April 13, 2017 at 6:32 am #36957
And I hope it’s okay to introduce myself here. I have just started learning Gaelic, the language of my ancestors. I joined this forum in the hopes of finding a place for help and support in my mission to master this beautiful language as well as a place to practice my skills. My biggest struggle is with grammar/sentence structure and I hope everyone can forgive me for butchering these rules as I learn! I would love any constructive criticism or helpful tips! Anyway, for now most of my posts will probably be in English (Béarla?), and I’ll probably be doing more lurking, reading, and attempting to translate than anything, but I do hope that changes as I develop stronger conversational skills! Anyway, I hope to get to know everyone and learn more about the Gaelic language! For now, slán!April 16, 2017 at 11:34 am #46113Héilics ÓrbhuíParticipant
Welcome, and good luck with your studies. Note that generally the preferred term is “Irish” and no “Gaelic”, which refers to a group of languages. The term “Irish Gaelic” is used by English speakers to differentiate it from the other kinds of Gaelic. In the Irish-speaking community, when referring to it in English, “Irish” is really the word for it.
Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you have – people here are generally pretty helpful, even if the forum doesn’t see much activity these days.April 20, 2017 at 7:24 am #46118
Go raibh maith agat! Again, I’m sorry if the grammar is incorrect, any pointers on that are much appreciated. I knew Gaelic came in many dialects and variations, but since this forums is for Irish Gaelic, I figured the general term would still be ok. I will remember to be more specific in the future! I’m currently using Duolingo as my main method of learning, but it often doesn’t explain the grammar rules, so if anyone has any free/cheap online resources on this, that would be awesome also! Looking forward to becoming more conversational.April 20, 2017 at 9:18 am #46119Héilics ÓrbhuíParticipant
Referring to it as “Gaelic” isn’t offensive or anything, it just isn’t particularly accurate and referring to it as “Irish” will make you look more “in-the-know” 😉 Also keep in mind that Irish Gaelic and the other types of Gaelic are not dialects, they are separate languages entirely. Irish itself has many regional dialects, usually grouped into three major dialects: Ulster, Connacht, and Munster.
As far as grammar references, probably the best free one I’ve seen is http://www.nualeargais.ie/gnag/gram.htm. Keep in mind that focusing on grammar when starting out is not something I particularly recommend. I haven’t used Duolingo so I can’t really comment on how good it is, but I recommend using some sort of method that emphasizes conversational aspects of the language and then consult a grammar guide as a supplement to that to clarify specific questions you have. I also recommend reading and listening to native Irish as much as possible. Keep in mind that most speakers are not in fact native and there is an abundance of poor Irish out there that can lead you astray. But when you are starting out, I would say the best advice I can give is to just have fun with it and not be afraid to make mistakes.
If you’re on Facebook, there is a group called Gaeilge Amháin which is all Irish speakers. The only rule in the group is that you only post in Irish. Most of the people there are native or fluent but there are also people who are clearly learning and making their very first efforts at conversing. I’d recommend joining if only to read what other people post. Not everyone there is perfect (even the fluent people I can usually identify a couple grammar mistakes in a typical post), but it’s a pretty good way to expose yourself to natural Irish conversational text. And people there are very receptive to questions.
Go n-éirí leat! (good luck to you)April 20, 2017 at 9:56 pm #46120eadaoinParticipant
Fáilte Romhait – you are welcome.
I’ve used Duolingo for Spanish, and I liked it at first – but it seemed to concentrate on just words – maybe it goes into sentences later on.
When I start learning a new language, I always try to get a beginner course CD/tape + book from my local library.
I also try to do my shopping lists in that language, as far as I can.
regards eadaoinApril 30, 2017 at 4:40 am #46124
Thanks For The tips! I’m a bit of a grammar Nazi, so it’s going to be difficult to not focus on the grammar, but I can see your point. Duolingo has been working pretty well so far, though mostly in teaching me how to read the language, not so much speak it. It might just be because of the way I learn, who knows. It does go pretty far into sentences and conversation, from what I can tell. I’ll definitely look up that Facebook page! Sounds like a great way to at least improve my translation/reading skills.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.