It is currently Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:49 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Forum rules


The purpose of this forum is to provide a place for people who are interested in the Irish language and various Celtic languages to discuss them, to practice them, and to share information about them, particularly (but not exclusively) in the context of traditional music and culture.

This is not a "translation forum," per se, though translation requests may occasionally be honored at the discretion of the moderators. If you're seeking a one-time translation for something like a tattoo, engraving, wedding vow, or other such purpose, we strongly recommend that you visit our friends at ILF: http://irishlearner.awyr.com



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 
Author Message
 
 Post subject: Learning Irish Software
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:37 pm
Posts: 2
Hi Irish forumers,

I've been wanting to study gaelic standard for four years now, and if all goes well I'll start learning it soon enough.
I've been researching on learning-Irish software, but what I find is that none of them tell you how many words they teach you, and most of them are reviewed as poor learning tools.

What I want is a software that is not short in words, but that it also cares to explain much of the grammar and pronunciation of each letter and each phoneme.

That would be really helpful!
Thanks,

JC


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:24 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 28, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 6051
Location: Somewhere in the Western Hemisphere
I think that none of them say how many words they teach you because acquiring vocabulary really isn't the most challenging part of learning any language. With Irish, getting a grasp of the grammar and syntax -- particularly the idioms unique to the language -- and developing a fluency in expressing yourself by using them correctly, is critically important. Acquiring vocabulary is secondary.

It would be hard for any program to tell you how many words it hopes to teach you in any case. For example, there are concepts that, in English, are expressed by using one word (the verb "laugh" for instance) that are expressed by two or more words in Irish (in this case, the verbal form of "laugh" is "déan gáire"...literally "make laughter"). So should they count that as one word or two? On the other hand, sometimes a single word can represent various concepts. For example, the one simple little word "a" can represent several words, depending on how it's used:

1) "O" (as in "O Lord hear us") when it's functioning as the vocative particle

2) The possessive adjectives 'his,' 'her' and 'their' (which it represents depends on how the word following it mutates)

3) It combines with the verbal noun to create an infinitive form, in which case it would probably be best translated as "to."

So, when you've learned "a," how many words do you know?

Irish verbs can also change meaning depending on the prepositions they're paired with. So, for example, "Éirigh" (rise) when paired with the preposition "le" becomes "succeed," and when paired with the preposition "as" becomes "retired." So, when such verbs can have three or more meanings, how many words have you learned when you've learned that verb?

The sheer volume of words you know at the end of a course doesn't really mean much. Vocabulary will naturally increase as your facility with the language increases...as you start using more complicated learning methods, as you start reading books and articles in the language, as you start talking to other people, etc.

What you should consider when looking at a learning program is:

1) How do you learn best? Most people do best using a combination of a computer module or CD learning method to help with pronunciation and conversation in conjunction with a book method to learn grammar and syntax.

2) What are your goals for learning the language? Do you hope to become fluent, or are you only looking to acquire some key words and phrases?

3) Do you lean toward a particular dialect? While it's true that most learners eventually acquire something of a mixed dialect (and the dialects are mutually intelligible), if you have a particular interest in one part of the country or another, you may not be happy to learn that you're learning Munster pronunciation when your emotional connection is with Donegal!

In any case, if you're going to be self-teaching, your best bet, after thinking these things through, would be to read through the reviews here:

http://www.learnirishgaelic.com/productcomparison/

And pick a couple of different types of methods that sound like they would best suit your learning style. Or pick one to start (generally a good approach is to pick a book method with an audio CD first, then go to a computer program once you've begun to get a grasp on the basic structures), with the understanding that you're probably going to eventually want more.

You'll also need a good dictionary, and we review most of them here:

http://www.learnirishgaelic.com/product ... tionaries/

I do, however, caution you against trying to use a dictionary to translate anything until you've really got a handle on how the language works. Irish syntax is so different from non-Celtic languages that straight dictionary translations inevitably lead to disaster!

Redwolf

_________________
...agus déanfaidh mé do mholadh ar an gcruit a Dhia, a Dhia liom!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:37 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks for the help, I saw the reviews. However, I'm still a little bit confused as to what makes a good learning method for uncommon languages in a self-study environment. You see, I've learned spanish and english simultaneously and then learned french and chinese with teachers and classrooms. Still, Irish from what I've ventured to look up, seems phonetically challenging and seems to have a very complex grammar.

I know you are not me, but still since I'm kind of new to the self-study business; what helped you learn irish? Was it just audio tapes and textbooks or were computer programs best for you?

Thanks for all the help!

JC


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:55 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 28, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 6051
Location: Somewhere in the Western Hemisphere
Luminous1986 wrote:
Thanks for the help, I saw the reviews. However, I'm still a little bit confused as to what makes a good learning method for uncommon languages in a self-study environment. You see, I've learned spanish and english simultaneously and then learned french and chinese with teachers and classrooms. Still, Irish from what I've ventured to look up, seems phonetically challenging and seems to have a very complex grammar.

I know you are not me, but still since I'm kind of new to the self-study business; what helped you learn irish? Was it just audio tapes and textbooks or were computer programs best for you?

Thanks for all the help!

JC


I used a variety of methods. I started out with the book "Teach Yourself Irish," supplemented by the computer program "TeachMe Irish." I also listened daily to the "Turas Teanga" DVDs (I didn't have the book or CDs), as, even thought they're geared more toward intermediate learners, I felt they helped me get the sound of the language in my ears.

I also spent a lot of time hanging out on IGTF...reading posts and, ultimately, attempting simple translations. There's a very supportive community there for learners.

The more I learned, the more advanced methods I turned to. After a couple of years, I started going to the annual immersion weekends in San Francisco, and the year before last, I spent two weeks in Donegal at Oideas Gael.

The phonetics of the language really aren't that hard. Irish is very regular in its pronunciation, so if you're using any kind of aural method at all, so long as it also has text, you'll get the gist pretty quickly. The grammar, however, can be quite complicated, which is why I always recommend using a book method in conjunction with anything else you may use, such as computer programs or learning CDs.

Ultimately, what works best for you will depend on how you learn best, but you will probably find that a combination of methods will give you the best results.

A very good starter book and CD set (which hasn't been reviewed at IGTF yet) is "Enjoy Irish" by Eithne Ní Ghallchobhair. I bought it recently to use for ideas with my beginning students, and I wish I'd had it when I first got started...it gives very clear explanations, and the CD features native speakers. It is very much focused on the Ulster dialect, though, which you may or may not prefer. Here's a link to learn more:

http://www.enjoyirish.ie/

Redwolf

_________________
...agus déanfaidh mé do mholadh ar an gcruit a Dhia, a Dhia liom!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.170s | 11 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)