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  5. Crann eile d'fhoraois na Gaei…


Crann eile d'fhoraois na Gaeilge!

(Hopefully that's the right way to say, "Another tree for the Irish (Gaelic) forest!")

Today I finished the Irish tree, and I had a fantastic time. And just in the nick of time for Seachtain na Gaeilge!

Many thanks to Duolingo for creating such a fantastic platform for language learning (and for keeping it free!). Many thanks to the amazing course moderators -- alexinireland, Lancet, dubhais, odoinn, & laura.doherty -- for all of your (unpaid) work, creativity, blood, sweat and tears. And many thanks to the tremendous users and commentators, for answering so many questions and clearing up occasional confusion.

For Christmas I got a fantastic present: Tintin and Asterix as Gaeilge. Nifty, eh? That's going to be my next project.

I'm also looking forward to participating in future Immersion on the forums. Thanks, dubhais, for getting that started!

But I also wanted to ask here about some good texts to start reading Irish. I have "An Prionsa Beag," but I'm wondering about other possibilities. Ideally originally in Irish, not too complicated, not too long, but with literary value and worth spending plenty of time with. Any thoughts?

February 28, 2015



I linked this series before and completely recommend it. It's well-written and even read by a highly fluent speaker, which makes it invaluable. Sadly, I wouldn't recommend Harry Potter, as it's written on a Masters level and even native speakers complained to me it was difficult.

Freisin, comhairdeachas!


Great tip! I hadn't seen your link to it elsewhere, so thanks for reposting it here. I think I'll order it right away. And the accompanying CD will be really useful.


For “not too long” and “with literary value”, perhaps poems of some sort?


I confess I was thinking mostly of prose, if only because poetry often seems so intimidating in that it can require a huge depth of knowledge of a language. But you're right -- why not? One of the Discussion Topics had a link to the "A Poem for Ireland" site on RTÉ, and I saw two of the poems are in Irish: Séan Ó Ríordáin's "Fill Arís" and Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh's "Filleadh ar an gCathair." That's certainly a place to start! Do you have any other recommendations? Say, three classics?


Except for those in the public domain, poems that are out of copyright (and thus freely reproducible) will use some form of older spelling, which might add to the intimidation factor. The various forms of dán díreach poetry are worthy of study in their own right (and they’re one of the reasons why I’m delving into Irish). Maureen O’Brien has a few of them on her site, accompanied by her own (literalish) translations — the anonymously composed Mo-chean do theacht, a sgadáin available there could be a good introduction.


You could try "Osama, Obama, Ó a Mhama!" it is written in Irish but as there are some american characters there are some english bits, but only when they are speaking. It has an unrealistic storyline but is a good enough book and is not overly complex but definately gives you a feel for how the language should sound like and has a lot of colloqualisms which help a lot. On top of that their are some really nice phrases and new words throughout the book. Im currently reading it in school (2nd year) so it may not appeal to you much but i would recommend it for sheer learning value. (I have very good Irish and speak it better than classmates who were in a gaelscoil for 8 years even though i went to an english speaking primary so it is not a subjective thing)


That sounds like a lot of fun! I looked it right up on Litríocht, and I think I'll order it, too. I like the idea of it being a contemporary book, too. How did your class like it? I remember hearing in the TV series "No Béarla" how unpopular "Péig" was in Irish schools, so I could imagine that a text closer to today's world would be more accessible and entertaining. Thanks for the recommendation!


No problem! My class enjoyed it quite well even though there are parts with such unrealistic coincidences it will make you cringe! But overall it is a good book and I would read it as a novel aswell as in school. I hope you enjoy it! Tá súil agam go mbaineann tú taitneamh as!

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