I have my first non-Duolingo irish texts
I am now through a third of the tree and thought that the time was right to boaden my horizon i little bit by purchasing some actual texts. After all, I am reaching the sweet spot in any language learning endeavour where you recognize some things already and more with every lesson.
First, I ordered "The little Prince". My parents said that everybody should have read it and to my shame I have to admit that I never did, so I thought it might be suitable for some side by side translations. Also, it doesn't sound too hard.
I browsed through a list of available irisch books and to my delight there is an irish translation of "Asterix and the golden sickle"! It arrived yesterday. Now, there are probably not many germans that never read Asterix (nor french) and that series has already been translated into every conceivable language. We translated the latin version (I actually own that exact album in latin) in school classes so I know that Asterix is very suited to teach a language. I mean, we used to translate Ceasar, Sallust, Ovid and Cato and then we got Asterix und were like "Wow, you can actually read and speak that language, who would have tought?"
Anyway, I can really recommend it. There are already some speech bubbles which I can fully understand ("Stèig, led' thoil", "Cad è seo?") and many more where I already know parts of it. I already noticed some of the wordplay common to Asterix translations ("Leitìs ò Lùitèis").
Also, I wondered about the irish transtation for "wolf", which apparently means "son of the land". Very poetic!
Then also take a look at a way of saying "owl" in Irish: "Cailleach oíche" or Night witch.
Some parts of Amhrán na Mara clicked in my brain when I figured that one out.
I've also bought myself a copy of An hobad, but last time I checked that was still a little too difficult for me. Maybe now that I've spent a few more months learning I'll be able to get through it. I'll see during the summer I guess.
I saw "The Song of the Ses" just recently. Of course now I had to immediately think of the owl witch. I still can't believe there aren't irish subtitles or a dub on the DVD.
I bought the disc, but because I don't have a DVD player I had to settle for a downloaded version. According to the box around the disc there is Irish language audio on there. Such as shame I can't access it.
Now, I hadn't thought of those classic comic books in Irish! What a good idea :D I bet they got Tintin in Irish too! (edit: yes, there is! Tintin: Todóga Na Bhfaronna, Tintin: Portán Na Nordóg Órga -- I giggled at Portán, one of the first words we learn here)
I bought an Irish copy of the first Harry Potter book when I was in Ireland. It's not too hard, but the story is still amazing. I considered buying the Astrix-book as well, so maybe I will still do that now.
On the "mac tíre" thing: it's probably a taboo form from the older days, when people were scared that calling the beast by its real name would summon it. Another famous example of this is the name "Beowulf", which means bear and can literally be translated as "bee-wolf" (big beast that eats from beehives)
Especially all-ages comics are (nearly) always a good start into a language because they have short sentences pretty close to actual everyday conversation and offer you the opportunity to fill in knowledge gaps through the art. Also, both Asterix and Tintin are also established reading material for adults. Which means that teachers are less inclined to consider them as a corruption of the kid's language.
Since, like I said, Asterix has been translated to an incredible amount of languages, it is nearly always a very good starting point.
I didn't order Harry Potter but today arrived my copy of "The Hobbit". I was surprised how high quality the issue was and am considering buying an equivalent english copy. I wonder what is easier to read: The Hobbit or Harry Potter. Back in school I tried immersing myself in English with The Lord of the Rings but that was much too hard. The Hobbit should me much easier.
PS: My breakthrough in learning English was "The Dragonlance Legends". No chance of finding an irish edition of that one. Nor the danger of getting an irish version of The Lord of the Rings". As far as I know there isn't one.