Studying Irish

I’ve been at it now for a couple of weeks, maybe more. The worst thing about it is the pronunciation. But it is a challenge to memorize. The real goal would be to speak the language. In the space of a couple months that would be impossible for me except for a few simple phrases. I’ve lots of online tools and programs now, probably too many. The thing is it requires work and effort. The latter is the hard part for me of course. Oh, and time!

I’ve been spending the last ten minutes trying to find a downloadable map of where we’re going in Ireland the end of July. It’s in the Gaelic speaking region around Dingle, in the west of Ireland.

Ok, here’s a map of the region:

  1. zgirl’s avatar

    Tee hee

  2. Me’s avatar

    Ok, so where am I now? I’m on the fourth Pimsleur lesson out of eight. It’s pretty basic stuff — no book, just listening and repeating simple stuff. Not that it’s that simple for me. And I’m on the second level of the TeachMeIrish! program. There are over 20 levels in both vocabulary and grammar in this one. I’ve barely begun! Then I have some written material where they try to get you to do the pronunciation by giving phonetic examples. I’m on lesson 5 (just started it) on this one out of about 100 lessons! This is called Erin’s Web. Finally, I’ve got a thing called “Before You Know It” which consists of flash card lists. I’ve done two or three of these lists out of about 75. lol So, I have a ways to go. We’ll be leaving Monday, July 25, for Shannon, Ireland. That gives me about 39 more days in which to learn Gaelic. LOL

  3. Me’s avatar

    I’m working mainly now on the TeachMe! Irish and the Pimsleur CD. Last evening I went through lesson 5 of the Pimsleur CD for the third time, and I found (in a print out I’d made of Celtic Harpist Dennis Doyle’s Irish lesson) the written versions of what’s spoken. These help to make things less mysterious. Here’s an example:

    Ar mhaith leat rud éigin ag ithe?
    Er va lat rub aegin ah eta? …or something like that!

    “Er va lat” means “Would you like”
    “rub aegin” means “something”
    “ah eta” means “to eat”

    So, you see the difference between the written words and the pronunciation, which is hard to reproduce.

    On the TeachMe! Irish I was able to start level 4 on the vocabulary last night, and I’m on level 3 of the grammar. I don’t get much chance to say things, other than repeating a word, or maybe a phrase spoken by the Irish speaker. These speakers are good and clear even though what they say is hard to reproduce exactly. Weird language.

  4. Mardy’s avatar

    Here’s what I think I’m trying to become?

    . . . . . . Celticman

    Ah, but even if I could learn the language, could I play such a harp? LOL

  5. Mardy’s avatar

    Today I finished the Pimsleur lessons by completing lesson 8 on the CD. It’s true, as RedWolf said on the translation forum, that the Pimsleur method is sort of dead end because there’s no book and no way to learn anymore because you don’t know what words the sounds correspond to; it’s necessary to see the words and their spellings if you’re going to make any real progress. I tried to convert the sounds into words and was partially successful.

    The Teach Me! Irish seems to be just building vocabulary and teaching some grammar rules but without any real sentences yet. I’m 11% through the course now, in level 7 on vocabulary and level 6 in grammar. The speakers are good and fun to listen to. The words I see are always pronounced. I don’t have to spell the words, only get the first letter. Not too great, eh? Also, I think I’ll have to go back over some of the lessons. That’s for sure.

    The material from Erin’s web is perhaps the best and would be perfect if it only had a sound track. It does provide phonetic translations of the words, and what a difference there is between the spelling and the pronounciation. Impossible to figure out how a word is pronounced in Gaelic by just looking at it! The phonetic representations still aren’t really adequate I imagine. The lessons try hard to get the student to pronounce by describing how to place the tongue, etc., but this is tedious. Anyway, I’m up to lesson 7 on this material but should work much harder on it — there are a lot of conversational sentences given which gives me a chance to learn and memorize many phrases in a context.

    The URL for the translation forum is Forum.

  6. WaltDe’s avatar

    Very good reading. Peace until next time.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>