5 tips for learners.
Dia daoibh, a fhoghlaimeoirí!
I have 5 great tips to those of you who want to learn Irish better, using simple everyday tactics. These tactics can help you memorize words faster, spell words correctly, practice pronunciations and learn new stuff!
1) Buy and read children books in Irish. You may also want to try reading a book in Irish not for children, translating it sentence by sentence.
This may be difficult if you don't live in Ireland, but there are also online resources like short stories, jokes in Irish and short poems (Google). Write down words you do not know and translate them using a dictionary. There are also newspapers in Irish online.
2) Practice your pronunciation and memorize words by using them in English sentences.
If you have a friend who is also learning Irish, you can use Irish words in English sentences if you are unable to say the whole sentence in Irish. For example, instead of saying "Where are my shoes?", you can say "Where are mo bhróga?" or "Cá bhfuil mo bhróga?". If you are learning Irish alone, you can make shopping lists in Irish for yourself or practice this alone. Try to think in Irish as much as you can.
3) Do you live alone? Write names of things on pieces of paper and stick them on those things. Use red marker for feminine nouns and blue for masculine, if you want. Say the word every time you use the item. For example: Write "cuisneoir" with a blue marker on a piece of paper and stick it on your fridge. Every time you open your fridge, say the word aloud. Remove the tags after one week, but continue saying the word, until you know it 100%.
4) Listen to, sing and translate songs in Irish. For example: Dúlamán, Smaointe by Enya, Trasna na dTonnta, Báidín Fheilimí, etc. Example of lyrics from Smaointe:
Tá mé caillte gan tú ‘s do bhean chéile. An grá mór i do shaoil Threoraí sí mé.
You can see, if you are at least level 10 on Duolingo, you don't even need a dictionary.
5) Create your own mini-Gaeltacht! It's important to listen to native speakers! Watch TG4 online. You will start picking up words soon enough and later you will pick up words you know, etc. Listen to Raidió na Gaeltachta online or just have it playing in the background when you are relaxing, or cleaning your house.
Trust me, all of these helped me a lot on my journey!
If you have any suggestions, post them here!
P.S. I hope I didn't make a mistake anywhere.
Agree with the songs idea. It helped me enormously when I was learning Welsh.
Tá sin an-mhaith. Tá na leabhair páistí agus ag cur ainmneacha ar na rudaí iontach cliste agus na smaointe eile, grma
Míle buíochas. I'm trying to polish up my Irish as I'll be doing my Leaving Cert in 2018. I'm ashamed to say that even after nearly a decade of doing the one language, I'm not as fluent as I should be. Perhaps I'm partly to blame, but I also loathe the education system.