It is currently Mon 22 Jul 2024 8:51 am

All times are UTC


Forum rules


Please click here to view the forum rules



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed 12 Jun 2024 9:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue 07 May 2024 3:50 pm
Posts: 60
Hello! As some of you know I've been trying to learn Irish. I recently ordered the old "Teach yourself Irish" book by Myles Dillon and Donncha ó Cróinín. In order to get anything out of this book, I realized that I need to learn about grammar in general (what the heck is a clause? What the heck is a proposition? I'm not joking, I'm actually that clueless).

As I now begin to dive into the study of grammar itself, it dawned on me just how different languages can be. That sounds like an obvious thing, but for some reason I hadn't realized it. I was just wondering, what aspects of Irish grammar, spelling and pronunciation make it easy to learn? What aspects make it hard to learn?

I guess "easy" and "hard" are a bit relative, so maybe for concreteness I should ask "easy to learn compared to English", and "hard to learn compared to English". As of right now, it seems like learning Irish grammar is much more confusing than learning English grammar, but I'm probably biased/clueless because it's not like I know anything about grammar and I've been speaking English my whole life (basically).

Thanks in advance!!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed 12 Jun 2024 11:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu 27 May 2021 3:22 am
Posts: 1206
If I were you, I'd dive into Chapter 1, using the version on the Internet that has embedded audio, and ask questions on that chapter without obsessing about how different languages can be.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu 13 Jun 2024 12:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue 07 May 2024 3:50 pm
Posts: 60
bro not gonna lie your kind of a buzz kill


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu 13 Jun 2024 1:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu 22 Dec 2011 6:28 am
Posts: 417
Location: Corcaigh
msv133 wrote:
Hello! As some of you know I've been trying to learn Irish. I recently ordered the old "Teach yourself Irish" book by Myles Dillon and Donncha ó Cróinín. In order to get anything out of this book, I realized that I need to learn about grammar in general (what the heck is a clause? What the heck is a proposition? I'm not joking, I'm actually that clueless).

As I now begin to dive into the study of grammar itself, it dawned on me just how different languages can be. That sounds like an obvious thing, but for some reason I hadn't realized it. I was just wondering, what aspects of Irish grammar, spelling and pronunciation make it easy to learn? What aspects make it hard to learn?

I guess "easy" and "hard" are a bit relative, so maybe for concreteness I should ask "easy to learn compared to English", and "hard to learn compared to English". As of right now, it seems like learning Irish grammar is much more confusing than learning English grammar, but I'm probably biased/clueless because it's not like I know anything about grammar and I've been speaking English my whole life (basically).

Thanks in advance!!


I'm glad to hear you took djwebb's advice, that's a particularly good book to use in learning Irish. If you come across grammatical terminology in that book which you find difficult, usually a quick google search will solve the issue. It's not unusual to have to look up a term more than once, so if you find you have to look something up more than once, that's not only typical, but in fact, that's exactly what will help you retain it long-term.

As to your question, there are a number of things that make the study of any language difficult, and different people will find different aspects easier or more difficult than others. Tasks which many people find challenging include memorising vocabulary, becoming accustomed to new word orders, learning the different cases nouns can take, and different verbal inflections. These can pose difficulties when learning any language, however, and some languages are much more difficult than Irish in this regard.

As to Irish specifically, there are a number of things that make it unique. I'm happy to list a few here, but keep in mind that I can't know whether or not you will find them to be easy or difficult. That will come down to you as an individual, your personal learning style, and how much time and effort you're able to put into your studying. With that being said, the things that come to mind are the following:

1. The caol le caol agus leathan le leathan spelling rule. This is a very important feature in Irish orthography. The vowels which occur before and following a consonant cluster must "match" in quality. There are three "broad" vowels in Irish and two "slender". It is very rare to see a broad vowel on one side of a consonant (or group of consonants) and a slender one on the other. This rule can encode a lot of information about the pronunciation of consonants in relation to the vowels which occur next to them, so you need to learn it to know how to pronounce a word when reading it. On the one hand, you may find this complex, though it's similar to knowing that some letters in English sound different next to other letters. Think "n" or "g" but in combination "ng", or "s" and "c" but in combinations with "h", "sh" and "ch". On the other hand, it makes the spelling of Irish very very regular by comparison to English, so if you know how a word is pronounced, and have learned off this rule, it makes spelling very easy.

2. Initial mutations are a feature of all the surviving Celtic languages. They are sound changes which affect the anlaut of words. Students often find it challenging to memorise the various mutations and when they should be used. They can also vary between dialects, so it's best to pick one dialect and stick with the mutations as used in that dialect. As you are using the Dillon and Ó Cróinín book, you'll want to focus on the system of mutations used in the Munster dialect.

3. As you've mentioned "easy/hard compared to English", you'll find quite a lot differs between Irish and English. English doesn't really have any future tense or conditional mood in the sense that verbs don't change form to indicate you're talking about the future. This does happen in the English past tense, so you get "saw" for present "see", "ate" for present "eat", "walked" for present "walk", and so on. In the future tense and conditional mood, however, English employs "modal verbs" like "will", "would", "shall" and "might, or phrases like "going to". So you get "I might go" or "I will eat". Instead of this, Irish, like many other languages, changes the form of the verb for all tenses and moods. How each verb changes in different tenses and moods has to be learned, and if your only language currently is English, this can seem challenging.

With all this being said, I don't think you should focus on the things that make Irish grammar difficult/easy compared to other languages. As much of a buzz kill as it may be, djwebb is correct. The best thing to do is just dive into learning the language, and forget about how it compares to English or any other language. The book is laid out in a sensible way, intended to help learners pick up what they need to at the correct time, so if you do as he suggested and start at chapter 1 then move through it sequentially, you will learn in an intuitive way which the authors designed to make it easier for you.

Aside from that, it's important to keep in mind that learning a language and learning about grammar are two separate tasks. No child learns their first language by studying grammar. They pick up on examples of speach from their parents, friends, family, etc. When they make a mistake an adult tells them "that word is wrong, this is the word you should have used", or "you're saying that wrong, pronounce it like this instead". Even when they learn to read and write in school, they're simply told "that spelling is incorrect, this is how to spell it". They learn to reproduce what they are told is correct, and memorise the language by that means long before any attempt is made to teach them grammar. People make "grammatical errors" in their first language well into their adult lives without it ever meaning they aren't fluent or don't know the language (think about your vs. you're, or there vs. their and they're). While it's helpful to know basic grammatical concepts and terminology when learning a new languages as an adult, grammar is only a tool which can help you conceptualise what is happening in a language. What you should be focussing on if you want to know how to speak, read and write the language are examples and patterns you find in learning material like that book. Go through it in order, start to finish, and learn what the authors think you should know, in the order they think learners will be ready to learn it. If you have any trouble with something in the book, by all means, come back here and ask about it. But don't stress about grammar.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu 13 Jun 2024 1:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue 07 May 2024 3:50 pm
Posts: 60
ehh sry for being snarky. If any1 knows where I can get the audio for free let me know.. I'm poor, so free is good :D


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu 13 Jun 2024 4:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu 27 May 2021 3:22 am
Posts: 1206
The audio recordings are at https://archive.org/details/Gael-linnAu ... fIrish1961 (4 AIFF files)

If you want the PDF with embedded audio, go to https://archive.org/details/TeachYourselfIrish and choose the PDF option and the file that is 41.6 megabytes.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu 13 Jun 2024 4:12 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu 22 Dec 2011 6:28 am
Posts: 417
Location: Corcaigh
msv133 wrote:
ehh sry for being snarky. If any1 knows where I can get the audio for free let me know.. I'm poor, so free is good :D


Take a look in this thread. If the links are still working, that's your best bet.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat 15 Jun 2024 1:09 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue 07 May 2024 3:50 pm
Posts: 60
Okay thanks!!
djwebb2021 wrote:
The audio recordings are at https://archive.org/details/Gael-linnAu ... fIrish1961 (4 AIFF files)

If you want the PDF with embedded audio, go to https://archive.org/details/TeachYourselfIrish and choose the PDF option and the file that is 41.6 megabytes.


I'm looking for the PDF option with embedded audio. I made an account on this website, and when I follow this link it has 5 "viewable files" called front, back, Irish, and then 2 TYI1961 files. I can't find the file that is 41.7 megabytes.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat 15 Jun 2024 1:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu 27 May 2021 3:22 am
Posts: 1206
You don't need to make an account. Go to the website I indicated, and you will see down the right-hand side some options. Pick PDF and choose the 41mb version. It is called TYI1961.pdf.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu 20 Jun 2024 11:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue 07 May 2024 3:50 pm
Posts: 60
Sooo.. am I accessing this "built in audio" when I use the PDF's read out loud feature?

Because on page 60 vocabulary (for example) it pronounces the Irish word and parenthesized phonetic transcription differently... so it seems a bit inconsistent


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 27 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