March 18, 2013 at 10:01 pm #43591
A course in Teelin Irish is not going to put as many bums on seats as a course in standardised school Irish. There’s also the old problem of school Irish being seen as the “proper” Irish and native Irish as being a sort of debased patois spoken by toothless yokels. Such snobbery is not uncommon.
and that is a very effective way to kill a language…
When native Irish has died and when all those who know Irish are learners who speak school Irish, all these guys will be happy, I guess?
To me, teaching always school Irish and never Gaeltacht Irish is simply a crime.March 19, 2013 at 12:04 am #43593MurchadhParticipant
Is there anything that learners/non-native speakers can do about the decline of Gaedhealtacht communities?March 19, 2013 at 12:09 am #43594
If I could, I’ll buy a house in Gaoth Dobhair and live there and speak Irish all the time — doing my best to speak exactly like the local peopleMarch 19, 2013 at 10:11 pm #43607
I would appreciate you referencing specifically the texts which you mention that are created by native speakers. I haven’t found (or perhaps I don’t know how to recognize) any such texts for beginners. I have just purchased “Speaking Irish” by Siuán Ní Mhaonaigh and Antain Mac Lochlainn. I met Antain at Oideas Gael last year and read his novel. This is not a beginners; text, but I’m excited about tackling it at my level.
Give some instances to help those who are on here looking. You and others suggest picking texts that are from native speakers, but there isn’t a list readily available. I know there’s a little course of phrases called “Enjoying Irish” authored by Eithne Ní Ghallchobhair. She’s a great lady and teacher from Ardara. It a nice phrase book, but not what I’d call a text.
Anyway, I’d appreciate some ideas,
FéabarMarch 20, 2013 at 2:20 am #43609
I doubt if Mac Lochlainn’s book conforms to spoken Donegal Irish; he’s a big pusher of standardised Irish but I could be wrong.
that book and CD Speaking Irish is a collection of transcriptions of texts said by Irish speakers that you can hear on the DVD.
Some of them are native speakers (from Connemara, Munster and Donegal) and some others aren’t native speakers. So it ma be useful, given you know whose Irish is reliable…
Of course there shouldn’t be non-native speakers there because normally a learner doesn’t want to mimic other non-native speakers when he wants to learn a language, but as you know, most Irish learning stuff (as well as most or a good part of what you can hear on the radio, internet and tv) isn’t native stuff, as revolting and ridiculous as it can be.March 20, 2013 at 2:30 am #43610
I saw where Redwolf had recommended it on one of the forums. I think it will help me in my listening comprehension. I still am interested in any Beginner learning materials that you or Carmanach would recommend for Beginners. It is not for me, but for students who approach me and ask for recommendations on texts, etc to begin their voyage into the study of Irish. I am merely looking for Beginner texts done by native Irish Speakers. I really don’t know of any so I’m looking for solid advice. I am assuming from Carmanach’s response that he/she believes Teanga Beo is a good place to start. I am familiar with that text and have a copy. I just never really looked at it closely. So I’d like your thoughts on that one as well.
FéabarMarch 20, 2013 at 1:11 pm #43612
My question is not that complicated. I want to know what text you would recommend for someone with no Irish at all. I do not know of a Beginner text done by native speakers and it is intimated on this forum that such texts exist. What are they?March 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm #43615SeáinínParticipant
Ó Siadhail’s Learning Irish bills itself as “an introductory self-tutor” and it does use native speakers from Cois Fhairrge for the recordings. It’s a “beginner’s” text kinda like throwing someone who is learning to swim into the deep end without a life jacket. You might make it. :ohh:
Honestly, though, it is an excellent resource and if the learner is full of dedication and confidence they could learn a great deal using it.March 20, 2013 at 11:13 pm #43620MurchadhParticipant
Is there anything that learners/non-native speakers can do about the decline of Gaedhealtacht communities?
Very little except going there and using the language and spending your money locally. What you can do from your own armchair is choose to focus on a particular dialect and study that. Every learner should already be doing that, but few do, as I think they confuse Irish with French or German or English which do have standard spoken varieties. Irish never had a single spoken standard form. They end up speaking school Irish which is not spoken by anyone anywhere nor was it ever spoken as a native language. When they are then confronted by real native speakers, you can see the shock in their faces. You can educate other learners about the existence of Gaeltacht Irish and to the linguistic and audio texts available online and in bookshops. But as someone else said earlier, you need to be critical in what texts you pick. Only pick texts from native speakers from the Gaeltacht. Ask yourself the question; if you were learning any other language, French, for example, who would you rather learn French from, a learner from New York or a mother tongue Francophone from Paris? It’a s nobrainer.
I agree with your recommendations and have long tried to practise them.
I do think awareness of the importance of, and use of, authentic Irish amongst learners is slowly growing. Certainly on forums such as this interest in dialects and use of dialect/non-CO language seems to me to have increased over the years.
Considering that there is, as you say, very little that learners like ourselves on this forum can do about the decline of the Gaedhealtachtaí I think it’s best to concentrate here on what learners & non-native speakers actually can achieve.March 21, 2013 at 12:33 pm #43624
Carmanch: You keep asking what dialect I am interested in learning. That was not the point of my inquiry. I have the silver fainne and I speak predominately Ulster Irish. I am an intermediate speaker. (rough but I can carry on a conversation) My experience has been in the Gaeltacht in and around Ardara.(Blue Stack Mountains area) My questions have been focused at the few of you who understandably are frustrated that learners start with “non-native speaker irish” texts, yet you usually give no alternative that seems to meet this “Native Speaker” criteria. And I may well be mistaken, but it seems whether you mean to or not, you discourage learners from even trying to take a shot at using what is available out there due to the dust kicked up by these well-meaning passionate discussions. It appears that other than “Teach Yourself Irish” (which I also have heard others here and on the other forums discourage from using as an elementary learning text due to its complexity and total lack of emphasis on speaking) there appear to be NONE that have been recommended and NONE that would start someone off in Ulster Irish. I would just caution you and others to not throw the “non-native Irish” baby out with the bath. If you must find fault, then write the creators of these texts and encourage them to use “native-speakers” in their new editions. I used “Tús Maith” and Dr. MacGabhann has done a masterful job with it. I recommend it a a great first text. The author, who is a retired professor, battled to learn Irish through his childhood and teens (he is a native of Derry) and succeeded and brought all of his children up in Irish in a surrounding that one could say is less than hospitable. Those children now are occasional teachers at Oideas Gael. That text was soundly criticized here by a non-Irish person who set himself up as a judge over what these people created. Yet it was they who invested their own time and money. It was a labor of love. That is just not right, and does NOTHING to further interest in the Irish language. I would ask that let’s (those of us who are also learners) be positive and supportive of the efforts that ARE being made in Ireland and outside of Ireland to foster interest in the language. Be careful with your criticisms. Words are so incredibly powerful. They can build up or destroy unknowingly.March 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm #43627eadaoinParticipant
maith tú, féabar
I learned most of my Irish in the 1950s, before the “standard” was up and running.
I think, once you achieve moderately good Irish of whatever dialect or none, it’s possible to understand the others, and to concentrate on one -if that’s what you want.
After 60 years I’m still not fluent (trying to do too many others things as well! mo léan!), but driving around today listening to RnaG, I had a fair idea of what was being discussed in all 3 cainiúintí, (less of the Ulster Irish). I suppose the presenters standardize somewhat.
eadaoinMarch 22, 2013 at 9:42 pm #43645
I have been informed of the Tús Maith course you mention but unless I see it for myself, I can’t comment on it good or bad.
I have a copy of the 1st volume; I can’t say if it’s good or bad for learners or teachers (depends on the teacher anyway, personally I don’t think I’d use it) but what I can say is that it’s said to teach Ulster Irish but it doesn’t, it’s once again Standard Irish with a few Ulster features, as all other learning stuff that is meant to be in Ulster Irish.March 22, 2013 at 10:04 pm #43651
Lughaidh: Yes, you were the person who criticized Tús Maith before when I began studying, and I can well appreciate what you are saying. But, I will add that with all your many posts to this forum and others, I have never seen you take a definitive position and make a recommendation of an available text for a beginner student of Ulster Irish. It is easy to be an armchair quarterback and criticize the work of others. it is more difficult to point out what is out there and to give practical advice concerning what is available to learners who cannot go to the Gaeltacht as you have. It may be that there are no such texts. If that is the case then it would be helpful to just come out and say it. I may well be wrong in my perceptions but that is how it seems to me. It would be WONDERFUL if there were a text as well written and organized as Tús Maith with native speakers on it. I have never seen such a text. If it exists, then please tell us all what it is and where it can be purchased. Carmanach, in response to your reply, I wasn’t looking for such a text. I was asking you to substantiate your seemingly illusory claim that such materials were out there on the internet for all to find if they are just diligent enough. I just don’t think that is accurate, but thanks for the one text you did recommend. I think it is a great grammar related text, but I’ve never heard anyone claim that it helped them to learn to converse in Irish. Perhaps I am mistaken. Thank you both for your diligence and your interest in these things and for keeping these subjects at least in the forefront or learners’ attention.March 22, 2013 at 10:35 pm #43655
I have never seen you take a definitive position and make a recommendation of an available text for a beginner student of Ulster Irish.
simply because I don’t know any!
it is more difficult to point out what is out there and to give practical advice concerning what is available to learners who cannot go to the Gaeltacht as you have.
there is stuff on the homepage of my yahoogroup, for instance a booklist
It may be that there are no such texts. If that is the case then it would be helpful to just come out and say it.
I think I said it several times.
If it exists, then please tell us all what it is and where it can be purchased.
if it existed I’d talk about it all the time 🙂
The problem is that there’s almost no learning book that teach a real dialect:
Learning Irish (Cois Fhairrge, Connemara)
Teach Yourself Irish (the old version) (Mùscraì, Cork)
that’s all, as far as I know. For Ulster there’s nothing so far.
To learn Ulster Irish, so far you have to learn a blend of Standard and Ulster Irish (as with Now You’re Talking or with Tùs Maith) and then to unlearn all the standard things and learn the real things instead by using An Teanga Bheo, Gaeilge Theilinn, the linguistic atlas, and listen to Donegal people (Barrscèalta, Rònàn Beo, bealoideas.com, Sgèilìnì na Finne…) etc. — you can’t use these books directly because they are written in Irish so a beginner wouldn’t understand much of them.March 22, 2013 at 11:22 pm #43663
I appreciate the candor of you both. The truth is that there really AREN’T any perfect texts right now. But, there are good texts and they can help people at least start in the language. Students can be forewarned that natural Gaeltacht Irish is going to be a bit different, but a good start is half the work. In time perhaps there will be a real text created by people who are native speakers, who are educators, in the Gaeltacht who care to create them. I just went through this because when criticisms are raised (and Carmanach criticism is okay), it is helpful to give learners a constructive idea on a place to start. I realize this may be my own hangup. I just don’t like hearing all of the negatives on what is out there without some positive direction on materials that can be used for rank beginners. I seemed to detect that such a plethora of material was being inferred. That is why I start students out with the Tús Maith. It gives them SOMETHING upon which to build. Carmanach, I do not know you, but Lughaidh is an invaluable source for me when I am trying to know how something is said or written in natural Ulster Irish. I have written him private emails and he’s always been willing to lend a hand when I have a doubt or question. I am sure you are just as committed and passionate. I appreciate that. Please do not be offended by my intensity in pursuing this conversation. It is from my training and experience in cross-examing people in the courtroom. (I am a retired lawyer). Ps. I prefer studying Irish!
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