Irish Tree finished - go raibh míle maith agaibh
I wanted to express my gratitude to the creators of the Irish course and also share some experiences / give a couple of tips to fellow learners.
In terms of background - I am a 49 year old bloke living in Dublin, 3 young kids and fairly busy in work.
My kids do not go to a gaelscoil (there were no non denominational ones at the time in Dublin but that has happily changed now) - they go to an English speaking school.
I'd previously only gotten a C in lower level Irish in the Leaving cert (to my eternal shame) and never really looked back.
Am married to a Swede and we all speak Swedish (gan botúin) and English at home.
Anyway there seems to be a buzz in Dublin around Irish at the moment. Gaelscoileanna popping up everywhere etc
I stumbled across the Irish in Duolingo and decided to give it a try not expecting too much. I started on 6th December.
Suffice to say it has changed my life and my goals.
I got the golden owl about mid-April and am still doing it daily.
So what level Irish am I at now?
I went onto ranganna.com at the time I finished to see how I rated - I got 45% on their online test which I was satisfied with.
In short my grammar is getting there.
I understand about 90-95% of TG4 and Raidio na Life (Not RnaG yet).
A couple days ago I decided to go into the lions den (a Ciorcal Comhra in Stillorgan with a pretty high standard) - and was able to hold my own.
You need something more that Duolingo. For me the main tool I used as well as Duolingo was an amazing / cheap course I stumbled upon.
It's called Leigh sa Bhaile - basically the primary school read at home course.
There are 6 books (I got the last 4) but what is most, most important - the mp3 audio is available free (yes free) on the cjfallon website:
I downloaded them - put em on my smartphone and listen to them all the time.
As I said - the combination of the Duolingo with this audio / Leigh sa bhaile workbooks is very powerful.
Also maximize the Duolingo itself - I always cover the multi-choice answers and guess the answers without.
Apart from that I guess I used a couple other things:
I bought a decent grammar book (Nollag McCongail) but really use it for reference i.e. why a aintín, a haintín, a naintín etc.
I converted my smart phone to Gaeilge - Samsung contributed the language I believe - I have an S6. This is really cool having everything as Gaeilge.
Your local library is a brilliant resource. I've been working my way through the kids books section and read to my kids every night.
There are other things (GasChaint, TG4, Raidio na Life)
Ok people have many reasons to learn Irish -keep Alzheimers at bay, gives you a sense of identity etc, history etc all good in themselves.
But for me it was something weird that happened me about 2 thirds of the way through the Irish course.
I speak fluent Swedish but I realized that Swedish / English are effectively the same (apart from the odd phrase) - the sentence structures are very similar - you can switch half way through a sentence from one to the other - really its just the words that differ.
But Irish is something else entirely.
I think the mutations and the grammar are its beauty.
I believe this is a specific property of the Celtic languages.
I've had to rewire my brain at a much deeper level.
It has changed the way I think.
My goals have now become
Be able to read all of the wonderful literature Peig / Cré na Cille etc
Replace English with Irish at home (my kids are onboard with this) - ie only Swedish or Irish spoken at home. This is the model in the rest of Europe - i.e. in Sweden you speak Swedish at home / school but major employers its pretty much English is the de facto language.
Mar a dúirt mé cheana - go raibh míle maith agaibh! -Peter
Maith thú! Really inspiring. Hope your children pick up Irish well, too. Go n-éirí an t-ádh leat :)
GRMA a Ghearóid - tháinig m'iníon is óige abhaile ón scoil an tseachtain seo caite leis an theachtaireacht seo ón príomhoide "Gaeilge go h-an mhaith". :) Haven't said a word to the school. Bhí mé bródúil asti.
Breakfast is pretty much sorted (thanks to Gas Chaint) - tabhair dom an callóga arbhar, pioc suas é and so on
Looking forward to blithely offering the next PT school meeting as Gaeilge:)
Go ndéanaidh a mhaith duit, a Pheadair. Thaitin do scéal go mór linn. Sárobair atá deánta agat. Áth Cliath abú!
A couple of the mates are also working through the Duolingo Irish. (we intend going to one of the pub-based ciorcal comhrá soon - looking forward to that session:))
They also didn't have a great experience in school with the Irish.
They have an advantage over me in that their kids are all in gaelscoileanna and now running around nattering away as Gaeilge.
Thinking about it the Duolingo has given a second chance to us old farts to get in on the action and in a way convenient to our busy lifestyles.
Ar aon chaoi - maidir le mo chás ceard é an chéad chéim eile?
Tá fúm an O Siadhail leabhar a criochnú.
Táim beagnach criochnaithe leis an gcéad ceathrú.
Níl sé éasca - ach tá sé féideartha. Agus thaithin sé liom.
The O Siadhail book is not CO, but it seems to be standard grammar wise and I can spot the non-standard words given the Duolingo / Leigh sa bhaile and checking on teanglann.ie
I did spot Ranganna.com - looks interesting too but I'll persevere with O Siadhail book / audio for now and all the other tools.
Sure if I end up talking like this bloke it wouldn't be a bad result: http://www.rosnarun.com/character.php?chid=8