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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lemonie67

What do you do as well as Duolingo to help with your gaelic

I listen to Radio nan Gàidheal, I've started writing my shopping list in gaelic and talk to my dogs in gaelic, they are mighty confused lol I started Beag air Bheag but then this opened up so I put that on hold for later. I've watched a couple of the Gaelic with Jason but will go back to that at some point. What do you do ?

January 29, 2020

78 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jnndrysdl201

I talk to myself a lot :) I do a lot of "Hey guess what the gaelic for X is" at work. Pretty sure they're sick of it hee hee


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blogscot

I've started using an Android app called Mango Languages to supplement Duolingo. The app covers many different languages, including Scottish Gaelic. So far I'm quite impressed by it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joannejoanne12

Having had a look at Mango a couple of weeks ago, I'd gently advise against it for Gaelic. LearnGaelic is a great website though, there's a wealth of resources there :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alan930435

Planning to finish the course on Duolingo, then move on to other stuff. Would be great if the course here were to be expanded :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joannejoanne12

It's a work in progress :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

Good to hear, although at the moment I'm feeling sort of "faint, but pursuing." Maybe by the time you've done another module I'll be ready to take it!

By the way, while you're here, I have a small request/suggestion. The amount of time I've had to spend looking up and copy-typing Gaelic-spelled personal and place names is considerable. Gaelic is hard to spell, and it's taking me all of my brain power to learn to type things like a' faireachdainn and iuchraichean which absolutely have to be learned. Adding words like Ghearmailt and Eilbheis and Eadailt to that seems like the last straw.

It's fine seeing them and then typing the English equivalent. It's fine hearing them and then typing the English equivalent. It's fine clicking on a tile with the words there already. It's having to type the words accurately that's the pain.

We have to work at spelling actual words we need to use in everyday conversation. That's a given. But if we know more or less what the Gaelic for a name is, is it really necessary to knock ourselves out typing these words accurately at this stage?

What I'm suggesting is that when it comes to questions where the student has to enter Gaelic in free text, could we please limit the names that have to be typed to a few, relatively easy ones, and leave off spelling things like Leagsaidh and Raonaid for when we actually know someone called that in real life?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lemonie67

My spell checker goes mental with IRN BRU.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

My phone sees "Irn" and helpfully suggests "Bru".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IainMoireach

Haidh Joanne, Cuine bhios e deiseil? Chan urrainn dhomh a feitheamh!!! 'S math a rinn sibh uile. Iain


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

You see, it's when I read stuff like that I realise how for I still have to go, despite having finished the tree.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IainMoireach

Don't give up. Cuine, like dè takes the relative future tense, unlike càite, which you will be more familiar with. Cuine bhios tu a' dol, compared with: càite a bheil thu a' dol? (and thu becomes tu after the letter s, because it's easier to say.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IainMoireach

Tha mi gu mòr toilichte a' cluinntinn sin.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

Oh, I'm not giving up! However it's moments like that that make me realise how much more there is even once one has mastered all the material in the tree. I like the learning method but what is available so far is of necessity limited to very basic stuff. I do hope the team are motivated to go on and cover more aspects of the language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mairead651356

Right, Iain, thanks for this even though it's almost doing my head in :) I've not heard of the "relative future tense" so far, but am happy to take that on board, as in "Cuine bhios tu a' dol?" (When are you going? – am I right?). Now, my next question is, what do we call the tense used after "càite" (as in "Càit' a' bheil thu a' dol?")? [I'm running out of punctuation marks here...] Cheers!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jen742260

Aha. But this isn't covered in the duo course - yet. I couldn't figure that out until you explained it. Long way to go even having completed tree.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mairead651356

Haidh Iain, A bheil mi ceart leis an eadar-theangachadh bhon "Chan urrainn dhomh a' feitheamh" gu "I can't wait"? (apologies for probably absolutely hacking Gaelic to pieces...!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IainMoireach

Yes that's right, though thinking back I probably should have added ris. The ordinary future tense follows càite. It is the exception, but I'm afraid I don't know enough grammar to explain why. Perhaps it just is?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friendorphobia

I would love to have easy stories like Duolingo Spanish does. Fun, and contextual.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenGrainneag

Finished the tree twice and started torturing my colleagues (all russians, speaking some English) with Gaidhlig words and frases :-D "Excuse me, but I can't help saying that in Scottish Gaelic:..." Noone understands, unfortunately, but that's the only way of practicing here.. poor colleagues! Some words in scottish gaelic sound quite obscene or funny in russian :)) "Sgoinneil" sounds exactly like "someone rushed to some place and then quickly returned" :)

My favourite new habbit is to think in gaelic. Also to try to translate from scottish gaelic to irish gaelic, to compare them, very interesting and puzzling thing to do!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

Your brain must be fried. I just can't imagine.

This "Scottish Gaelic" and "Irish Gaelic" thing is weird. Nobody calls this "Scottish Gaelic" outside Duolingo. The languages are referred to as Gaelic and Irish. I can see why Duolingo are more precise as they have courses in both, but if you said "Scottish Gaelic" in Scotland you'd get some weird looks. Unless everyone you say it to is Russian I suppose!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenGrainneag

Your brain must be fried It is! :-D Both gaelics seem similar, but the difference is evident, just like between Ukranian, Belarussian and Russian (we can understand 80% of each other's speech, but it still doesn't mean we know their language!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GermanCeltKRK

I listen to a LOT of Gaelic songs! While I listen to both Irish and Scottish Gaelic, it really helps with pronunciation and connecting words.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GCallum

Check out Gaelic with Jason on youtube. His videos are great and he has a really good way of teaching.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

Thank you so much. I've just looked at his videos for figuring out whether a noun is masculine or feminine and at least I'm not guessing blind any more. (I did know the -ag one, for obvious reasons, and some of the others like a cow is female, obvs, but a lot of it was new to me.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lemonie67

He's a really good teacher.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

He seems to be doing the "comprehensible input" thing which is very beneficial.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

I'll have a look for that, thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angus602

I listen to Radio NaN Gaidheal, but also listen to Runrig while reading the Gaelic and English translation


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

I've managed "Cat dona!" a couple of times. What stage are you at? (I'm working on the "Pets 2, Body 2, Days" line at the moment.) I really don't think I have a hope in hell of following Radio nan Gàidheal.

I don't feel that I'll be able to compose my own sentences in my head for quite a while yet - I'm still not secure on the past and future tenses, and the interrogative forms - I mix them up. Never mind all the rules about lenition and slenderising. I can manage a few odd interjections, but that's about it. Although I did turn up to orchestra practice a couple of days ago and said "Hello, Anna," then commented, I think I've typed that a few times this week!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lemonie67

I'm at level one family but I have stuck for a while and keep going over old lessons as I feel I have skipped through too fast for me. I have no idea what they are saying on Radio na Gàidheal but I have it on in the background. At first all you can hear is agus but then words do start to come through bit by bit.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

You sound like my late mother. If there was Gaelic on the radio or TV she'd hear that and say "agus means and, that's all I know." But then she picked up "Oidche Mhath!" from the end of Naked Radio or whatever that show was called.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mairead651356

Halò, a' Mhòrag, na gabh dragh! Try not to worry too much about things; a relaxed and happy brain is a better "sponge" to absorb new knowledge. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

I don't really worry! There's no pressure. I've studied for some pretty major exams in my time, exams that would affect my entire life and had to be passed on that day, or you're out. So it's a luxury to be able just to exclaim crossly, curse my carelessness, and carry on with no penalty.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnitaRRC

Just finished body 2 (there seems to be a partial repeat of body 1 ) and doing days next. Looks like you never made one mistake, you have 4 levels more than I do.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

I make mistakes all the time. Embarrassingly often. And that's not even counting the times where an absolute howler of a mistake was close enough to the right answer to be classed as a typo!

How can you tell what level another user is at? Or could you work it out from what I said?


[deactivated user]

    I also write my shopping list in Gaelic. My husband is mighty confused :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

    You eat a lot of guga?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lemonie67

    :D I add a new word every week. This weeks is Pùdar-nighe (washing powder). Cofaidh, siùcar, tì, iogart, càise etc. There's quite a lot to go at.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mairi140401

    I love the idea of writing my shopping list in Gaelic! Totally stealing this idea, thanks Lemonie and Stella. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friendorphobia

    My husband texted me yesterday. "Okay. I give up. What is uisge?" So far, he's been a good sport.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SophieLind948876

    Most episodes of the drama "Machair" are on YouTube. It's a mix of Gaelic and English, and there are English subtitles for the Gaelic. The first episode of Season 1 is missing, but I had no trouble following the story without it. They are roughly grouped by season, but not in exact order, so I had to search for them on his YouTube page. The story is sort of medium interest level, but then so are many of these dramas. (In the US we call them "soaps.") And this is all free.

    Another free choice is Twitter. I follow several Gaelic-speaking (writing?) accounts. Usually, but not always, there is a "Translate Tweet" option. They have a weather report for Scotland every day with targeted vocabulary. And there's a "Word of the Day" account, with a link for pronunciation and for phrases and extended words.

    The same person who posted Machair has also posted many full episodes of Speaking Our Language. I actually ordered the DVDs for all four seasons from Sabhal Mor Ostag, but it wasn't saor, as they say.

    Another not-free but not expensive choice was ordering Alice in Wonderland in Gaelic on Amazon. The English version is available online, free, so I read a little of each as I go.

    I very much wish there was a way to connect with other learners here IRL. I'd love to phone-chat but there's no option for that here. Not a lot of Gaelic speakers here where I am.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gerry.0

    "but it wasn't saor, as they say " This is correct if you mean "inexpensive", but if you mean "free" then you need "saor in aisce". "Saor " on it's own means FREE as in not in captivity.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SophieLind948876

    It was £100 plus another £12 for postage for all four series, so I did mean that it was not inexpensive. The Alice in Wonderland book, on the other hand, is $5.99 for the Kindle version, which is inexpensive; or $15.99 for the paperback version, not truly inexpensive but affordable.

    And thank you for the detailed explanation! I'll add it to my growing stack of flash cards.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gerry.0

    Ná habair é ( you're welcome/lit. "don't mention/say it...)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mairead651356

    SCO Gaelic for "You're welcome." is 'S e do bheatha. (literally: "It's your life.") – love this phrase :)


    [deactivated user]

      Mòran taing for this post.

      I'm happy (cho toilichte!) to hear that Machair is back on YouTube. I had just finished watching season 10 last year when all the episodes were pulled. Disappointment!

      I also ordered the SOL DVDs from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. Bha mi cho air bhioran until I found out I couldn't play them on my North American DVD player. I had to rip the episodes from the DVDs and convert them.

      And thanks for the Alice in Wonderland tip. I've been looking for other beginner-ish books since I read Ròna.

      Good luck finding others to speak with IRL! Cho cudromach to practice actually speaking. I just finished the Duolingo events info session so I can organise meet-ups here in Montreal. Wish me luck! Tìoraidh!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenGrainneag

      One of the best ways of studying languages, btw! Putting new foreign words into text on your language


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kerrrrobbie

      For anyone restarting - A few years ago the Gàidhlig Orthographic Convention was held, which changed much of the grammar, punctuation and spelling of Gàidhlig. Any old books etc. could well give guidance which is obsolete now....


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

      That's interesting. I was absolutely convinced I remembered Cha 'n eil, not Chan eil. (I hope they made it easier!)


      [deactivated user]

        Hmmm writing out a shopping list is a good idea. I like listening to Gaidheal folk music.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leslie618022

        Thanks for the shopping list idea! I also really like Gaelic with Jason.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Haggis117

        I also work from the Learn Gaelic website and a weekly newsletter. I watch BBC Alba and listen to Radio nan Gaidheal. I love doing wordsearches from a Scottish Gaelic puzzle book and make flashcards which I keep in a tin and use for revision whilst drinking Irn Bru!!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnitaRRC

        How wonderful that you found a radio station. I hope to find a group in WhatsApp one day. The ones I use for Português and Russian derive from the club's they deleted.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

        I wonder if just having Radio nan Gàidheal on in the background would help the brain subconsciously figure the language out?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lemonie67

        It does help me.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lemonie67

        Radio nan Gàidheal is only available online outside Scotland so you should be able to get it I think. I have it on my phone then play it through a bluetooth speaker.

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/radionangaidheal


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

        I should be able to get it on my kitchen radio all right. I should tune my car radio into the station as well. Hopefully this will not give rise to a road hazard.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friendorphobia

        I think I'll try the subliminal technique and play it while I'm sleeping!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenGrainneag

        Hm.. maybe i could help you with russian? If help is needed, hm?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mairead651356

        I watch TV Alba quite a bit. (Don't know how anyone could watch that's not in the UK, though...) It helps me understand (different accents) in context. Many programmes have English subtitles, which I'm now not needing to read nearly as much as about a year ago! :)


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

        I turned it on for the first time last night. (Usually I just curse when Radio 3 is cut off mid-symphony with a curt notice that Scottish music fans can go whistle, we need your bandwidth for BBC Alba.) There was a kiddies' cartoon show on which looked a lot of fun. Of course I couldn't follow it, but a lot more words jumped out at me than would have been the case a fortnight ago. The only bit I totally got was when something happened and a character exclaimed "Sgoinneil!" I also heard the word "taigh-bidh" at which point the characters reassuringly appeared in a restaurant.

        I'm still working on the bones and the basics of the language structure though, it will be a while before I can follow it. Indeed, I don't know whether even mastery of the entire Gaelic tree will confer that level of comprehension or whether more extra-mural work is required.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gerry.0

        Try "Speaking our language" , it's on around 8 pm.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

        Thanks. I think I'm a couple of days from finishing the tree (is there really a golden owl there?) and then I'll give it a shot.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenGrainneag

        Right, when you finish the tree for the first time, there is a happy golden owl, and after the 2nd successful passing it doesn't change.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

        I got the golden owl when I'd done the first crown of the last topic, it didn't make me wait till I'd slogged through all the multiple repetitions of as slow as a snail and as cunning as a fox!

        I thought there would be a test when I clicked on the owl but it was just the owl offering congratulations.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lismore1

        A teach yourself book called “Complete Gaelic”. Bought ages ago but never opened until now.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

        I had one called "Gaelic Without Groans" about 50 years ago, but as a teenager I didn't stay the course. I did remember some of the basics from then though. I don't think I still have the book.

        I did buy another book in about 1995 called "The Lazy Way to Gaelic". The only word that comes to mind is "useless". I just went to find it and it's a cartoon book with cartoons trying to express phrases visually interspersed with some very basic grammar. I found it impossible to get anything out of it. Even now, nearly at the end of the Duolingo course, I find it hard to figure out what the authors are on about. Maybe once the Duolingo material has bedded down a bit more I might give it another go.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friendorphobia

        Maybe there's a "Gaelic for Dummies" or "Idiot's Guide to Gaelic" that I could get!! I'm running off to look now!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IainMoireach

        If you take a walk, try translating what you see into Gaelic - clach ghlas and craobh uaine for example.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertJMorrison

        I've just finished the first checkpoint. I'm still not convinced that Duolingo is the right platform for me (absolutely not a knock on the creators of this course, who I wholeheartedly applaud and appreciate for bringing Gaelic to the masses). I'm going to try out learngaelic.net as my main learning tool and use Duolingo to supplement it and practice. I feel a lot of the time Duolingo gives you or strongly hints at the answer. I also don't like how the iOS app has different features to the website. It's frustrating.

        Anyway, that's a little off-topic. After I complete a bit more, I'm going to start taking 1-to-1 lessons and hopefully find some very simple Gaelic graded readers.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

        I see your point and I'm a bit on the fence about it myself. However I think there is a point to the obvious answers. If the answer is easy to pick out and you pick it, that's a way of learning. The way the lessons are structured is that the same answer becomes increasingly less easy to pick out until you're able to type it for yourself unprompted. It's about repetition rather than staring at a list of words trying to commit them to memory.

        I have a couple of problems. One is that I find the earlier questions too easy so I bash through them at a rate of knots without really absorbing the material. However more repetition does seem to be helping with that. I get from the point where I have to look up the word, then I know roughly what it is but have to look up the spelling, then I type it and check the spelling and correct it, then I type if and check the spelling and realise I'm right, and finally I can do it without looking anything up.

        I do this in odd moments instead of playing a Patience game on my computer. It's a better use of the time.

        My second problem is that I treat the language as a problem-solving exercise. I'm good at problem-solving. I work out the sentence like a puzzle and get the answer, but that isn't how language works naturally. It's how I got an A in my Higher French, but have never been able to hold a conversation in French beyind the "what time is breakfast?" level.

        Duolingo isn't going to help with that, but my hope is that it gets enough of the basics of the language into my head to act as a springboard for some other more advanced tuition. I'm wondering what people think of immersion courses?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kerrrrobbie

        I've done all theSMO "immersion" short courses. They're very enjoyable, but until you get to the higher levels, students become so exhausted with what they're learning in class that they aren't really willing to engage using Gàidhlig outside of class despite best efforts of the college. I've found that the timed exercises that are offered after you finish Duolingo certainly help sharpen your fluency, though you always feel under pressure...


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

        It's always going to be a problem when people are trying to communicate in a language they're not fluent in, when they both have the same native language.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lemonie67

        I'm using Duolingo as a base for learning gaelic. When I have completed this I am going back to Beag air Bheag which is a more traditional structured learning platform. The convenience if this course is a good point for me as I can jump on at any time on my phone.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinDouga

        Gaelic songs are a must and great for learning the language. You can find the lyrics to most online.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nKur5ZgK

        I am working on learning Rankin family Gaelic songs I heard as a child but never knew the real words.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DrewMcN

        I would definitely recommend checking out the Learn Gaelic website especially as they have links to An Litir Bheag podcast which I used to listen to when I was learning in the pre-Duolingo days. Also I have some resources for learners on my website which is at: http://gaelic.drewmcnaughton.net/?page_id=47 Cum oirbh a chairdean!

        Learn Scottish Gaelic in just 5 minutes a day. For free.