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  5. Finished the crann!


Finished the crann!

I finished the tree this morning; it isn't gold top to bottom yet, but woohoo.

First off what a great course, many many thanks to the people who made it; it's wonderful.

I did Irish in school but for the last few years didn't make much effort, something I've regretted since, the usual bad advice that comes from the obsession with marks and concentrating on subjects you're likely to do well on. In truth the few poems you learn and the bits of language are worth much more to you through your life than getting one mark versus another in an exam. I've tried a few times in the years since to learn, or relearn, some Gaeilge and this is by far the best I've done. Living as I do now deep in the galldach of England doing Irish duolingo has been a real private pleasure and very exciting to feel again the difference in how meaning is constructed in Irish, the pronoun thing, the word order, the mixture of analytic and synthetic verbs.

As for my suggestions for the future of the Irish course: if the tree is extended it would be great if some of the grammar lessons were moved nearer the start so that the grammar could be rehearsed more in later, vocabulary driven lessons. For a language given to story telling, the past occurs quite late and, for a language given to dreaming of a future perhaps never obtained, the future come later still and for a language given to nostalgic regret, the imperfect is nearly at the end.

It is cool and fun that there is so much modern vocabulary, words to talk about our modern world with and clearly it is important to exhibit Irish as a modern language, not just a sentimental left-over. It would have been nice though to have more old words too, words for the natural world; the words that have lived with the language from the start, worn smooth by ages and a million mouths, found in the cannon of Irish literature and buried in place names: words for badger and caterpillar, hare and deer, piglet and bull, white thorn and roan tree, sea waves and stony shores, light rain and wind.

Finally, why did the Shadow stop dealing drugs, the numbers collected every Saturday from the pub, what were they for and, of course, what did the fox say?

March 14, 2015



Congratulations! Wonderful and timely.

If you ever decide to offer courses in Irish literature, sign me up. :D


Comhairdeachas leat!






Maith an fear!


Thanks to everyone for the kind congratulatory comments!


Maith thú! Comhghairdeas mo chara!


Comhghairdeas leat, a conorjh. That was a most eloquent and enjoyable post.

It is definitely going to take me quite a while to guild my crann, because I have to repeat things quite a lot and have difficulty remembering the vocabulary (in particular, prepositional things and the genitive.) But, I am determined to get there and am trying to enjoy the journey.

If you ever find out about the Shadow and the fox, please let us know.


Comhghairdeas! You give us inspiration. I think you're right about the past tense.

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