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https://www.duolingo.com/Shanow22

Which are the easiest to most difficult of the Celtic languages?

Shanow22
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For those, who have tried to learn from Irish or Scotish Gaelic and Welsh/Cornish or Breton, which of the languages are objectively easier and more difficult.

I'm Irish so I can't make a comparison as I am obviously biased and Welsh/Breton seem quite difficult for me. But for those of you language nerds with experience in these languages and would be more objective, could you rank these languages from easiest to most difficult. And if possible, a slight explanation as to why that is the case. Thanks, I'm very curious about this.

1 year ago

29 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/AnLonDubhBeag

From what I've heard from people who came at them without any prior knowledge I have universally heard that Welsh is far far easier than Irish, the reasons being:

More consistent orthography

Less morphology

Less edge cases to the grammatical rules

Overall easier to pronounce

My limited experience with Welsh and my much greater experience with Irish would lead me to the same conclusion.

I've heard Breton is quite hard to learn as it is very difficult to access genuine unedited native material.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Braitheann sé ar an gcéad teanga Cheilteach a d'fhoghlaim tú. Dhá mba dh'í an Ghaeilge 'ta 'ad, is léir go mbeadh Gaeilge na hAlban níos ésaca. Ach, dhá mba dh'í an Bhreatnais 'tá 'ad, bheadh an Bhriotáinis i bhfad Éireann níos éasca.

Ag cur i gcás nach bhfuil aon taithí agat le aon teanga dhá gcuid, agus an t-inspreagadh céanna len iad a fhoghlaim, ceapaim héin go mbeadh sé idir an Ghaeilge agus an Bhreatnais, agus bheadh Gaeilge na hAlban ins a' triú háit, agus an Bhriontáinis ag an deireadh. Phiocfadh mé (Phiocfainn) an Bhreatnais mar gheall go bhfuil níos mó cainteoirí dúchais agus cainteoirí líofa ann, ach, seans mhaith go mbeadh sé níos éasca le rudaí a fháil faoin nGaeilge, ar thaobh achmhainní go (de) -- bíonn go leor rudaí cruthaí chuile bhliain ag TG4, is ag RnaG, agus ag na foilsitheoirí. Ins a' gcás sin, braitheann sé ar heibrí (cibé, pé ar bith) bealach is fearr leat teangachaí a fhoghlaim. Ach, b'fhéidir go bhfuil mé mícheart faoi meán na Breatnaise, mar gheall nach bhfuil aon táithí 'am leis.


I think it depends on which one you start with. If you start with Irish, it'll obviously be Scottish Gaelic, whereas if you start with Welsh -- Welsh and Breton.

Objectively, assuming no prior exposure to any of the four and equal motivation on all of them (never underestimate the power of motivation!), I'd say it'd be a toss-up between Welsh and Irish, with Scottish Gaelic a clear 3rd, and Breton last. I'd lean towards Welsh over Irish, however, just due to the number of native and highly competent speakers. Resource wise, however, it could very well be easier to learn/master Irish (I've not look a lot into Welsh media), simply because of all the media put out by the publishing companies (though, sadly, not all good quality), TG4, and RnaG. So, imo, it'd be a toss-up, just depending on how someone prefers to learn: if media, Irish; if interaction, Welsh. Though, again, I could be wrong about the amount of Welsh media, since I'm mainly exposed to Irish media only.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EllisVaughan
EllisVaughan
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We do have quite a lot of media in Welsh. "S4C" is our Welsh TV chanel and it produces original shows including soap and other dramas along with having kids shows, both original and translated. We also have "BBC radio Cymru" which if quite a good listen and a source of music. There is also a large literature scene once again offering both original works and translations.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Awesome, then! Coupled with what ALDB said below, then I'd definitely say Welsh is easier to learn at first, barring motivation and such. Doubly so if there's a lot of original works that are being promoted; sadly, it seems like translations get all the attention in Irish.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bemk92
bemk92
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Aontaim leat faoi inspreagadh. Ceapaim go bhfuil an gné is tabhachtach í seo nuair a foghlaimíonn tú teanga nua.

--

I agree with you about inspiration. I think this is the most important factor when you're learning a new language.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/swingbeatnik7
swingbeatnik7
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I believe Welsh would be easier because of the cognates. Wales is closer to England so that might be why. Irish seems a little more untouched and ancient. In my opinion Irish is much more difficult than Welsh. I myself plan to learn Welsh first (ancestry) and then take a look at Irish.

Here's some info that could help and show that the languages are very alive and well:

https://www.digitalmedievalist.com/opinionated-celtic-faqs/celtic-languages/

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shanow22
Shanow22
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I speak it as home and so does everyone I know, so I already Irish was still alive :p

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/swingbeatnik7
swingbeatnik7
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Haha :P Yeah Irish is alive. As is Welsh. Not many people know about the Cornish revival or that that there are native Breton speakers in Bretagne though :P That is pretty cool by the way!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shanow22
Shanow22
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Well what I should have said is that everyone who lives near me speaks it as their mother tongue. I am from the very west of Ireland, as are most native speakers. For the majority of the country however, English is the language for most people, with many exceptions of course but everyone learns it at school so even the non native speakers can usually speak a little. And thanks, I think it's pretty cool as well :p

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/swingbeatnik7
swingbeatnik7
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I watched a video of someone asking random Irish people in Dublin if they could speak it... one guy impressed her but everyone else had to stop and think about the basics :P They were all post-graduate. I hope the language grows! Take care

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shanow22
Shanow22
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Luckily it is growing :) we have many only Irish speaking schools and lots of opportunities for those who study Irish in uni. Also with the help of duolingo, foreigners are taking an interest which is great! The only bad thing, is that for the moment, if you want to go somewhere where Irish is the language of the majority, you have to go Gaeltachts which are rural regions, mostly in the west, where we have managed to maintain the language. Take care too, bíodh la deas agat

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lucguillou

for a true beginer living on the moon?If you are a native welsh speaker breton or cornish will be easy,if you are living in donegal irish or other gaelic languages will be more familar.I have no experience for manx or scottish(in project) but as breton man and speaker the other brittonic languages welsh and cornish are more familiar to me than irish.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonMurray29

I am too Irish and also curious. P.S. Is it just me or is the accent in the Irish section difficult to understand?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shanow22
Shanow22
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not for me in particular, might depend on your dialect. Where are you from?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonMurray29

Donegal

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shanow22
Shanow22
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ah okay, it's a southern accent she's using. Quite a lot of difference in pronunciation

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OliverCasserley

Jason Have you had a look at Seán Mór on youtube.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonMurray29

No, but I am now going to, ty for the heads up!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/proinsias123

You can never be too Irish.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonMurray29

I meant too as in also: I am too Irish, I am also Irish. Maybe you were making a pun (considering italics) but just to be sure.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/proinsias123

Yes, I was just being punny.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shanow22
Shanow22
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very punny :p .. Do you have thoughts on my question?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/proinsias123

I can't help. I've only been learning Irish.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LemonComputer0

I think that how hard a language is to learn mostly depends on how interested and determined you are to learn it. Due to my family's history, I have an interest of the Irish language, so I would find it easier to learn than the other Celtic languages.

It's like having a lesson you pay attention in at school and having some that you just day dream in, then saying that the lessons you just day dream in are the hardest.

I don't think there's a definite answer on which of the languages are easier or harder.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shanow22
Shanow22
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I understand what you're saying and you're correct to a certain degree but some languages simply have more complicated grammar, pronunication etc. For example, regardless of your interest, Norwegian is simpler than German and Indonesian/Malay is simpler than Vietnamese etc

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LemonComputer0

We're comparing languages in the same group here.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shanow22
Shanow22
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I gave the example of 'Norwegian vs German' which are in the same group?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LemonComputer0

Why did you reply that as a question, and with such a dumb style of question mark?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shanow22
Shanow22
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Excellent discussion here, thanks for your contribution. ????????????????????

1 year ago