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Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg - UniLang

Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

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Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Viridzen » 2014-11-26, 3:13

(I prefer to post all of my questons in one thread, just for easy access. I see others in this forum are doing that, so I will, too.)

I've got no idea how to start this off, so let me explain: I'm especially interested in Celtic languages and cultures, so I wanted to learn some just up to, say, B2 level, I guess. I of course want to be more fluent, but I can't aim for that right now, especially in the two years I have for this adventure: in the summer of 2016, I'll have the opportunity to go to Ireland, England, and Wales, and it's exciting. I don't know if I'll actually get to go, but I'm really hoping, and I figure I might as well use this as my incentive to learn Irish and Welsh. Of course, unless there's a large amount of Irish speakers in Dublin, I won't be using much Irish. Still, I might as well learn it!
The problem is this: I haven't decided which books to use to learn them. I've been looking for some, so I'll first give my questions here about what I want in a book, and if anyone can recommend anything:
-For Irish, I wanted a book with an audio CD perhaps, since I'll probably never master the pronunciation.
-I don't know which dialect to learn for Dublin: the standard, or is there a Dublin dialect? I was also thinking of learning what they speak in Cork, since some of my ancestors are from there, but I heard it's always best to start with the standard. What do you think?
-And, for Welsh, I also want an audio CD. I'd like it to be either North Welsh or if there's a standard, that one.
-For both, I want more than a dry grammar. I need lots of writing excercises, and tests. Also, it should have an answer key.

I don't mean to be complainy, but I want to make sure that it suits my learning style. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Aóristos » 2014-11-26, 4:04

Viridzen wrote:-I don't know which dialect to learn for Dublin: the standard, or is there a Dublin dialect? I was also thinking of learning what they speak in Cork, since some of my ancestors are from there, but I heard it's always best to start with the standard. What do you think?

As far as I know, Leinster Irish (the dialect group that would include that once spoken in and around Dublin) went extinct sometime in the 18th century. Most Irish spoken (neo-)natively in Dublin is based off of An Caighdeán Oifigiúl (The Official Standard, abbreviated as "CO") with quite a lot of Anglicisms. It's better to start off with CO, in any case. Munster Irish would be the group that Cork Irish belongs to.

For CO, I highly recommend Living Language: Spoken World Irish. It's one of the funnest and best laid-out courses I've used for Irish. The vocabulary is relevant and up-to-date, and the accompanying CD's are far from boring.
Last edited by Aóristos on 2014-11-26, 4:13, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Viridzen » 2014-11-26, 4:07

Aóristos wrote:
Viridzen wrote:-I don't know which dialect to learn for Dublin: the standard, or is there a Dublin dialect? I was also thinking of learning what they speak in Cork, since some of my ancestors are from there, but I heard it's always best to start with the standard. What do you think?

As far as I know, Leinster Irish (the dialect group that would include that once spoken in and around Dublin) went extinct sometime in the 18th century. Most Irish spoken (neo-)natively in Dublin is based off of An Caighdeán Oifigiúl (The Official Standard, abbreviated as "CO") with quite a lot of Anglicisms. It's better to start off with CO, in any case. Munster Irish would be the group that Cork Irish belongs to.

Thank you. Do you know any books that would be good? I'm looking for if you have experience with any. I mostly learn from books, especially with audio CDs.
Please, correct my errors. S'il vous plaît, corrigez mes erreurs.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Aóristos » 2014-11-26, 4:13

Viridzen wrote:Thank you. Do you know any books that would be good? I'm looking for if you have experience with any. I mostly learn from books, especially with audio CDs.

I edited my post. :)
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby księżycowy » 2014-11-26, 12:54

Living Language: Spoken World Irish is definitely a good start, but it won't get you to a B-anything level. Probably and A-1 or maybe A-2. The Gaeilge Gan Stró series is another good choice for CO in my opinion.

Or if you like a more Assimil type approach, there's always the Buntús Cainte series. It is a bit outdated vocabulary wise, but that can easily be rectified.

For Munster Irish, there isn't much in English aside from Teach Yourself Irish by Dillon and Ó Cróinín (the old 1961 version, NOT the newer one from the 2000's or newer).

There are mixed reports as to whether one should start with a dialect or CO. But I will say it is probable you wouldn't need to speak a dialect in Dublin, so CO should be fine.

I'm sure Ciarán can give you better idea of what to learn though, as he lives there.

As for Welsh, Colloquial Welsh all the way.
þūhte mē þæt ic gesāwe syllicre trēow on lyft lædan lēohte bewunden bēama beorhtost.

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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-11-26, 15:23

In Dublin, you most likely won't just happen upon Irish speakers by accident (or, rather, you might well do, but you probably wouldn't know if they were Irish speakers or not unless you asked), but there are places you can use Irish if you know where to go. There's an Irish language pub (not sure if you are old enough to drink, but they server non-alcoholic drinks there too), there is an Irish language book shop (all the staff speak Irish, they will most likely assume you speak Irish if you come in an will address you in Irish be default), there are "Ciorcail Comhrá" (Conversation Circles) all around the city, so you could always go to one of them. There's a list of services you can avail of though Irish in the city here, and as I'm finding out now, if you go around speaking Irish with people and others overhear you, you will find quite a lot of people will address you in Irish if they know you speak it. You can also "use" your Irish by reading signs in Irish (I usually try to ignore the English if I can and read any signage that is in Irish in Irish), some ATMs and Train/Tram ticket machines have the option to display the text in Irish, which I always select. And of course, if you need to deal with the State for any reason, you are legally entitled to communicate with them in Irish (though how successful you will be very much depends...).

As far as dialect goes, CO is fine for Dublin, but I don't really think the Irish speakers in the city would have much trouble with any of the dialects particularly, it would be more that you might not understand them unless you were used to hearing how Irish is spoken in Dublin. If you listen to Raidió na Life you can hear a lot of people from Dublin, so that might get you used to it, but by all means, learn whichever dialect you like. My impression is that Ulster Irish (as the most divergent dialect) is the hardest for people here to understand, and Munster Irish seems to have a disproportionately strong influence on the Irish I hear here.

As for learning materials, the suggestions above are all good, you could do worse than to look at Litriocht.com to see what materials they offer. I would suggest as well, for the purposes of learning conversational Irish, a little book called "Essential Irish" by Garry Bannister - it hasn't got any exercises but the vocab and phrases are very conversation-oriented.
Beidh Gaeilge líofa chruinn bhlasta agam nó go bhfaighe mé bás san iarracht!

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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-26, 17:04

Aóristos wrote:Most Irish spoken (neo-)natively in Dublin is based off of An Caighdeán Oifigiúl (The Official Standard, abbreviated as "CO") with quite a lot of Anglicisms. It's better to start off with CO, in any case. Munster Irish would be the group that Cork Irish belongs to.

The thing is, CO is only a written standard. There has been an attempt to develop a standard pronunciation in the form of the Lárchanúint (lit. "central dialect"), but it has no official status and I'm not sure to what degree it's used in instruction. Most competent L2 speakers seem to have been exposed to teachers from all three major dialect areas, so their own pronunciation tends to be a bit of a blend. (Ciarán, for instance, uses some pronunciations with sound totally Munster to me and others which I barely recognise.)

As one might expect, those varieties which are geographically most central (i.e. those of Connacht) are also the most generally intelligible, as both Munster and Ulster native speakers can understand them pretty easily whereas they often have difficulty understanding each other. (Much to the dismay of my pal Lilis, I have real difficulty with his full-on Ulster.) Connemara also has the advantage of having the most native speakers of any variety and (for that reason) contributing disproportionately to the formation of CO.

księżycowy wrote:For Munster Irish, there isn't much in English aside from Teach Yourself Irish by Dillon and Ó Cróinín (the old 1961 version, NOT the newer one from the 2000's or newer).

Pimsleur actually offers a course on CD which teaches Munster Irish, but it's very basic. You don't really get beyond introductions and small talk.

księżycowy wrote:As for Welsh, Colloquial Welsh all the way.

Seconded. King covers the basics of both Northern and Southern colloquial varieties, so wherever you end up, you'll be able to make yourself understood. (There's also more interchange between native speakers from different regions in Wales in than in Ireland, so more koineïsation has taken place, even if this hasn't yet resulted in a common "standard" which can be taught as such.)
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby księżycowy » 2014-11-26, 18:22

linguoboy wrote:
księżycowy wrote:For Munster Irish, there isn't much in English aside from Teach Yourself Irish by Dillon and Ó Cróinín (the old 1961 version, NOT the newer one from the 2000's or newer).

Pimsleur actually offers a course on CD which teaches Munster Irish, but it's very basic. You don't really get beyond introductions and small talk.

Yes, I forgot about that one.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Viridzen » 2014-11-26, 22:38

Alright, I read some reviews on Amazon, and looked inside anywhere I could, and I can't find any that would actually suit my learning style. What about the newer Teach Yourself ones for Irish, which dialect do they teach, and how are they? Also, what about dictionaries? I think ones with pronunciation and gender would be useful, so which are the better ones out there?
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-26, 22:45

Viridzen wrote:Also, what about dictionaries? I think ones with pronunciation and gender would be useful, so which are the better ones out there?

There are some good ones available free online. Ó Dónaill and de Bhaldraithe (see:
http://breis.focloir.ie/) are both somewhat dated now, but they are still standard reference works. You can find a more up-to-date work here: http://www.focloir.ie/en/, but unfortunately it is incomplete and only English-to-Irish at this point.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Viridzen » 2014-11-26, 23:03

I came across "Focloir Poca: English-Irish Irish-English Dictionary" on Amazon. Does anyone know if that's good, and which dialect it uses? There's also "Learning Irish" by Michael O Siadhail. It looks pretty good, but I don't know much about it. Does anyone else have ideas?
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-11-26, 23:07

linguoboy wrote:There are some good ones available free online. Ó Dónaill and de Bhaldraithe (see:
http://breis.focloir.ie/) are both somewhat dated now, but they are still standard reference works. You can find a more up-to-date work here: http://www.focloir.ie/en/, but unfortunately it is incomplete and only English-to-Irish at this point.


I use those a lot. I particularly like "breis.focloir.ie", the Irish is slightly dated but it could be considered all the "better" for it, at least in terms of providing a more Gaelic idiom.

Viridzen, you might check out the Irish Duolinguo course, I haven't tried it but I use some of their other courses and they seem fun and interactive with lots of practice.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby kevin » 2014-11-26, 23:52

My impression is that the main problem with the Duolingo course for Irish is that you can't fully trust the pronunciation (and that audio doesn't even exist for many sentences).

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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby księżycowy » 2014-11-27, 1:30

Learning Irish is another great (and pretty comprehensive) course. It teaches the Connacht dialect, not the CO. But Connacht is pretty damn close to the CO.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-11-27, 1:52

I forgot about that, yes, it's good and comes with IPA (of a sort) which is good. Of course, I never used it because when I saw the pronunciations I was like "WTF is this?" (I trust it's correct for Connacht, but they were really different from how I pronounce things).

Another good one - Progress in Irish. Simple, kind of old-school but a decent resource IMO.
Beidh Gaeilge líofa chruinn bhlasta agam nó go bhfaighe mé bás san iarracht!

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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-27, 2:10

Viridzen wrote:I came across "Focloir Poca: English-Irish Irish-English Dictionary" on Amazon. Does anyone know if that's good, and which dialect it uses?

IIRC, it's CO. (Most reference works are unless they specifically state otherwise.) I don't recall it being very comprehensive, though, so only worth it if you want something compact for studying on the go and don't have a mobile device to consult one of the online dictionaries.

Viridzen wrote:There's also "Learning Irish" by Michael O Siadhail. It looks pretty good, but I don't know much about it. Does anyone else have ideas?

Another solid choice. As księżycowy says, it teaches a particular Connemara dialect, but there's a lengthy appendix giving equivalents in CO.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby księżycowy » 2014-11-27, 2:15

Ciarán12 wrote:Of course, I never used it because when I saw the pronunciations I was like "WTF is this?"

Honestly, I thought The same exact thing when I first started using it back a couple years ago. They sure do love dropping things and shmushing things together in that dialect. :lol:
þūhte mē þæt ic gesāwe syllicre trēow on lyft lædan lēohte bewunden bēama beorhtost.

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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-11-27, 2:21

linguoboy wrote:
Viridzen wrote:I came across "Focloir Poca: English-Irish Irish-English Dictionary" on Amazon. Does anyone know if that's good, and which dialect it uses?

IIRC, it's CO. (Most reference works are unless they specifically state otherwise.) I don't recall it being very comprehensive, though, so only worth it if you want something compact for studying on the go and don't have a mobile device to consult one of the online dictionaries.


I agree - if you want a nice, tangible, authoritative dictionary go for Ó Domhnaill's "Focloir Gaeilge-Bearla/Irish-English Dictionary" and de Bhaldraithe's "English - Irish Dictionary". Then again, you have access to the content of those free on the sites linguoboy gave upthread. Also, wait till you get to Ireland to buy them, the prices on Amazon for those books are ludicrous. If you have an Apple device you can get a Collins Irish dictionary. It hasn't got a huge number of words, but the entries are pretty good. I have "FocalBeo" on my Android phone - the entries leave much to be desired, but it has a huge number of words.

księżycowy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:Of course, I never used it because when I saw the pronunciations I was like "WTF is this?"

Honestly, I thought The same exact thing when I first started using it back a couple years ago. They sure do love dropping things and shmushing things together in that dialect. :lol:


Yeah, I remember thinking "What, so the word just ends half way through now? Is that how we're doing this? What is this, Danish?" :lol:
Beidh Gaeilge líofa chruinn bhlasta agam nó go bhfaighe mé bás san iarracht!

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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-27, 2:41

Ciarán12 wrote:Yeah, I remember thinking "What, so the word just ends half way through now? Is that how we're doing this? What is this, Danish?" :lol:

My first exposure to Irish was in pre-reform spelling, so this was all nothing less than what I expected.
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Re: Viridzen - Gaeilge/Cymraeg

Postby Viridzen » 2014-11-28, 2:44

Alrght, so I'm decided on getting "Learning Irish" by Michael O Siadhail (I'm okay with learning a dialect as long as I'll be understood), and I'm hoping to find a good Irish dictionary when I'm in Ireland, but of course it wouldn't help me as I'm learning it before going. Luckily, I most likely am getting some sort of Apple device between now and when I go, so I will usually have access to an online Irish dicitonary. (Also, any ideas on the newer Teach Yourself ones?)

Since that's settled, let's think about Welsh. The Amazon preview made "Colloquial Welsh" look confusing to use, so is there anything else, or will I need to use that one? Also, which dictionaries are the best? I'm mostly into print dictionaries, since I like being able to flip through the pages and it's tangible, so it's more real to me. (Amazon has a lot more choices than I expected for Welsh dictionaries, by the way!)
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