I’m at a low intermediate/intermediate level with my Irish (did a 1-week intermediate course in an Cheathrú Rua a few years ago) and try to keep up with the language by listening to news & podcasts on Raidió na Gaeltachta. It’s still pretty challenging.
I’m wondering if others use RnaG this way. If so, when/if you get stuck, what strategies do you try? Are there other resources that exist (or that you wish existed) that might help when you listen to authentic audio (ie not from a textbook, but created by proficient speakers for other proficient speakers)?
I would recommend you to combine different resources, both RnaG and TG4, but also news websites like tuarisc.ie which are very useful for building up vocabulary. Once you’re familiar with the most common terms used in a given field, try tuning in to a TV or radio broadcast dealing with the same topic and you’ll gradually find it easier to follow what’s being said. Don’t aim too high at the beginning, concentrate on shorter and simpler items, as that will enable you to get used to different dialects and pronunciations. I think there are some learning materials on the http://www.teg.ie website (based on news programmes), but there’s no single resource that would cover everything. Coinnigh ort! 🙂
I second the recommendation to read web sites dealing with similar subject matter to the broadcasts. It will help you build vocabulary and learn to recognize certain words or phrases that are common to each field (this is how we learn in our native languages, after all). You will get to the point where RnaG isn’t particularly challenging anymore. The real challenge (at least for me) comes in interpreting colloquial or older (i.e. more authentic) speakers.