Greetings!

Cò thusa? / Introduce yourself
m.gilliosa
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Greetings!

Unread postby m.gilliosa » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:13 pm

Hello,
Tha mi 'n dòchas gu bheil thu gu math. Thanks for accepting me to your forums. I'm half-Scot/half-American, grew up in Cumbernauld and currently in Los Angeles - hoping to return soon. Over the past few years my interest in my Scottish heritage has grown and I'm looking to begin learning the language!
While it's somewhat intimidating to look through the forum and not understand a word that's being said, I do agree that immersion the best practice for learning. That being said can anyone point me in a good direction for beginners audio lessons? I am able to listen/practice during work hours so I think that method would be most beneficial.
To honor my ancestry (Muireadhach Albanach O'Dalaigh) and faith (Christian), I am in the process of changing my full name over to one that is Scots Gaelic.
Again, thanks for accepting me to the forum and for taking the time to read my intro. Gabh mo leisgeul
Last edited by m.gilliosa on Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Seonaidh
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Re: Greetings!

Unread postby Seonaidh » Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:40 am

It might help us to know what the English version of your name is - what you've written is something vaguely like Murdo Rebecca Gillies, which can't be right! Also, most of us in Scotland these days are predominantly secular, but among the Christians we have widely differing positions, e.g. ranging from the "wee frees" (who only recently allowed the singing of hymns at services), through the Calvinist Church of Scotland and the Anglican Episcopalians to the Roman Catholics. In the areas where Gaelic is still the community language, belief is at either end of this spectrum... It should be noted that there are a number of Moslem Gaelic speakers also.

On the Gaelic, "thu" is only used in the singular - a bit like "thou" in English or "tu" in Spanish or French. So if you hope that ALL of us are OK, it would be "sibh", not "thu"!

Surely if you grew up in Cumbernauld then you are all-Scottish?

m.gilliosa
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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:39 am
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Re: Greetings!

Unread postby m.gilliosa » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:50 am

I have edited out the tr*nsl*t**n request from my original posting (Seonaidh, if you're still curious we could pursue it via inbox)

I see that my wording is a bit peculiar and did not mean to imply that all Scot/Gaelic speaking are Christian, but rather I seek a Gaelic name that identifies me with my faith. Although I am familiar with, and respect, the differing denominations, I am of a simple mind and find that 'love your neighbor as yourself' has given me a lifetimes work. (Religion is a tricky conversation at the best of times so I'll leave it at that and return to the subject at hand).
Thank you for clarifying the singular use, I had half a mind that was the case but as it is quite literally the first Gaelic I've composed I was not sure. I speak some Spanish so that will be easy enough to remember by association. If you are familiar enough to answer, would you say that Gaelic is any harder or easier grammatically to pick up than Spanish? I'm going to take a look at the other sub forum and see what resources I can find to begin learning - any recommendations?
To clarify my nationality... Father is Scot, mother is American. Although having moved to and lived in Scotland through primary school, I am one of the lucky ones with dual citizenship.

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Mairead
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Re: Greetings!

Unread postby Mairead » Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:51 pm

Fàilte! Welcome to the forum!

In response to learning Gaelic vs learning Spanish: In general, native English speakers find Spanish easier to learn than Gaelic because of the heavy Latin and French influences on the development of English. Gaelic is more distantly related to English than Spanish is, and while it was also influenced by Latin, it is not at all a Romance or Germanic language. I certainly found Spanish much easier to learn than Gaelic. That being said, going from English to Spanish already involves learning new grammar, so Gaelic will be a similar experience in that either way you get exposed to new grammar. (There's also pronunciation and spelling -- Gaelic spelling is less intuitive to a native English speaker than Spanish spelling is -- but once you get the hang of it that part's okay. :) You may also find some interesting similarities between Spanish and Gaelic pronunciation that aren't shared by most dialects of English, such as the tapped 'r' sound!)

When I first started learning Gaelic, I found the BBC website Beag air Bheag to be a good starting point. You might also like to look up the programme "Speaking Our Language" on Youtube. I'm sure others will have more suggestions for you, but those are the two that I started with! :)
Tha avatar agam à dhealbh aig mo phiuthar anns an Cellardyke. Tha trì videothan Ghàidhlig agam anns an Youtube.
My avatar is from a photo that my sister took in Cellardyke. I have three Gaelic videos on Youtube.

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Seonaidh
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Re: Greetings!

Unread postby Seonaidh » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:23 pm

I'm not at all convinced that Spanish is necessarily "easier" for an English speaker than Gaelic.. What IS true - particularly outwith Scotland - is that there's far more support available for learning Spanish than for learning Gaelic. But Spanish certainly has its "moments" - e.g. with the two verbs for "to be", knowing when to use which one and so forth; or the "Si lo tuvieras" etc type verb forms (were you [singular] to have it). Yes, Spanish spelling is as close an approach to the phonemic as you're likely to find in a living language - but then, so is Gaelic: it's just that the "rules" seem odd to those familiar with English spelling. Try comparing a parallel text in, say, Gaelic and Manx to get an idea of this (Manx is, to some extent, "Gaelic as if it was written by somebody who only knew about English spelling rules").

As for the relationship, there is a strong case to be made for the three major Indo-European language branches currently present in western Europe being more closely related to each other than to other Indo-European branches (e.g. Slavonic, Hellenic, Indo-Iranian etc.) - and those branches are Germanic, Italic (or Latin-based) and Celtic. Gaelic is a Celtic language, English id a Germanic language and Spanish is a "Latin" language: it is thus not the case that "English is closer to Spanish than to Gaelic" - it's probably roughly equidistant from the two. And, indeed, just as English has borrowed heavily from the Romance languages, so has Gaelic. What is the Gaelic for "siesta"? Or the Spanish for "whisky"?

Yes, I've heard good reports of "Beag air Bheag", "Litir don Luchd-Ionnsachaidh" and the like. Not a great fan of "Speaking Our Language" - but it has its uses.

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Mairead
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Re: Greetings!

Unread postby Mairead » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:18 am

A Sheonaidh, you haven't actually contradicted anything I said about learning Spanish and Gaelic except that in your opinion Spanish is not easier to learn for native English speakers. Most native English speakers I know who have learned both have said that Spanish's grammar is more familiar, which matches my own experience with the two languages. The Latin and French influences on English have been so significant as to make it feel like a hybrid Romance/Germanic language (even though it rightly remains classified as Germanic). The same is not true for Gaelic in spite of the influences it bears from language contact with Latin, English, etc, which I don't think have influenced its grammar much compared to what French did to English. Some of the grammar similarities between Spanish and English are also just there even if they're not from direct influence, like the all-but-disappearance of the case system in each (I don't know if that's down to French influence or just that each language followed that trend independently.) You can argue over individual points but I think it's still true to say that most native English speakers find that there is a greater gulf between English and Gaelic grammar and English and Spanish grammar. But, as I said, Spanish still involves learning new grammar, so when learning Gaelic it might be best to keep that in mind and the experiences won't end up being too dissimilar.
Tha avatar agam à dhealbh aig mo phiuthar anns an Cellardyke. Tha trì videothan Ghàidhlig agam anns an Youtube.
My avatar is from a photo that my sister took in Cellardyke. I have three Gaelic videos on Youtube.

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GunChleoc
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Re: Greetings!

Unread postby GunChleoc » Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:02 pm

Fàilte chridheil ort!

As a starting resource, I can also recommend Beag air Bheag. You can also listen to BBC Radio nan Gàidheal online - just having it run in the background while doing something else helps.

I'd say the first big grammar task for a beginner shouldn't be what is commony thought of as grammar, but the sounds and how they work together. This will help you understand how the orthography and how the rest of the grammar works later on.

Take a look around the "Goireasan" section on our homepage, you will find the most important beginner's links there.
Oileanach chànan chuthachail
Na dealbhan agam

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Seonaidh
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Re: Greetings!

Unread postby Seonaidh » Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:12 pm

All sound advice from GC.

Perhaps my opinion about the relative ease of learning Spanish and Gaelic is coloured by the fact I speak Welsh and, as one might expect, there are some interesting parallels between Welsh grammar and Gaelic grammar. On the other hand, my mother spoke native Spanish, which obviously made it easier for me to get to grips with. God alone knows why she didn't bring us up to speak Spanish, but there you go.


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