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

A little bit of an Irish corner for beginners (like me)

This is really just a sort of area I wanted to set up where beginners can brag about their achievements and seek help from higher beginners... or more powerful deities just popping in for a little tea and cake. Whatever it is you want to do here, just make sure you do it well! +Bonus smileys to you if you post in Irish and 5 different people comment on your post.

P.S. Smileys are pointless but fun. I literally made them up.

P.P.S. If you're wondering where the bit about the powerful deities went, I decided it was a bit unfair for the people who aren't powerful deities but should be.

July 10, 2015

53 Comments


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

like many learners, I have found pronunciation to be the biggest hill to climb (and without pronunciation, it has been hard to learn vocab, and without vocab...). the thing I thought was funny/frustrating is that one of the first phrases you learn, dia duit (or daoibh), is pronounced soooo many different ways.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michelleplus8

Yes! I really wish I could speak to a native speaker and really get a feel for these words.


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

www.fluentin3months.com appears to be a site where if you sign up, you can get to speak to an Irish-or-other-fluent person, but I can't remember if it cost money or not...


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

Leann na Lachan an nuachtaun! Finding Irish extremely difficult haha, but strangely enjoyable. Should be a bit easier to remember words once I figure out how on earth they are meant to be pronounced, haha.


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

I found http://www.standingstones.com/gaelpron.html to be absolutely incredible to pronunciation. Just keep practising and you'll get it!


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

Be careful, because that website doesn't distinguish correctly, if at all, between a lot of the broad and slender consonants, something which is crucial in the spoken language.


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

What website would you suggest?


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

If you understand IPA, Wikipedia's page on Irish orthography is a good start. Otherwise, there's been a video posted around here by Karen Reshkin that's decent.


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

Thanks! I'll have a look tomorrow, and also thanks @galaxyrocker I don't understand IPA at all (beginning to think I should learn haha) so Wikipedia wasn't much help when I tried it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elenaki.a

This is the video @galaxyrocker is talking about:http://youtu.be/oIokUII7LX0. I hope it helps!


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

Hmm... as far as I can tell, that sentence says the somethings read the newspaper(s)?? Any help?


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

I think that Smilesbetter’s intention was “The ducks read the newspaper“ (Léann na lachain an nuachtán).


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

I thought it may have been the mice read the newspaper.


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

I feel extraordinarily pleased, because I set this up, and sooooo many people are commenting now. Well, at least it's a lot in my opinion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CailinRua2

Pleased to have this site and forum to explore the Irish language. Been working on it for years, but hard to learn on my own!


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

I am not exactly an expert on Irish (yet) in case you were wondering. Running total is I'm only a LVL6 on Ireland 1.


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

Haven't been on for months and my homepage is screaming at me to re-learn literally every 'module', even Basics 1.


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

This is great, because I am having a terrible go at learning Irish! I can never manage to remember pronunciation, and I'm terrible at deciphering grammar rules, they just don't stick in my brain so this should be nice to have! :D


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

I don't remember all of them, but easy ones are tae=tea, pasta=pasta dinnéar=dinner and bricfeasta=breakfast. Oh, and cat=cat.


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

You should be able to make the vowels with thingies yourself by setting up your device to use an appropriate software keyboard. Do you use the Duolingo Web site or an app? Which operating system (and which version) runs on your device?


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

I'm operating on a laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium, so obviously, I use the site.


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

My system is the same as yours, and I keep 3 different keyboards (ALT + SHIFT to change to the next one). One for portuguese, which fits perfectly for Irish because Portuguese also has the "thingy" you said, one for Ukrainian and another one for Norwegian, and also for Swedish (it's better because it has the Norwegian letters and the ä and ö from swedish too). It is very easy to set them up, especially for English, because any Latin alphabet keyboard fits for it ;)


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

I don’t have Windows 7 myself, so I’ll defer to the Duolingo Wikia guide to keyboard layouts and input methods — you can follow the instructions there to set up use of the United States-International layout, which will let you type vowels with thingies by holding down the right Alt key when pressing the vowel. Note that that layout also makes use of “dead keys”, so typing an apostrophe followed by a vowel will also generate that vowel with a thingy; the downside is that if you need the apostrophe and vowel to stay as two separate characters, you need to type a space between the apostrophe and the vowel to keep them separate. You can toggle between two installed layouts, e.g. between US and US International, by pressing Control-Shift, so you can limit use of the US International layout to only those situations where you wish to type in Irish. (My understanding is that Control-Shift is used to switch layouts within one language, and Alt-Shift is used to switch layouts between different languages.)

Another option would be to use the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator to make a custom keyboard layout to your liking — e.g. a standard US layout without dead keys but with the addition of being able to use the right Alt key to make vowels with thingies.


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

'I don’t have Windows 7 myself, so I’ll defer to the Duolingo Wikia guide to keyboard layouts and input methods — you can follow the instructions there to set up use of the United States-International layout, which will let you type vowels with thingies by holding down the right Alt key when pressing the vowel.'

I just tested it. No modifications, just plain-out doing it, and it worked! Thánks!


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

I’m glad that it’s working for you! I found that someone has already made a US International layout without the dead keys (i.e., its only additional characters are those that can be entered with the right Alt key); if you’d like to try it out, you can download Freeman2222’s Windows 7 keyboard layout via this Microsoft Community page.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michelleplus8

I like using my phone or tablet, because I added Irish as a language to SwiftKey (my keyboard), and set it up to long-press for accented characters. So I can easily use accents, and my auto-correct speaks Irish!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daiana-1602

I did the same :-) and it works just great with those poor words that got tortured by lenition and eclipses.


[deactivated user]

    The 'thingy' in Irish is called a 'síneadh fada' or just a 'fada'. So for example if you want to spell 'Tá ' you would say 't a fada'.

    It's been some time since I used a Windows 7 machine but as far as I recall I could get é by typing control alt e and É by typing shift control alt e. I had a UK English keyboard setup.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michelleplus8

    Is síneadh pronounced at all like Sinead?


    [deactivated user]

      No, something like sheen - eh


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ridley-C

      Hi! I find Irish pretty hard. I don't know why, I think it's because of the grammar and the order that the (very hard to remember) words are put in.


      [deactivated user]

        Basically:

        In English: subject - verb - object

        e.g. The ducks drink water.

        In Irish: verb - subject - object

        e.g. Ólann na lachain uisce. Literally: Drink the ducks water.


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

        Thanks, good to know! What happens if there is two verbs? "The ducks eat and drink in the water." or "the ducks will drink the water." for example.


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

        The first one:

        Itheann agus ólann na lachain san uisce

        The second:

        Ólfaidh na lachain an t-uisce

        It's also nice to remember that the 'present tense' is used among natives as a habitual tense, for most verbs (certain sensory or perception verbs depend on context)


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ridley-C

        thanks :) That's the part where I was confused


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

        Maith an smaoineamh! :) Má theastaíonn comhrá lán gaeilge ó éinne is féidir dul an seo comh maith https://www.duolingo.com/comment/9342717

        go n'éirí leat


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

        I keep going back to that thread and trying to 'get' it but I feel like I've somehow learned a lot of vocab without gaining any ability to understand actual writing, otherwise I'd definitely go over there haha


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

        I seem to be better at Irish to English than vice versa, which may seem odd, but I don't know...


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

        Actually most people are like that! (according to a French teacher I had), I think because if you're reading or listening to a foreign language and you know one or two of the words your brain can often understand the sentence from context, whereas the other way round you'd just be saying the two words which wouldn't make sense to anyone :P


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

        I've heard this too, it makes so much sense! Especially when I don't know a word so my brain tries to fill in the gap with words from other languages I've learned bits of ...


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

        I'm just glad you saw it :), I thought it would fizzle out of existence, completely unnoticed..


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

        Hang on... I think that a smiley has been earned over here. I shouldn't really 'give' them out, just let people realise they've got one by themselves. Tricky dilemma.


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

        Iontach! (what exactly these elusive smileys are I am yet to understand, they have been described as 'pointless but fun' and something you have to realise you have by yourself, no one can truly give you a smiley. One day I hope to be enlightened, but for now I have many footsteps to tread on my journey for answers.)


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

        Has anyone found any good pronounciation guides that don't just use IPA? And I mean ones that don't just explain how the alphabet sounds, but how groups of letters are meant to sound etc, as I know some letter clusters make a sound totally different to what they look like in English. my main issue with Irish is that I haven't a clue how things are meant to be pronounced, or WHY they are pronounced that way. If I could get the pronounciation down then I'd have a better chance of actually remembering words haha.


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

        It has a lot to do with the way vowels operate and change the letters around it, this video was helpful to me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIokUII7LX0&feature=youtu.be

        It talks about the various things that impact pronunciation, including fada(s?)/accents, long/short vowels, and the conjugation-based added letters in words like portan/phortan. Also there's a convenient handout that you can read along with, so as not to have to keep watching the video :)


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

        The problem is that a number of sounds in Irish aren’t found in English, so trying to provide an English phonetic description of such sounds is a task in itself. Using the IPA to describe them is both less ambiguous and more concise.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michelleplus8

        I desperately need someplace to practice my meager skills!

        An maith leat beoir dhorcha? Ní maith liom beoir. Is fearr liom uisce beatha.

        Anybody have a suggestion for a Irish-English dictionary app that uses foclair.ie or focal.ie and gives information about words, like what part of speech and whether nouns are masculine or feminine?


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

        You are wayyyyy out of my league in your Irish comment. Surely 'an maith leat' doesn't work as a phrase and should be 'is maith leat' - 'you like...'? And I have no idea what dorcha is, so count me out on that. You like bear(s) blah? I - (typo, I hope) - do not like bear(s). I prefer water blahs.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michelleplus8

        An is a question word. It changes the sentence from "You like..." to "Do you like..."

        Beoir = Beer; Dorcha = dark; Beoir dhorcha = dark beer; Uisce beatha = whisky


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

        Wow... I'm an idiot.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michelleplus8

        So basically it says, "Do you like dark beer? I don't like beer. I prefer whisky."


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michelleplus8

        I've taken to trying to translate pop culture quotes as I learn the vocabulary for them. Here's one of my attempts. Feel free to correct!

        Damnú air, Jim! Is dochtúir mé, ní innealtóir mé!

        Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.