I just understood something!
I have just been watching the newst episode of "American Gods" where Mad Sweeney shouts something in Irish.
I have not found a transcript yet and understanding shouting is always difficult, but I think he shouted "I am not evil" at the end!
It's those little triumphs that give me hope that I am getting somewhere with all this learning.
You should read the story/poem of Mad King Sweeney from the Cycles of the kings of Irish mythology. I recommend Seamus Heaney's translation Sweeney Astray.
Edit: I have now read a transcript with translation and I am somewhat wrong in what I heared but came to the correct conclusion.
As it is: What he shouted was in Old Irish, not modern.
I case you wonder, this is the transcript:
"Créd as co tarlaid an cac-sa dam? Nach lór rofhulangas? Is lór chena, ní am olc! Ní am!"
Sounds like a great moment! I love hearing stories of people finally getting that understanding of a language. I read somewhere somebody started learning a language many family members spoke and he laughed at a joke one person made to another and they were like, "You just understood that?" I want to be able to travel a lot eventually though it hasn't been financially feasible, though I'm doing a lot more language learning than ever just for the fun of it.
I've spent the most time learning German so far. My high school German teacher would say you really know you're getting fluent in another language if you start having dreams in it. That hasn't happened to me that I know of, seems like it would be awesome though.
I talked to german emigrants in Canada who have now lived there for 60 years (One of them told me he remembers when he was a child when Hitler visited their town). They told me they still dream german and they were most certainly fluid in English.
OTOH I once read through the whole of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" on a single day and that night I dreamt in verses! I can assure you I am still not fluent in verses!
My personal definition of reading fluency is when you don't mind reading a novel for the content (not for learning) in the target language. If it doesn't matter too much if the novel is or is not in your native language.
This is my personaly ultimate goal in Irish. I don't mind if I will never will be able to speak it (I will likely never have anybody to talk to). If I will not be able to write decent texts in Irish it would be a little sad but I wouldn't mind too much.