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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 2005- » 2005 (March-April) » Archive through March 11, 2005 » Studying another language at the same time as Irish « Previous Next »

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Mícheál
Member
Username: Mícheál

Post Number: 11
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 09:08 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Does anyone have any tips for studying two languages at the same time? I would like to take up another language but worry about the method to follow so I do not take energy away from learning Irish, which I have been studying for nearly two years. Would it be best to wait a few more years until I am more proficient in Irish and then take up the pursuit? I do enjoy watching foreign films and find myself mimicing the sounds and phrases of each language. I also am amazed at how many people in these discussions are fluent in more than one language. However, not being as young as I used to be, I do not want to short-circuit the one language in learning another. Any thoughts? Forgive me if this topic has been discussed greatly before, and, if so, I will check out the archives. As always, GRMA.

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Antaine
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Username: Antaine

Post Number: 261
Registered: 10-2004


Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 10:18 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

not necessarily. you could try learning the same things at the same time (eg - pleasantries, the verb to be etc)

the tough part comes in using it. personally, my french is suffering because i like to use irish at every opportunity. i used to alternate note taking one day irish one day french, but now use exclusively irish and gregg shorthand for what irish i don't know.

finding a penpal in the other language should do it. i've been looking for one in france for awhile...

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Lughaidh
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Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 177
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 11:31 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Antaine > I could be a penpal for u if u want ;-) . I’d be glad to help u with French if u need help.

About learning two languages at the same time, actually i’ve already tried to do it some years ago, and it’s very very confusing. I wouldn’t advise to anybody to do that, because you mix everything up. Or try to learn two extremely different languages (and even in that case you can mix things up, i was learning Basque and Russian at the same time and although they’re very very different I mixed some things up...).

But maybe it depends on the person as well, and it may depend on how you use the language. I mixed up grammar, but maybe, if you speak or write the languages without caring too much for grammar, it should work better.

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Delaina
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Posted From: 67.96.232.155
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 12:29 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I was taking Spanish, English, and German classes all at the same time a few years ago. The German was extremely easy, as it is much like English. I had already taken about 4 years of Spanish before I started with German, so I already understood the conjugation process and the way that European languages generally work. This made learning my 3rd language fairly easy. If you plan on learning more than one language at the same time, I would recommend having a decent grasp on the basics of conjugation and pronunciation with your second language before you attempt to conquer a third. Good luck!

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Antaine
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Username: Antaine

Post Number: 262
Registered: 10-2004


Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 10:23 am:   Edit Post Print Post

my french had a four-year head start on my irish, but in the same week, i made a mirror image of the same mistake in an irish class and my college french class.

answered my french teacher je suis go maith
and my irish teacher tá mé bien

in addition to having oui cross over far more than I would have liked it to

Lughaidh...if you'd like to write, my email address (or one of them...it forwards to my good one) can be found at http://members.aol.com/PipesOfIreland

merci

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Alix
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Posted From: 64.231.41.163
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 11:52 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I have the same problem with German and French right now. Luckily both my French-Canadian friends speak German too, but that only helps in my personal life and not in french class.

My friends and I call it "Freutsch," because often when I don't know a word in french, I will automatically substitute with German...and I often accidentally use German word order for my french sentences.

At the moment (until this french course is completed) I have discontinued my Irish studies...so I don't have a fourth language in the mix. I'm a little sad that I don't have time for it, but I'm in my final year of university and really need to focus on my university-studies and not my "interests."

I think that studying two languages at once is ok. You just shouldn't expect to improve in them as fast as if you were studying them one at a time.

One of my French-Canadian friends (who speaks English without an accent and is also almost fluent in German) is currently studying Chinese and will soon start learning Japanese and Czech as well...so, anything is possible if you put your mind to it. The trick is to not drive yourself insane.

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Antaine
Member
Username: Antaine

Post Number: 263
Registered: 10-2004


Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 01:56 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I've given Irish the priority. I figure if I only ever become fluent in one language other than english in my life, i'd like it to be irish. after that comes french.

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Lúcas
Member
Username: Lúcas

Post Number: 129
Registered: 01-2004


Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 04:36 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I have been reading T.F. O'Rahilly's Irish Dialects Past and Present and have been amazed by the influence of Scots Gaelic on Ulster Irish. For example, Gaeilge na hAlaban apparently shortened unstressed vowels under the infuence of the Vikings. Gaeilgeoirí from Ulster seem to have picked up this speech pattern from the Scots.

I wonder how hard it would be to continue studying Gaeilge Uladh and start studying Gaeilge na hAlaban. Paul Ferris talks about the difficulty of meeting familar words, old friends, and discovering they are pronounced, and perhaps, even used, quite differently. Whadda ya tink?

(Message edited by lúcas on March 05, 2005)

Mise le meas,

Lúcas

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Cailindoll
Member
Username: Cailindoll

Post Number: 28
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 07:45 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 07:45 pm:


I was marveling once to Brad Wilson about how he always had the grammar answer I needed. He seems so infinitely able to take any aspect of Irish apart and break it down into easy to swallow mouthfuls, like a mechanic or a chiropractor that knows just what piece, what muscle is out of whack by looking and listening. Anyway when I asked him how he managed to always have all the answers like that (without ever having formally studied it or even visited Ireland, with no family connections to the language at all) he mentioned that Scots Gaelic explains a lot about Irish. I haven't tried it yet myself -- I did Spanish and French more or less side by side without any trouble, but at an intermediate level of French and Spanish I unwisely tried two semesters of accelerated Italian. I clearly remember an Italian professor screaming 'spagnolo, spagnolo!' at me an t-am ar fad. I retained enough to get by with my Spanish quite nicely in an Italian conversation, but it was a bit of an overload to French and particularly Spanish at the time, and the experience has made me reluctant to try Scots Gaelic yet, despite the mighty grammar god of nj's moladh. I'm too weak on my spelling in Irish as it is for the moment to go confusing myself further.

I agree with Lughaidh so -- and suggest waiting until you have a reasonable command of one language before starting another unless the two are very different -- but that Scots Gaelic could be close enough to make the confusion worthwhile -- especially if you're good at remembering the details of spelling and lean to the Donegal side of Irish like Lucas and Lughaidh

By the way, does anyone know if Brad is still doing his online classes on AOL on Sunday nights? It used to be at 7pm US East Coast time. I don't have AOL live anymore and can't get him, ochón!


(Message edited by CailinDoll on March 05, 2005)

(Message edited by CailinDoll on March 05, 2005)

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Lughaidh
Member
Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 178
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 08:57 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

>For example, Gaeilge na hAlaban apparently shortened unstressed vowels under the infuence of the Vikings.

Well, there are long unstressed vowels in Icelandic, i think...

>I wonder how hard it would be to continue studying Gaeilge Uladh and start studying Gaeilge na hAlaban. Paul Ferris talks about the difficulty of meeting familar words, old friends, and discovering they are pronounced, and perhaps, even used, quite differently. Whadda ya tink?

Pronounciation and spelling of both languages are different enough, if u already know Ulster irish quite well i think you won't mix up. Actually I did that and i was almost never mixed up with these 2 languages.

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Mícheál
Member
Username: Mícheál

Post Number: 12
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 11:34 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thank you for your comments to my question. They are helping me to decide how I might go about studying two languages at once, if I decide to do so at this time. No doubt your reasons for studying Gaeigle mirror my own.

I am very fortunate in that I live in Connecticut where I attend Irish language classes two evenings each week. I have an excellent teacher and wonderful fellow learners. Immersion days and weekends are nearby, especially in the Daltaí Gaeltach. My work at my university also affords me the opportunity to further my Irish interests in that we have programs devoted to Irish studies; in particular, two school programs in Ireland and a digitization of Irish material related to An Gorta Mór. We have had Gerry Adams, Betty Williams, Malachy McCourt, and others visit us. Bertie Ahern even visited a nearby college. Although my conversations in Irish to many of these people were very basic, I enjoyed the experience of speaking the Irish language with them. Coupled with my heritage from mostly Ireland and some from the the surrounding countries of Scotland, Wales, and England, and you can see why learning Irish immerses me totally.

I am now at the level that I can read material like An Tobar without looking up every word. I know that I have a long way to go before I can speak as fluently as my mentor teacher. But I also shrug my shoulders when I am in a bookstore and see a wealth of material for Spanish, French, German, Italian, and so on. Thank goodness for Irish Books & Media, Shoenhoff's, Litríoch, Kenny's, and so forth. Alas, the limited amount of material in video in Irish does pain me. How I wish there were millions around us who spoke the language.

And now one of my colleagues at work is studying French, so I thought that I might give it a try as well. Although, I suppose I should relearn Spanish, which I studied in high school and college. After watching about five French films this month, I was leaning toward delving into the language, but did not want to give up my Irish study.

Now that I have gotten your advice on whether it was possible or prudent, I think I am leaning toward continuing full-throttle with Irish and pursuing other languages with extreme caution. I will know when the time is ripe for me to do so. Thanks to you I know it can be done when the time is right.

Tá sibh go hiontach! Go raibh míle maith agaibh!

Mícheál

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Jonas
Member
Username: Jonas

Post Number: 650
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Sunday, March 06, 2005 - 12:15 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hm, I cannot remember a time when I was not learning at least two languages at the same time. I guess it must have been at the age of 11. Untill then the only non-native language we learned in school was Finnish. They English was introduced, then German and later on French. At university it has been Russian, Spanish and Portuguese - and then Irish, Welsh and Croatian just for fun.

>>For example, Gaeilge na hAlaban apparently shortened unstressed vowels under the infuence of the Vikings.

>Well, there are long unstressed vowels in Icelandic, i think...

They are very rare indeed, and I don't now any except in words consisting of two original words. Just to take only example, bókabúd* (bookshop) is made up of bóka and búd*. I'm no expert on Icelandic, but I don't know any native word with a long unstressed vowel. As I guess you know, Icelandic is no guide to the pronunciation of the Vikings. The grammar, vocabulary and spelling are all very similar in Icelandic and Old Norse but there have been rather huge changes in pronunciation. A Viking could probably read a modern Icelandic book but he would have serious problems in understanding spoken Icelandic.

By the way, I'm feeling better now (my nose and throat are still a bit bad) so I'll be able to send you the word list of my dialect soon.

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Mícheál
Member
Username: Mícheál

Post Number: 13
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 06, 2005 - 12:51 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Dia Dhaoibh agus "bonjour",

I recall recently seeing a film called Italian for Beginners that was about a group of people in Iceland who came together to learn Italian and found their lives intertwined in ways they had not expected. I believe the movie was in Danish but perhaps it could have been Icelandic. Our experience in learning languages would make fascinating stories, just as Yu Ming Is Ainm Dom. My family is telling me that if I want to learn French along with Irish then I should just do it.

Coincidentally, the Mini Page, with thanks to Berlitz, Washington, D.C., that appears in our Sunday papers reports today that in the United States the number of speakers who speak a language other than English or also speak an other language and English are as follows:

Spanish - 28,100,000 million
Chinese - 2,000,000 million
French - 1,600,000 million
German - 1,400,000 million
Tagalong - 1,200,000 million
Vietnamese - 1,000,000 million
Italian - 1,000,000 million
Korean - 900,000
Russion - 700,000
Polish - 700,000

So perhaps I should being saying

Adiós y Slán go fóill,

Mícheál



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