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Daithi ( -
Posted on Friday, July 23, 1999 - 09:39 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

I'm not sure where most readers come from but I went to school in Ireland, I left 7 years ago and it's only recently that I've started to try and speak a little more Irish to friends and family alike. But why am I angry? I also learned English, German, French and Latin in school, did higher level in all except Irish, in which I did lower. I got high grades in all except Irish, which I failed. I was also speaking Italian out of school with a family I was very friendly with. So basically I'm saying, I guess I have a talent for languages, so why couldn't I conquer Irish? I reckon it's because of the truly terrible way they teach it. I hope it's changed because I'd hate anyone to feel they missed out like I have, but I'm trying to catch up. Just thought I'd share this with yee!

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Posted on Friday, July 23, 1999 - 10:04 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

If you did well in the other languages - did you have particular difficulty with your Irish teacher? I agree that the secondary school course focuses too much on "Litríocht". But there must be more to it then that if you could get honours in Latin which has a similar course structure.

Go n-éirí an t-adh leat anois pé scéal é.

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Posted on Wednesday, August 18, 1999 - 06:08 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Hello Daithi,

I also went to school in Ireland and agree that the way in which Irish is taught leaves a lot to be desired. I did take honours Irish but I was more fluent in pass French after six years than I was in Irish after thirteen! I have lived in Portugal for the last year and now speak better Portugeuse than either. I was talking with someone about this recently and I think that one reason for the atrocious level of the average person's Irish is that you don't learn the grammar rules until you are in secondary school (i.e after six years of learning without the rules). Any other language I have learned has begun (quite rightly so) with grammar rules. But I suppose the key to it all is immersion in the language. I now live in Wales and hear 5 and 6 year old children speaking Welsh. It is really bi-lingual here not nominally so as in Ireland. Perhaps another reason why Irish has lost out is that students are never really told why the language is important.


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Posted on Wednesday, August 18, 1999 - 09:37 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

of several books used for home study, I was impressed that "Irish for Everybody"teaches the imperative form of verbs in an early lesson, which may give the student a grasp on things at an encouraging stage of study.

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Kay Uí Chinnéide
Posted on Thursday, August 19, 1999 - 04:57 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

It takes a great deal of commitment to learn Irish and what strikes me most about some of the comments so far is that despite setbacks and frustration and disappointment people still love the Irish Language and want to master it.

Maybe it's coincidence but on three separate occasions in the last month, members of my family were spoken to in Irish.
1 in the A.I.B branch in Blackrock (Dublin)
2 in Eason's of O'Connell street
3 Esso service station Rochestown Avenue DunLaoghaire.

I recommend anyone who loves Irish to read " A view of the Irish Language" edited by Brian Ó Cuív
and also "Tobar na Gaeilge" by Ciarán Ó Cúlacháin.

Sadly at times, even still, in Ireland and elsewhere being an Irish speaker causes a person to be treated as a member or a sympathizer of a terrorist organization. Not so long ago people were interned in a city not far from here simply for attending classes in Irish. It makes people more than a little reluctant to use Irish publicly. There was hope with the peace agreement that this would pass. Nowadays its difficult to hold on to this hope. Sad to think that the language which once united Irish people should be so regarded.

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Sorcha ( -
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 1999 - 08:51 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

A chara!

May I say something as an outsider? :)
I lived in the Munster area for two years in my final years of high school. In spite of being an Irish citizen, because my "formative years were spent in Australia" I was considered "foreign" and not permitted to take Irish as a subject. I saw this as being reasonable in that I couldn't just storm into a pre-leaving class and demand lessons. So I snuck into the first form class and in exchange for tales of little adventures in Australia, I learnt from the ground up. In spite of being a speaker of both French and Indonesian, it was the Irish that knew me more than I knew myself. It was an electrifying experience.

I have noticed that previous postings have only spoken of the language and not the culture in and around it. You must love the country, its people and its ways - warts and all - in order to bring yourself to learn a language. Rather than a battle, I see it as a long bath....sud up, scrub then soak and let the water wash over me. Just because one has a gist of one language does not mean that a talent for languages is suddenly materialised. It is my firm belief that anyone with the ability to hear and speak can learn a language. If you aim for the equivalent of Shakespeare straight off, then you set yourself up to fail. Now failing's not bad but it get's kinda boring after a while! *LOL*

I found the classes at my school well structured, constant and I found the teacher excellent. Yes, mainstream Ireland is english speaking but I think that's a good thing. Where is Wales in the international community? Not in the forefront, I don't need to tell you. :) Also, I have never come across any attitude that placed me with terrorists in my attempt at speaking Irish - only love and an outpouring of enthusiasm - and corrections! *LOL* And I speak it proud and I speak it loud! :) However, it is this close minded attitude abounds in the States (I resided in TX and Boston for a time) and in Australia so I didn't find the comment extraordinary. Still, in these two countries I have also found a flourishing community of gaeltachti. I don't believe the language is dying. I just don't think people are aware of just how popular it is.

Tóg é go bog é.

Sorcha ;9

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Brendáin Conyard
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 1999 - 06:35 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

My experience of learning Irish in Ireland started with bewilderment, at the tentative age of 4 I had to learn 'Is maith liom dull do dtí an leatherás mAis é do thoil é' before I wet myself, count to ten in Irish before I got hit and daydream while looking knowledgably at the teacher telling the story of Íosa, aided by sandpaper backed cardboard cut out figures that stuck on a board covered in black material, to protect my sanity because it was gibberish to me.
A common tale no doubt. I still don't know if Íosa means God or Jesus?
*Flash of inspiration* 'Dia duit' means God be with you so Íosa must mean Jesus. 33 years later these little bits fall into place if I have occasion to think about them, however after the first 7 years I had just come to the conclusion I was no good at Irish, neither of my parents spoke any, so help with homework in Irish was often more confusing than helpfull. In short the teaching method was not effective in making me an fluent Irish speaker, I got a B in pass Irish in the leaving through the cut and paste technique, i.e. where you cobble your answer together mainly constructed from phrases given in the questions and bits of given literature that you learned the english translation to.
I survived and enjoyed very much a month in Leitir Mór Gealteach, however this did not do the wonders for my Irish I imagined it was going to when heading off on the train to Galway.
My desire to speak Irish is never as strong as when amongst others speaking their language that I do not understand and on such occasions can manage a broken Irish conversation if the opportunity is there. No matter how weak my Irish is after 14 years of schooling in it what I realise I did learn was something deeper, a feeling, an identity, a passion and a sense of injustice I believe rooted in every native Irish person.
A feeling of having a unique strong nationality with a language which comes as a surprise to alot people, suddenly you are no longer just from an island off the British mainland in their minds. Such feelings arouse passions that fuel my desire to converse in Irish. Passion that identifies with my ancestors that underwent the injustice of having their language repressed, and the injustice of an education system that fails with nine out of ten pupils in teaching them their native language.
Cá bhfuil an Seomra Caínt as Gailge ar an Internet,an bhfuil aon aois ar aon daoine? Is maith liom bí ag caínt agat ar sin.
Go raibh maith agat agus slán.

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shaz ( -
Posted on Saturday, January 15, 2000 - 03:58 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

a bhreandáin
aontaím leat ar do phointí. agus táim ag iarraidh fháil amach freisin 'cá bhfuil an seomra caint as Gaeilge ar an Internet?'

i love the irish language but i agree with you that it's a lot more than that. for me it also stands for my identity and my pride and i think of the history associated with it. i would love to speak more irish in day to day life but there just isn't the opportunity and i really hope th find an irish chat room as gaeilge soon.

Ba mhaith liom caint leat arís

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Posted on Sunday, January 16, 2000 - 02:45 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

There has been a channel #Gaeilge on DalNet for quite a long time. The channel founder is a long-time participant on the listserve Gaeilge-B. There is neither schedule nor agenda for the channel, and I do not believe it gets heavy usage, but I have had such stumbling conversations in Irish as I'm capable of conducting visiting that channel.

You must use traditional IRC client software to access the channel; there is no web front end to DalNet channels - to the best of my knowledge, at least. That means using mIRC if your computer is a Windows pc or ircle if you're using a Macintosh. If you need further directions, please feel free to mail me; I have some experience helping new users acquire chatting skills.

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