Monday, October 10, 2005

Musings on an teanga Ghaeilge

I've been thinking about the Irish languge. It's a great and beautiful language but its also difficult. Its not too hard to read, it's slightly more difficult to listen to (especially if you are a beginner) but why is it so difficult to write?

What makes it so difficult to put English into Irish? Does it get any easier as you go?


At 10:44 PM, Blogger Nicole said...

I always find it the most difficult to speak in another language, followed closely by writing in that language (for me it isn't specific to Irish -- I have trouble with them all).

I've found that my best learning aid is my husband, whom I constantly ask questions of and who is kind enough to look over most of my posts for me. (This makes me appear as if I have more Irish than I actually do.) Most people aren't lucky enough to sleep next to an Irish teacher, so this method wouldn't work for most.

For verbs, I found (and find) progressive drills helpful. (e.g., I sit. Do you sit? You sit. Does he sit? etc.) I used to think my French teachers were idiotic for making us write out verb conjugations over and over, but by golly I know my French verbs even though I very rarely have to use the language any more.

Most days I try to think of something I'd like to say in Irish and practice saying it over and over to myself. (I talk to myself a lot anyway, so the only unusual part is the language.)

The blog work you're doing is really good practice. It *will* get easier -- and then, I think, it'll get harder again -- I find that the more I know, the more I want to express myself and I find myself bumping up against the walls of my lack of learning and/or memory.

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Aingeal said...

Good point. My teacher also uses the verb paradigm that way which we memorize with every new verb we learn, its helpful. I think I need a review of tense and verbs again. I find myself forgetting somethings.

Its great that your husband is an Irish teacher. I wish I had someone to speak Irish with on a daily basis, thats the best way to learn.....

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Cionaodh said...

A Aingeal - as regards your question on this post . . . it *does* get easier. Gradually. And in direct relation to how much time you put in.

Re: verbs --

As you learn a new verb in all its tenses & moods, you might like to collect it all onto a page. Try this & see if it helps:
(be sure the V, C & B are capitalized, lest you get the dreaded Monkey Error {which I just did by accidentally using lowercases}. ;-)

For each verb you learn, you should have one of these sheets fully completed. Before you know it you'll have your very own verb conjugation book which you can clip together in a notebook, alphabetize, etc.

On a tangential note, if you're interested, I have a set of handouts I use in class to help students learn how to conjugate regular verbs, a copy can be e-mailed on request. For the irregular verbs, you just have to learn them separately, alas.

Le meas,

At 1:22 PM, Blogger Aingeal said...

A Chionaodh,
Go raibh maith. Ba mhaith liom do "verb sheet", it maybe a good idea to post it on the "resources" portion of the group site. I'm sure that would be a big help.

At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read all of your blogs with great interest. I'm an Irish language student at the University of Ulster (Ollscoil Uladh) in Cúil Raithin which is on the north coast of Ireland, and subsiqently only around an hours drive from a Gaeltacht area (i nDún na nGall).

Aingeal is very lucky to be living with a fluent speaker but don't let that discourage you. My advice, plain and simple, is to listen to as much Irish as possible. You can get Raidio na Gaeltachta on the internet through RealPlayer. Have it on in the background as you work. Aside from actually talking Irish with people face-to-face, listening is the best method.

As for verbs and spelling, drills are great. I've a folder full of verbs written out over and over again in all their tences. Such fun!

Ádh mór ortsa!

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Aingeal said...

Are on on the IGTF fourm? If so I may "know" who you are. Anyway, unfortuantely I work at a library so listening to anything is out of the question but I am familiar with RNAG and like it alot. I just discovered a great free flash card program for the computer. I also bought a good program too. I have the links on this site..... Free Flash Card Great Program

Where is your folder located at?

At 7:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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