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Re: Irish language learning advice.

Posted: 23 Oct 2012, 16:45
by Gallobhaí
Hi I am from the Donegal gaeltacht, i gCill Carthaigh idir dTeileann agus na Cealla Beaga, and I am a cousin of Deirbhile Ní Churraighin. I recently moved to Connemara, chonaím i Spidéal anois, and I've had to have a few Irish classes to try and decode the dialect, rhythms, accent, and colloquialisms. I find it much more harsh and gutteral than the lyrical and soft Donegal dialect but I'm getting there.
There are five dialects in Ireland, four are native, Uladh, Connemara, an Mún, and na Rinne. 'Standard Irish' is the fifth and is prevalent in schools and cities outside of the gaeltachts. Each are slightly different but Donegal Irish (Uladh) is the furthest removed from the other dialects and has more in common with Scottish Gáidhlig. The best thing you can do is to familiarise yourself with the language through a basic learning pack. Then check out the areas for example you may find the Ring of Kerry(Mún), or the wild rugged landscape of Connemara, or the hills and cliffs of Donegal(Uladh), appeal to you and that you would like to holiday there and apply for a gaeltacht Irish language course and spend a week. You'll be talking like a local in no time:)
Go raibh maith agat agus adh-mór.

Re: Irish language learning advice.

Posted: 30 Oct 2012, 05:06
by Tuar_Ceatha

I've been struggling to learn Irish for years now and I'm considering a trip to Ireland to take one of those language courses. My heritage is much more based in southern Ireland, County Cork, but I don't know of any schools down there.

I was considering but, of course, they are Donegal - not that there's anything wrong with that! In fact they seem to have a nice offering. I do like having a choice though, so I'd be grateful if anyone could recommend some other possibilities.

I really like using Google Translate, just to keep my head in the game, and I really like this:

Is there anyone who can tell me how to pronounce úrscéal?


Tuar Ceatha

Re: Irish language learning advice.

Posted: 07 Nov 2012, 12:36
by Gallobhaí
Hi Tuar ceatha,

úrscéal = OORSH-KYALE (or in my northern dialect OOWIR-SHKYEYL)

Not sure about courses in Cork. University College Cork is one of the most renowned centers of Irish learning in the country they would have evening courses, summer courses and night classes. I would imagine they have workshops over a few days for beginners. However Cork city is predominantly English speaking so you wouldn't get the 24/7 exposure to the Irish language you would get in a 'Gaeltacht' (Irish speaking) area. In West Cork places such as 'Muskerry' 'Coolea' and 'Ballingeary' are gaeltacht areas and may also do local workshops.

Kerry would be another close 'gaeltacht' its about an hour outside Cork, An Daingean (or Dingle) is the name of that gaeltacht. Dingle, Ventry and Ballyferriter etc. are all scenically beautiful also.
UCC would be the first venue I'd check out though to get your feet wet.

The dialect you wish to learn is called 'Gaeilge na Mumhan' [GUALE-IGA NA MOO-WIN] (Munster Irish, Munster being the southern province of Ireland.)

Irish grammar and english grammar are so very unsimilar that oftentimes Google translate gets confused because phrases don't exist in Irish as they do in English. So just to be wary of that. :)
Adh mór (Best of luck)

Re: Irish language learning advice.

Posted: 18 Nov 2012, 05:29
by Tuar_Ceatha

Thank you so much for the information and pronunciation!

I'm still thinking of making learning a part of my travel plans, and I feel that I will benefit by going as prepared as I can.

I've been using to get some Irish vocabulary under my belt visually, then going to to find pronunciations. For about 70 - 80 percent it's available, but there are a lot of words for which I cannot find pronunciations.

Also, I know I'm putting myself out on a limb here, but my husband and I have been asked to be a part of a blessing ceremony for an infant and I've done my best to put our small part into Irish. We plan to offer the blessing together, with me speaking the three sentences (one at a time) in Irish and him offering each of the three in English.

We work well together and I believe that if I can feel comfortable with the words I've chosen, the spirit of the offering will be fully delivered.

I'm so grateful for these forums.

Peace of the late autumn forest to you,

Tuar Ceatha

Re: Irish language learning advice.

Posted: 11 Mar 2013, 00:38
by Tuar_Ceatha

Life has come in between my plans and my resources. So far I have not made it to Ireland, nor does it look likely for 2013, something I type out with a heavy heart.

Has anyone tried learning Irish through the Rosetta stone program? I've tried the others recommended here and have had no success advancing my skills.

I have tried: " Teach yourself Irish" by Duiarmuid O Se and also "Buntus Cainte" which was offered at a local class on Irish.

I confess that I left the class because the casual, fun class talk seemed bogged down around "getting drunk," "racism is funny" and "Christian sentiments include everyone." If it was just one of those out of three, with other topics available, I could have hung in there, but there weren't other topics of conversation that anyone seemed to enjoy. I felt like I was just in the wrong group.

When I was in school I picked up languages pretty quickly. I excelled in Spanish and French and I've been modestly successful in Hindi. Irish just seems to elude me.

I appreciate your help.

Peace of the green isle to you,

Tuar Ceatha

Re: Irish language learning advice.

Posted: 30 May 2013, 11:35
by vanillabrite
Dia dhuit, a Thuar Ceatha,

I have tried the Rosetta Stone, and I have mixed feelings towards it. If you have done traditional language learning before (you said you've done Spanish and French), then you may not find it the most useful. It is great for vocab, but doesn't explain the grammar. How it works is just pictures with words or phrases attached to them. Good for vocabulary, but a real nightmare when you're trying to understand what the difference between "Tá sé ina chonai in Éirinn" and "Tá sí ina conai in Éirinn" and "Tá siad ina gconai in Éirinn", for example. The course will have gone far enough that you've figured out that sé is 3rd person singular masculine, sí is third sing feminine, and siad is third plural, but what's up with the mutations!? I tried that as my first route into Irish and was completely bamboozled. That, and then the prepositional pronouns which it never explains, just expects you to pickup.

That said, I don't think it's a bad course, if you can afford it. It is good for vocab and pronunciation (if you want to sound somewhat Munster), but if you go forward with it I HIGHLY recommend a grammar book as a supplement, or you'll constantly be wondering about some things that just don't get explained. Buntus Cainte is great also for vocab, but you're going to have the same problem with lack of grammar teaching. I'm studying Irish now, and can help you with books if you like. Let me know what type of approach you want, and if you need an audio course. Though, the best thing you can do is get involved with a group who you like, and if you can manage, get to an immersion program. I'm going this summer to Oideas Gael - - under great recommendations from my Irish professor and fellow students. It's got a fantastic reputation.

Let me know how I can be of assistance!


Re: Irish language learning advice.

Posted: 23 Sep 2013, 20:27
by Tuar_Ceatha
Dia duit!

I am happy to report that my husband and I just returned from Ireland. Wonderful trip, but no Irish study this time.

However, I am now committed to learning Irish... somehow.

I would very much prefer to learn Conamara/Galway Irish. But search as I may I cannot find a week-long Irish course in that area for a traveller.

There are courses that a vacationer could join... but up in Donnegal and that is really not what I want.

Also I can easily find semester-long courses for a student in Galway, but I really cannot take that kind of time off of work.

If anyone knows of a course that fits this profile, please let me know.


Tuar Ceatha

Re: Irish language learning advice.

Posted: 13 Oct 2013, 04:42
by Tuar_Ceatha

Just want to add that I've found a couple that seem interesting.

This one is on one of the Aran Islands: They have various levels and will be deciding on the 2014 dates in the next month.

There is also this organization out of Dingle, but I don't know when they will settle on their 2014 dates:

Tuar Ceatha

Re: Irish language learning advice.

Posted: 05 Jul 2014, 17:41
by Tuar_Ceatha

I'm leaving next week for the Beginners Course in Irish given by Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne on the Dingle peninsula.

Because it is so expensive for us I have been studying hard before I go, in order that I get as much out of the course as possible.

I've been using the Learning Irish by Michael O Siadhail, and also the first book of Buntus Cainte.

In addition to that I've become addicted to Ros na Rún. Yea subtitles!

I wish that I had some local cúpla focal resources, but perhaps I can develop those. :)

I look forward to adding Irish confidently into my ritual practice.

I know this thread has only been updated by me this last year or so, but I'm sure there are others browsing, now or in the future that may benefit from knowing what others are doing.

Peace of the crashing waves to you,

Tuar Ceatha

Re: Irish language learning advice.

Posted: 16 Apr 2016, 09:23
by Currywuerst
In case anyone is looking for more sources, the Duolingo App/Website is awesome (and free!) for Irish as well as many other languages. They even added Welsh recently!

Re: Irish language learning advice.

Posted: 16 Apr 2016, 11:00
by Heddwen
ooh I have to look into that. Thank you, Currywuerst and welcome here :shake: