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https://www.duolingo.com/SilverDolphin218

Many Thanks to Duolingo

An samhradh seo chaite, bhí mé sa Ghaelteacht le haigh dhá seachtaine (coicís).

Last summer, I was in the Gaelteacht for two weeks. Without Duolingo, I would have had barely any Irish. As it was, I only got on the Liosta Béarla twice, and for someone who doesn't study Irish at all except here, and hasn't for the past two years, and only had two formal years of Irish education, that's pretty good. I have to say a huge thanks to the Duolingo Irish staff, and the people who worked on it, because I would have most likely been completely lost had I not been working on Duolingo in the months coming up to my trip. So thank you very much, Duolingo Irish staff- tá sibh daoine an-mhaith! :D

1 year ago

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Beta-Tron
Beta-Tron
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after two years of formal education studying a language you had no knowledge of it?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Seanchai35

My understanding of the way Irish is taught in schools is that it pretty much jumps from "tá drochlá ann inniu" to "Analyse James Joyce in Irish," thus leaving quite a lot of people bewildered and frustrated and feeling like they have no choice but to learn the correct answers by rote rather than actually learning the language and how to use it - at least, that's what I've heard from quite a few friends and family members who went through it. (There are lots of complicated historical and political reasons for how that came to be, but dissecting those is a whole other can of worms, and well beyond the scope of language learning per se).

That's all anecdotal, and may not be true in all areas/schools... but based on what I've heard, SilverDolphin's experience of "school Irish" isn't at all uncommon.

(Maith thú, SilverDolphin! Glad you enjoyed your visit!)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Knocksedan

I think at this stage, it's a bit of a vicious cycle - many kids "hate Irish" because everyone "hates Irish" - it's just the way God made the world, and the same reason so many kids in Ireland "follow" Man United. A teacher facing a class of kids with such a negative attitude is facing an uphill battle from the beginning, and many teachers just never get over that obstacle, leading to kids who end up feeling justified in hating Irish, and passing that attitude on to their younger siblings.

There are plenty of classrooms where this isn't true, and there are both teachers and pupils that can succeed in spite of this attitude, but for a lot of students, Irish is seen as a burden. One consequence is that Irish people commonly deny having retained so much as a word of Irish once they leave school, but most of them could probably cope with the words in this list, though it's quite likely that they would have difficulty creating anything beyond simple present tense sentences with them.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Seanchai35

One consequence is that Irish people commonly deny having retained so much as a word of Irish once they leave school, but most of them could probably cope with the words in this list, though it's quite likely that they would have difficulty creating anything beyond simple present tense sentences with them.

I've experienced that phenomenon many times, actually. The one that stands out most clearly in my mind was a family friend who grew up fully bilingual, but when I first asked her if she could help me get my mind around some very basic Irish about twenty years ago, she claimed she'd forgot every word of it (for which she was disappointed in herself). Fast forward about fifteen years; I was at the local pub (owned by that family friend and a second family friend) and the second family friend's brother was visiting; I had just enough Irish on me by then to grasp that the one who still lived in Ireland was berating his brother for letting his Irish go entirely to seed. I jumped in to the conversation (mostly just to see if I could) and within about ten minutes, it was the first family friend, the second friend, his brother, me, and another 4-5 people who'd sworn to me up, down, and sideways that they hadn't any Irish... all bickering playfully in Irish about Irish. (Those two particular friends are from very rural Co. Kerry and very rural Co. Galway respectively, so between them and my piecemeal learner's dialect and the others who had jumped in, we had an unholy mix of dialects/school Irish/Englishy Irish/native Irish going by the end!)

That experience taught me that at least in my particular ex-pat community, it's much more effective to just start a conversation in Irish and see if I get an answer than to ask if anyone has any Irish, as even a lot of native speakers around here are shy about speaking it. (Most of them have lived in the US for 20-30 years at this point, so whether their reticence is based in genuinely feeling too rusty, or antipathy, or bad school memories/painful associations etc, I don't know - I only know that the same general reluctance to speak is alive and well in my bit of the US).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CormacMOB

Well said.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SilverDolphin218

Go raibh maith agat! I always love coming back to Ireland (I'm Irish myself), and this was the icing on the cake for me. It was brilliant! :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SilverDolphin218

No. What I was saying was that I studied it for two years in school, but then I left Ireland and stopped studying it all together. With only those two years of study and nobody to talk to about learning more, I soon forgot what I learned, so when I decided to return and go to the Gaelteacht, I started using Duolingo to remember my Irish. Compared with my peers, who had all been studying Irish for about ten times longer than me, I had almost no Irish at all. However, I still managed to get by and learn quite a lot.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patbo
patbo
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tá sibh daoine an-mhaith! :D

Is "sibh daoine" supposed to be a translation of "you guys"? :D In that case, just "sibh" is enough, I don't think you can add "daoine" like this.

Or if you meant to say "you are very good people", you'd use the copula instead of "tá".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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If “you” was intended to be a determiner, as in “you guys”, then that would call for the vocative — e.g. tá sibh go han-mhaith, a dhaoine! (analogous to “You’re very good, guys!”).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SilverDolphin218

Oh, okay! Thanks for the tip. My grammar is not too good at the moment, so I'm trying to work on that. :)

1 year ago