Top tips for new Gaelic learners?

Goireasan ionnsachaidh, ceanglaichean feumail is mar sin / Gaelic learning resources, useful links etc.
Àdhamh Ó Broin
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Re: Top tips for new Gaelic learners?

Unread postby Àdhamh Ó Broin » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:07 pm

Níall Beag wrote:True. You didn't say "native", you said "more native than..." and I didn't catch the rest of it because there was a lot of people talking at the time. I was kind of stunned by that


When did I say that? This is what I said: "I speak it to the same ability as most native speakers I've met with the exception of certain old people"

This is going round in circles. I make no claim to be a native speaker, it's impossible, I was not brought up speaking Gaelic from an early age, therefore it is an impossibility, but I do class myself as a speaker.

Put it this way: am I a learner-driver still, because I didn't drive cars from the age of two, or because I have passed my test and have been driving every day for umpteen years, may I now class myself as a driver? I reckon so. Same with Gaelic. That doesn't mean that I can't learn to sharpen my reflexes, linguistic or motor, but I can without a shadow of a doubt regard myself not as a learner of either, but as a practioner, one way or the other.

Tha mi am beachd gum bu chòir dhuit mo chuideachamh crìoch a chur air a' ghnothach an seo! :lol:

But there's a huge difference there: whenever you or me learns something new about English, it is not a "correction" to our English - it's an acceptable variation. The reason I define myself as a learner is that I need to keep open to being wrong, which I never am in English


Now, who's got their ego on! :priob:

I don't make corrections to my Gaelic any more either, just acceptable variations. I realised the other day for instance that the full form of fhéin is still occasionally used in Mid-Argyll, despite the fact that 99% of the time it is not (fhé). It is now an acceptable variation.

That's a thorny issue, and I tend to use the term "native non-native" to describe such cases. What they speak is their native language, but it may not be a native model of Gaelic -- non-native Gaelic as a native language. I amn't competent to assess Geri's level, just as I amn't competent to assess Callum MacLean (Ruaraidh's son)'s level. But I wouldn't want to use either as a native informant for a corpus study of native Gaelic, because they're not part of a natural intergenerational transmission -- I cannot trust that anything they do isn't a learner error inherited from their parents


Sorry, I've just clicked on to who you are. Gabh mo leisgeul, a Néill!

Ruairidh speaks Standard Gaelic anyway, very well indeed, but not dialect, so that's irrelevant. Speak to anyone in Ross-shire and they'll tell you Roy's Wester Ross Gaelic was perfect, better than their own in some cases. In these days of evidence too thin on the ground to mention, you would be a hard man not to conduct your study with one eye on the fact, rather then discounting perfectly good informants. I'd be more worried about the influence of Mid-Minch in latter years than anything else.

I have an informant whose parentage was Craignish and Minard but who re-learned Gaelic in later life and it has completely obliterated his dialect forms. An awful loss....

and there's where ego investment and pride surface, which is exactly the reason I don't refer to myself as a speaker


Och give over 'ille, I've every reason to be proud, I've worked like a flamin Trojan to get here! :D

You already know your Gaelic's better than mine. That doesn't invalidate anything I've said.


I'm not concerned about my Gaelic being better than anyone else's, my only concern is that you are removing the possibility for people to be able to genuinely work towards the goal of classing themselves as a Gaelic speaker. People need incentive and people like Roy and Ruairidh have proven that native-like ability can be achieved in later life. I don't know about you, but while I'm sure they learned something new all the time, those right there are "Gaelic Speakers" my friend!
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Àdhamh Ó Broin
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Re: Top tips for new Gaelic learners?

Unread postby Àdhamh Ó Broin » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:13 pm

An Gobaire wrote:Niall's definition of "native speaker" is this I guess [*from thefreedictionary.com]:

native speaker
a person who has spoken a particular language ever since he was able to speak at all.

In the case of Gaelic, some people we think of as Gaels would not be classed as native speakers, using the definition above. For example, someone whose first language was Gaelic, but who moved to an english speaking area at a young age, and who doesn't have the ability to speak it as an adult or much older person. Saying that, I have met such people who are semi-native, and they still have the instinct for the language, and the accent / pronunciation, so it seems that the first 4-5 years are critical.

Therefore, Adhamh would not be a native speaker of Gaelic, however, if his children have been speaking Gaelic ever since they were able to speak at all, then they would be. Doesn't matter that Adhamh or his wife are not native Gaelic speakers.

What is most important is one's ability and fluency in the language (not the same thing), and for the best speakers, this comes through getting the most exposure to the language, as spoken by native speakers or near-native speakers, as well as using it the most over one's whole lifetime.

This is why the term "near-native speaker" is used for very advanced learners. Learners after a long period of time may have spent most of their life learning the language and being completely immersed or immersing themselves in it to such an extent that they have reached a near-native level, which means that their ability may surpass that of native speakers who have not had enough exposure to the language since they first started speaking it to keep their native ability. This is particularly common in the case of an endangered minority language such as Gaelic.

There is also another fact to consider. Definitions of the word native include:


2. Being such by birth or origin: a native Scot.

3. Being one's own because of the place or circumstances of one's birth: our native land.

If you are from an area where Gaelic is the native language, even though a majority in that area no longer speak the native language of the area, and you then learn that language to near-native level...why can't you think of yourself as a native speaker of that language? Especially, when all around you, are people speaking a language that is "foreign" to that area. Foreign in the sense of non-native to that area. 2. Not being such by origin.


Tha tur agaibh a charaid. 'S math leam mar a tha sibh sealltainn air a' ghnothach.

Tha cuimhn' agam éisteachd ri clàr á Cataibh 's sean duine ann 's e bruidhinn agas 's e Gàidhlig Chataibh an Ear a bh' aige glé cheart. Dh'ionnsaich e bho bhodach air choireigin a b' àbhaist a bhith fanachd taobh thall a' ghlinn bhuaidh. B' àbhaist dha dol a thadhal air an fhear seo 's dh'ionnsaich e a chainnt-sa. Leis gun ann nuair a bha e na bhalachan a bha seo, tha mise brath gun e neach-labhairt tùsach a bh' ann ceart gu leòr. Dòmhall Corbett an t-ainm a bh' air, cha chreib mi....
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An Gobaire
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Re: Top tips for new Gaelic learners?

Unread postby An Gobaire » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:52 am

Àdhamh Ó Broin wrote:
Tha tur agaibh a charaid. 'S math leam mar a tha sibh sealltainn air a' ghnothach.

Tha cuimhn' agam éisteachd ri clàr á Cataibh 's sean duine ann 's e bruidhinn agas 's e Gàidhlig Chataibh an Ear a bh' aige glé cheart. Dh'ionnsaich e bho bhodach air choireigin a b' àbhaist a bhith fanachd taobh thall a' ghlinn bhuaidh. B' àbhaist dha dol a thadhal air an fhear seo 's dh'ionnsaich e a chainnt-sa. Leis gun ann nuair a bha e na bhalachan a bha seo, tha mise brath gun e neach-labhairt tùsach a bh' ann ceart gu leòr. Dòmhall Corbett an t-ainm a bh' air, cha chreib mi....


Bha mi a' coimhead uaireigin air bhideo Youtube far an robh thu a' bruidhinn ri dithis bhoireannach ann an Eurabol an tac an teine. Bha siud math. A rèir dhòmhsa co-dhiù, bha am blas cho coltach ri blas mo sheana-phàrantan a bhuineadh do Ratha, Dùthaich MhicAoidh, ged a tha Eurabol astar math air falbh bhon àite. A bheil an clàr sin agad fhathast? Bu toigh leam èisteachd ris. :-)
Dèan buil cheart de na fhuair thu!

Àdhamh Ó Broin
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Re: Top tips for new Gaelic learners?

Unread postby Àdhamh Ó Broin » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:50 pm

An Gobaire wrote:Bha mi a' coimhead uaireigin air bhideo Youtube far an robh thu a' bruidhinn ri dithis bhoireannach ann an Eurabol an tac an teine. Bha siud math. A rèir dhòmhsa co-dhiù, bha am blas cho coltach ri blas mo sheana-phàrantan a bhuineadh do Ratha, Dùthaich MhicAoidh, ged a tha Eurabol astar math air falbh bhon àite. A bheil an clàr sin agad fhathast? Bu toigh leam èisteachd ris. :-)


Ó nist, a ghoistidh, cha e mise bha sin. Chan eil mi uamharraidh cinnteach có air thalamh a bh' ann, ach beagan amharras. Cuiridh mi ann am PM e. Bha an clàr sin briagh an dà-rìreamh. Thog mise clàr na dithist leocha, ach cha robh ead ro dheònach Gàidhlig a bhruidhinn. Tha mi 'm beachd gun d' fhuair am fear ud tuillidh bhon a bha e aig an fhìor-thóiseachd leis a chuid Ghàidhlig. Tha sin ùiseil corr' uair!

Bithidh faclair Sheumais Ghrannd a' tighinn gu bàrr ceann tacain, á Dùthaich MhicAoidh. Bithidh sin gasta a thaobh ionnsachamh na dualchainnt, colta' ris an fhear aig Mgr Wentworth air son Ros an Iar. Tha feum mhór againn air gnothaichean da leithid.... :)
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An Gobaire
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Re: Top tips for new Gaelic learners?

Unread postby An Gobaire » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:30 pm

Bithidh faclair Sheumais Ghrannd a' tighinn gu bàrr ceann tacain, á Dùthaich MhicAoidh. Bithidh sin gasta a thaobh ionnsachamh na dualchainnt, colta' ris an fhear aig Mgr Wentworth air son Ros an Iar. Tha feum mhór againn air gnothaichean da leithid.... :)


Mìorbhaileach! Gasta! Sgoinneil!
Dèan buil cheart de na fhuair thu!

Kennedyflyting
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Top tips for new Gaelic learners?

Unread postby Kennedyflyting » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:05 pm

I think that with a language, as with many other things, if you will it, it is no dream.
Vittorio Alfieri (1749-1803) was a major Italian poet and dramatist. But he had to teach himself standard Italian. He came from Piedmont in the extreme north of Italy but he grew up writing in French, his first works were in French and his native dialect seems to have been a mish-mash of French and Piedmontese Italian. He had to learn standard Italian from books and from a lengthy stay in Tuscany (standard Italian took Tuscan, especially the Florentine version, as its starting point). He made himself become a poet and writer in Italian.


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