Irish. . . Gaeilge. . .

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emilycross

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Dia Dhuit,

Yup, that's about all the Gaeilge I know, so it's ironic that I'm setting up this thread. Basically This is me

I know there are a few of us Irish wandering AW, but not sure if any of us are native speakers? Personally, I get sweaty palmed at the thought of the Irish language. Even after 14 years of 'education', I still can't string a few words together which really is a disgrace. But recently I've decided to face my fear and start to learn it.

So, just throwing this out there, if there's any other Irish who can't speak Irish people out there or Irish/non Irish who can speak Irish, it be great to hear from yeh!
 

backslashbaby

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How funny! I saw the title and immediately thought of that ad :D :D An Irish friend sent it to me.

I love Irish. It looks very hard, though. It sounds harder!

I can't even say Slainte (sp?)
 

emilycross

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When I first say that ad, I swear i thought I was having a spirtual experience. i am not alone. bwaahahahaha. It's scary and not surprising how many irish people don't have a word of Irish after years of learning!!

I'm not great at languages anyway but in my case, teachers in primary (ages 4-12) would say 'you'll learn about that in secondary' and then while you're in secondary (ages 12-18) they say 'you should have learnt that in primary'. Sad when you know more french that you're 'own' language lol.

Rant over :p
 

DeleyanLee

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I'm an American of Irish decent, but I've attempted to learn Gaeilge on several occasions, just 'cause. So far the only phrase I can speak correctly is "Poque ma hon"--though I don't know if I can spell it right. LOL!
 

amlptj

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I'm american but my family is very proud to be irish... My great grandmother was from donegal and my grandmom and a few of her siblings can speek gaeilge...(to a degree) I always wanted to learn every since i visited ireland when i was 9. The only saying i know because it is said sooooo often in my family is Pog Mo Thoin english translation is kiss my a**
 

emilycross

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Oooh Waylander, where are you heading to?

amlptj - my grandmother could speak fluent gaeilge (she was from the west) and spoke english like it was a foreign language. Weird thing is none of my uncles or father has a word of Irish between them cause their mother made a point of not passing it on because it wouldn't get you a job lol.
 

waylander

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Galway.
I shall be back for a longer visit at the end of Aug as my writing group are running a writers' retreat in Clifden
 

Medievalist

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My Ph.D. dissertation is about medieval English and Celtic texts. I can read Old and Middle Irish, and puzzle out a Modern Irish news paper or very simple novel, but can't speak Irish at all. I can understand the gist of broadcasts on the radio, and do much better with Gaeltacht Irish because modern Irish sort of re-invented the language.

Scots Irish is a lot easier to understand, for me, and spoken Manx, what we have of it, easiest of all.
 

Theresa

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Hey, I've wanted to learn Irish for some time now but up to now, my vocab only includes as much as Slainté, Slàn, ta bronerem (ok ... how do you spell that again?) and iché wa (I really should learn how to write the few words I know ... )
 

Medievalist

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and iché wa (I really should learn how to write the few words I know ... )

You've got me stumped; there's no W in Gaelic, or any of the Godelic languages.

You're not maybe thinking of Welsh iechyd da, "to your health," lit. health to/at you?
 

cryaegm

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My grandfather is -- well was -- full Irish. However, I never got to meet him since he died when my mom was eight.

Recently, I've been wanting to learn Japanese and Irish, a bit of German, too, but mostly those two languages.

Anyone wanna teach me Irish? :D I'm a really good at picking things up and I learn quickly. I taught myself French since I had a teacher who didn't know any French.
 

emilycross

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Hey, I've wanted to learn Irish for some time now but up to now, my vocab only includes as much as Slainté, Slàn, ta bronerem (ok ... how do you spell that again?) and iché wa (I really should learn how to write the few words I know ... )

Ta bronerem = Tá Brón orm = I'm sorry

I think iche wa = Oíche mhaith = Good night (phonetically mhaith pronounced wa)
 

Alitriona

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I'm Irish.

I agree modern Gaelic is re-invented, but then so is modern English. I speak limited Irish, but only what I've learned since leaving school.

I was listening to a show last week on the radio and they were discussing this very subject. Many people phoned in and texted to say they didn't speak a word after 13 years of learning up to and hour a day. To me and 99% of the people that called in the problem lies in the way it is being taught.

Ireland spends a staggering amount of money each year promoting the Irish language, but it basically comes down to telling people they should know how to speak it instead of teaching it to them. Adult courses in the basics are practially non-existant dispite that being what most people need if they are to take it up.

The government spend a fortune recently replacing all literature regarding departments, headed paper, logos... with ones that as in Irish and still neglect to address the issue with students and most adults being unable to speak it outside of a region in the west of Ireland where it's still spoken every day.
 

Medievalist

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I'm Irish.

I agree modern Gaelic is re-invented, but then so is modern English. I speak limited Irish, but only what I've learned since leaving school.

No, it's not the same at all. English changed organically, over centuries.
In the 1920s modern Irish was drastically changed by committee. They merged dialects, willy-nilly, and drastically changed the verb system, dropping entire classes of verbs.

The average English person can read Shakespeare with some difficulty; a fluent Irish speaker looking at a pre-reform text is going to be struggling to make sense of it, unless they're from the Gaeltacht or have studied Irish philology.
 

Alitriona

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No, it's not the same at all. English changed organically, over centuries.
In the 1920s modern Irish was drastically changed by committee. They merged dialects, willy-nilly, and drastically changed the verb system, dropping entire classes of verbs.

The average English person can read Shakespeare with some difficulty; a fluent Irish speaker looking at a pre-reform text is going to be struggling to make sense of it, unless they're from the Gaeltacht or have studied Irish philology.

So, you would be talking about written Irish then and the way it was reformed to be brought into schools and part of public services, because people who spoke Irish would not have changed how it was spoken so fast, regardless of a committee.(The Irish do love to set up an committee. lol) My gran being one of them and certainly would have been fluent at the time as part of her role in the new state. Even before that the language was infulenced by the many, many invasions of the country. It's still evolving in the spoken form in many ways as modern terms and slang are introduced for the select few who are lucky enough to speak it.

Reading any Irish for most people outside of the Gaeltacht is difficult, it wouldn't matter when it was from.
 

Medievalist

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So, you would be talking about written Irish then and the way it was reformed to be brought into schools and part of public services, because people who spoke Irish would not have changed how it was spoken so fast, regardless of a committee.

Exactly; some of the extant dialects are almost mutually incomprehensible, and we're losing more every day.

Pre-reform, Irish has few loan words, and almost all of them are from Latin, with the second largest group from Old Norse.
 

Paul

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You've got me stumped; there's no W in Gaelic, or any of the Godelic languages.

You're not maybe thinking of Welsh iechyd da, "to your health," lit. health to/at you?

She means that the English phonetic pronouncement of 'mhaith' which is wha, like a wh sound, as in what.
 

Theresa

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Thanks to emilycross and Paul :) I should have made it clearer that I wrote the phonetics ... it's surprising, but Irish seems to use even more consonants in a row than German lol (at least it appears that way, maybe because the Irish use several consonants to form only one single sound).

I have a small booklet with audio cd for tourists which is quite good for some first sentences and I have a student book (I think it's for self-learners too) but without audio cd so far. The student book doesn't even have phonetics in it which makes it impossible for me to work with it at the moment (I need to know how to pronounce a word when I read it).

Anyone else in here who thinks Irish pronunciation is frustrating?
 

Medievalist

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Anyone else in here who thinks Irish pronunciation is frustrating?

Not compared to English!

I think the easiest way to learn is to learn the letter combinations, and to do that, to learn a list of words that represents all the sounds in Irish.

There used to be a chart like that in front of one of the "Teach yourself" sorts of books, but I can't remember which, and just about all my books are in storage.

The Rosetta Stone CD-ROM course is quite good, as well, but pricey.
 

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