Irish grammar 101 book
Sorry if this has been discussed; it's not easy to search old postings here. I am interested in getting an Irish grammar 101 type book with audio. Either a regular book or a digital--doesn't matter. I am looking for one that is simple--like you would use in a school with kids, not college level. You start talking about tenses and gender and cases and my eyes glaze over. There's a reason i was a science major and not liberal arts lol. thanks much
You can't exactly talk about grammar without talking about tenses, cases and genders. It's more a matter of how clearly the book explains them (and unfortunately most grammar books are pretty bad at making grammar seem either comprehensible or fun; English for the Natives by Harry Ritchie is an exception).
I don't know of any Irish grammar book that has audio. Actually, audio isn't normally included in grammar books at all, though the better ones will have a section at the beginning about pronunciation (which readers usually skip, to their own loss)
You might find Éamonn Ó Donaill, Irish Grammar You Really Need to Know helpful. I haven't used it but his Gaeilge Gan Stró courses are excellent. It seems fairly friendly.
I've had a look at Nancy Stenson, Basic Irish: A Grammar and Workbook and it is good. She also explains pronunciation very clearly.
Mícheál Ó Siadhail's Learning Irish is incredibly user unfriendly. It actually covers much more complicated grammar than most introductory textbooks but it expects you to already know a lot of grammatical terminology and isn't always clear even when it does bother to explain something.
My advice would be to not do the exercises in whichever grammar book you use but to copy the example sentences to a good flashcard programme (Memrise, Anki etc.) and learn the full sentences. That way you are trying to remember context-rich real language, rather than contextless abstract rules. You can always write the grammar rule in a note/mem attached to the flashcard.
Well, I believe duolingo is sort of what you need, to be honest. It is appropriate for children and adults alike, and pretty light when it comes to grammar. Just give yourself some time to build up your knowledge in terms of examples, and through repeated exercises. To be honest, I have not mastered the plural at all yet, but I do remember it for all the words Duo has taught me so far (I am at Prep. now)
If you do not like the Tips and Notes content (which is, honestly, not as complex as it could be, based on all the Questions and Answers in the discussions), you can sort of ignore it, and figure out the patterns for yourself based on the selection of words taught in the lessons, and from the QA in the discussions.
Or you can have a look here below, but I have no feedback for any of them:
http://www.childrensbooks.ie/irish-language-childrens (e.g. Irish for Beginners)
edit: I just noticed you are level 19. Are you looking for a book for yourself or someone else?
I need a grammar book. There isn't enough instruction or variation in Duolingo for me to grasp all the concepts. It's very easy to get to level 19 without actually progressing quickly thru the lessons. Or really understanding it. You just keep practicing what you do know.
Oh, I see :o I misunderstood you.
Well, there are two grammar books I've been using along with duolingo, both not really for young children, though I'm sure they are high school level at least, especially the second one.
First one is sort of dry in tone and light on grammar explanations, and has excellent audio and phonetic pronunciation:
What may happen with this book is that you either love it (because it's light on explanations) or you get frustrated with it (because it's light on explanations) :) It has nice drill exercises, which I recommend complementing with these free worksheets created by the author of the second book I will tell you about: http://phouka.com/stenson/intro.htm
If you are a science major, you may not be miffed by the dry presentation as much as others could be. It's focusing on pattern recognition, which, again, may appeal a bit more to people who want to "crack the code" by themselves, and who have a place to ask questions when they aren't sure (e.g. duolingo forums).
The second one is an easy read, and well organised in terms of easing the reader into grammar:
There's no audio with this book. It is built in a similar format to the English grammar book series I used throughout high school to learn English (and remember fondly because I loved the efficient exercise drills: Betty Schrampfer Azar's Basic/Fundamentals of English Grammar).
Let's hope you get feedback on other grammar books from people here, if any would suit you. Good luck!
ps. you can read amazon reviews of customers, sometimes a few of them will also give interesting feedback!
My copy of "Basic Irish - A Grammar and Workbook" arrived today.
And I have to say, the immediate first impression was quite negative. I went directly to the chapter "Lenition" expecting to see a comprehensive summery of all cases where Lenition happens. As it turned out, the chapter was only three pages long! They write, for example, that Lenition happens after certain kinds of particles. But does not list them and instead tells the reader that they will be mentioned in later chapters! This is the Lenition chapter, why no do it here?
Well, I browsed it further. In general, the book reads pretty easy. It is also a workbook with tasks and results, which is nice. I am now halfway through the tree and I can already understand or at least interpret most of the examples, which gives me a morale boost on my learning effort and a confirmation, that it was probably the right time to buy it.
It was certainly not a bad purchase but for the reasons I mentioned above I get the feeling that I will eventually have to buy another, less "schoolbook" and more "scientific" grammar book. For now, I will have to consult online resources like Wikipedia or Gramadach na Geailge for this. But the book is certainly much less intimidating then the latter website. (at least in its german version)
I agree with you about her lenition chapter.
It can be good or bad, depending on one's capacity to remember details. Personally, I found duolingo's lenition notes quite overwhelming the first time I read them since they list so many cases, but then, the practice exercises do not tackle all of these cases all at once, and instead the cases get re-introduced later in the skills and sentences.
She decided to only mention what lenition is, and then slowly bring the cases within each chapter where they belong (e.g in Unit 5 she introduces the two articles, and mentions lenition of feminine words with an).
Duolingo did the same strategy, it re-introduced (sneakily) lenition in the possessive skill, and with the conjunction one for nuair a, prepositions, etc.
There is a second book for intermediate level as well, btw.
I see nothing wrong with Stenson's chapter on Lenition. It assumes the user is relatively new to Irish grammar and so it only introduces the concept of lenition and its rules at the start (it is chapter 3, after all). And it does give you 60 exercises to do, all based on grammatical constructions where lenition occurs. So you do get some actually practice here--providing you actually do the practices. The book naturally gets more indepth as it progresses and as the learner acquires more skills, knowledge and familiarity with Irish grammar. It's very logical and reasonable.
Lenition is a relatively simple concept. There's just not a lot to it. But if you have never worked with a language that uses mutations like this, it can be intimidating. All a new learner needs at the starting stage is to know the rules of how lenition is formed, and as they learn specific grammar concept they will learn when to apply lenition. I have studied four Celtic languages and this is always been how mutations are presented for people new to the languages. It's dumb and a waste of time and energy to overwhelm a new learner with an avalanche of new grammar concepts on top of learning the rules for lenition. Learning when to apply mutation in context of the grammar as you learn the grammar is a very effective method.
I am also in need of a grammar book. Thank you for your suggestions.
Does anyobdy have experience with "Easy Learning Irish Grammar"?