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https://www.duolingo.com/jimmyjakejohnson

Finished the Irish course, where to from here?

Hi Everyone, I finished off the final skill the other day and I thought I'd write a bit about the course and ask for some advice on where to go from here. Specifically, what should I do now and what books should I be reading? Any recommendations on books for adult learners in Irish? I have a couple books written for beginners, Paloma and Dúnmharú ar an Dart, and I'm finding them a bit harder than I'm comfortable with. Also, I know duolingo has clubs but I haven't really gotten into them and don't understand what they're used for. Would anybody be interested in a reading club where we pick a book and go through it together?

Let me say a little now about how this course worked for me and what I liked and didn't like. I'd played around a little with Irish several years back, so I wasn't a totally raw beginner. I finished at level 11 in about 7 weeks or so total. I'm an engineering student so I did it most of it on Christmas break and then reviewed and finished the last checkpoints over the past few weeks without much work on it in between. I think a good language course should bring a person up to a point where they can read "adult beginner" or jr. high level material in the language on their own. Is that being unrealistic? That's my immediate goal anyway with Irish since I'm in the midwestern US and probably won't have a chance to travel and speak the language anytime soon.

For the course itself, I really liked the game format to begin with. It made it much easier to keep moving and finish the course than a pen and paper course with the same material would have been. And the material covered a lot of ground. My first thought though when I looked at how it was arranged was that I wouldn't get much practice with conditional or imperfect verbs. I think it would have been better if they'd put all the verb skills a little earlier in the course and hit you with the different moods and tenses throughout the other skills. The course really needs a lesson about the copula. Also, some longer or historic reading passages from actual Irish literature would have been good, but maybe duolingo's format doesn't support that. Finally, maybe a unifying narrative or characters (besides Pol) that carry over from one skill to the next would have made the lessons more interesting.

At the end of the course I feel like I learned a lot but that I'm still at an uncomfortable advance beginner stage where I can sort of get the gist of written material but have a lot of trouble fleshing the meaning out fully. But it was a lot of fun and I definitely want to thank the people who put it together. I jumped right back into it the day after I finished my Calc 3 final last month, and only missed one day from then. Also a big GRMA to all the people who answered my questions. The Irish community on this site is fantastic.

1 year ago

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/davidcwalls
davidcwallsPlus
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http://vifax.nuim.ie/ has video clips of news stories from TG4, and for each story, there is a pdf document with a transcript, questions about the story, vocab, etc. They are also organized according to difficulty.

For reading material, try http://leighlinn.com/

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SatharnPHL

You haven't actually "finished the Irish course", you've just completed the tree. You have 3400 points, which means that you have completed 340 lessons, and, if you got about a quarter of the exercises wrong, you've don't about 8,500 exercises. Even if none of the exercises that you saw was repeated, you've only seen about half of the exercises on the course.

Even after you complete the tree, there are still things to be learned, and Timed Practice can help improve your recall.

Hopefully at some point in the near future, there will be a significant overhaul of the Irish course that will make it worth doing over all the way from the beginning. https://incubator.duolingo.com/courses/ga/en/status

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jimmyjakejohnson

Oh, thanks, but I'm actually happy with my golden owl and to have "just completed the tree", and anyway I'm as finished with the course as I'm going to get. It's seems like I'd hit some pretty major diminishing returns doing another 8,5000 exercises or whatever over stuff I already understand fairly well. I think it's the stuff duolingo didn't cover that's giving me trouble in my reading.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patbo
patbo
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My experience with books is that the first few pages are always hard and you have to look up a lot of words in a dictionary, but then you start having some context and the unknown words start repeating, so it gets easier after a while. Just give it a try and don't give up immediately even if the first few pages are really hard work.

I found a small preview of Dúnmharú ar an Dart on the internet and it doesn't look too bad. I could read it without using a dictionary - I didn't recognise every word in it, but enough to follow the story. Now Duolingo isn't the only thing I've been doing, but I take it as a sign that if you have the knowledge from the Duolingo course, it should be doable with consulting a dictionary here and there.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jimmyjakejohnson

Patbo, that's good advice. I'll stick with it a bit longer. What books have you read, though, and did you do any other courses besides duolingo before you read your first real book?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patbo
patbo
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Well, I'm not sure what a "real" book is for you, but anyway... The first Irish book I read is Cuileog - An scéal faoi Chiarán Ó Mianáin. It's really meant for children (primary school probably?) and the story is quite silly, but I don't mind that and it's really easy Irish. The other two books I completed are Osama, Obama, Ó, a Mhama and Ríomh-Scéalta Chuig Bilí, both of which are probably for teenagers and a bit harder than the first one.

I didn't start Irish on Duolingo, but I didn't really follow any course either. I think most of what I knew when I started reading the first book was from GnaG, trying to write/translate short texts with it and getting corrections, and I had already attended a beginners course in the Gaeltacht for one week (which is where I bought the book). Duolingo covers more than one week of that course, though, so it's not an unfair advantage. :)

The other thing that turned out incredibly useful for me was following the sentence discussions here on Duolingo. I hardly ever practice the actual exercises in the course any more, but I do read the new discussions regularly. They are often about details that the course doesn't really teach.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heavenlyraven

stick longer it will inprove and maybe take a visit there to learn

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Windsaw

"Any recommendations on books for adult learners in Irish? "

Good question! I also wondered if there is irish language erotica out there.

(somewhat) Joking aside: Be careful before buying irish books online, especially if they are relatively cheap. Too often they are machine-translated and therefore useless. Stay away from everything by "Onyx Translations", but that is getting harder: Recently Amazon has machine-translated irish ebooks for sale that don't even name the publisher.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jonathan732254

Well you aren't as far away from Irish as you think. If you can travel North-East to Ontario, there is the first international Gaeltacht there, where you can speak and practice it for 2/3 weeks. I also have heard of many events in the USA where you spend a day speaking Irish and making friends, for example, a town in Montana did it a few years back. There are actually a good few Americans who are well spoken, even fluent, in Irish. If you can find them, maybe you can hang out with them to improve your skill.

This my seem difficult or expensive, but you probably have more Irish now than the majority of Irish adults in Ireland.This language is only influenced by English, but is not related to it or any major language in Europe, bar the minor languages in the British Isles and Brittany, increasing its difficulty tremendously. You have worked hard on this language and obviously care about it, which is truly commendable. You also have some great answers here too. You can do more than you think. Good Luck and I hope you stick with it.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SatharnPHL

Apart from the week-long "Tumsheachtain Samhradh na Gaeltachta" in Ontario (August 13-20), Daltaí na Gaeilge also have a week long immersion course on the shores of the Hudson in New York, from August 27th to September 2nd.

http://www.gaeilge.ca/
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/tumsheachtain-samhradh-na-gaeltachta-2017-tickets-36038126005
http://www.daltai.com/events/summer-week2/

1 year ago