any other tips that would be great.

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Daithí (152.163.252.199 - 152.163.252.199)
Posted on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 09:53 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Another way to capture the language of your ancestors is to explore the rich music and poetry of Ireland. Language is about communicating, and you'll be aptly rewarded by any exploring you do about the two very important areas of music and poetry. There are plenty of websites to find with a simple google search, or others here may recommend some great sites or other resources

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An Díobhlásach (160.136.109.4 - 160.136.109.4)
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 09:30 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Oops! That would be the search tool to the LEFT!!! You'd think I'd know the difference between left and right....don't know where my brain was!

An Díobhlásach

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Amanda (24.164.85.139 - 24.164.85.139)
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 02:08 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thanks for the tips, keep them coming!!!

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Paul (68.164.202.124 - 68.164.202.124)
Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 09:18 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Amanda,

That’s great that you want to learn Irish.
I think enthusiasm and energy are half the battle.
I have a few ideas for you:

Buntús Cainte: Book/Tape 1 is available right here from
Daltaí na Gaeilge – look under “Shop.” Very user-friendly,
but, yes, it’s grammar-free.

Progress in Irish: Makes a great companion to Buntús Cainte.
You make your way through lessons in workbook fashion.
Won’t answer a lot of grammar questions, but’ll provide
a good foundation. Available from www.litriocht.com.

Irish On Your Own: a book and tape set, based on
the Ulster dialect. A very strong emphasis on
conversational Irish. I like it because it has a
sense of fun, thank goodness. Available from Amazon.

BunGhaeilge do Thuismitheoirí: a booklet and tape set
of basic phrases, created for parents who send their
children to all-Irish schools but who don’t
speak much Irish themselves. I’ve seen this set
at Kennys Bookshop in Galway when I was
there a year or two ago. www.kennys.ie

Why not go off to a weekend-long or weeklong
Irish immersion program? There’s loads of them
in the US and Canada (look on this site under
“Events.”) They’re affordable, fun, and you’ll
meet other people who share your enthusiasm.
In Ireland, here are two of the many organizations that offer courses:
Oideas Gael (in Donegal) and Áras Mhairtín Uí
Chadhain (run by NUI Galway/University College
Galway) offer weekend, week, and monthlong courses.

Another suggestion is www.Gaeltalk.net,
an Ireland-based online Irish language course.

I hope this helps. Leap right in!

Paul

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Amanda (24.164.85.139 - 24.164.85.139)
Posted on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 09:55 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Thanks for the advice. If anyone else has some feel free!



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