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Halo I'm new

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:04 pm
by Lewis77
Hallo all, I'm going to pick up my Gaidhlig studies once more... It's been a couple of years since I last gave it a good go and I was starting to make progress( all of which i've nearly forgotten now ) but this time i'm determined.

Nevertheless, its back to square one for me! I'm going to start going back to the Gaidhlig nights in toon(Edinburgh) once this damned festival is over (life is hell whilst it's on)!! Also when my leg is better, I have 2 breaks and 3 fractures, fell off a wall trying to fix a sky dish !!

My name is Lewis (my actual name is Leodhas) my mother is from there and went through a hippy stage, but everyone has always called me Lewis. I live in Leith and I'm a Hibee, Oh yes, we will win the league, also I do a wee bit of gigging round the place.

This is what I hope to get from this site:

General help with everything Gaidhlig.

Understanding as I am a novice.

My grammer is the real problem, well it used to be when I was last trying to learn, It was terrible.

I can count to 10 and say hallo and basic other things but I really do need to start from the very beginning. Please can you tell me what I should be learning first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have a couple of books, a dictionary and a teach youself Scots Gaelic book but I would love it if someone could say learn this first then learn that and so on!!!


Re: Halo I'm new

Posted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:56 pm
by chris-1961
Fàilte Lewis.

Ciamar a tha sibh an-diugh? :D

'S mise Crìsdean agus tha mi a'fuireach ann an Penicuik, Alba.

Welcome Lewis.

How are you today?

My name is Chris and I live in Penicuik, Scotland.

I am like you, I am learning Gàidhlig and have completed two courses at Telford College in Edinburgh so far. I can highly recommend the courses as they take you through the basics of Gàidhlig.
You could then discuss with the Gàidhlig tutor, Neil MacGregor, what the best way forward from there.

I am taking the Higher this year and am lookng forward to it even though it's only two hours per week.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Mar sin leibh an-dràsta agus mòran taing.

Le durachd,


Posted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:41 pm
by Seonaidh
Och, fàilte dhutsa. How do you know folk call you "Lewis" and not "Leòdhas"? After all, the pronunciation's are fairly similar. Though I s'pose you might know when they addressed you - do any of them say owt as sounds like "Lewish" when doing so?

Now, I take it you are reasonably proficient in English, i.e. you can converse in it, understand most of what's said to you and maybe even read and write it. But how is your knowledge of English Grammar? Would it mean much if somebody went on about English in such terms as "a very syntactic language, typically with SVO, but with inversion to VSO, often with auxiliaries, in question forms"? Of the places where you should use singular, plural and/or genitive noun forms? The odds are all these complex manoeuvres are things you do automatically, without thinking - and you may not even be aware of the fact you're obeying extremely complex grammatical rules when doing so.

So, don't fash yerself unduly about "Gaelic grammar". Rather, try to absorb it and use it as much as possible. Bugger whether you get it right or not - how do children learn? It comes with practice.

Lewis question

Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:12 am
by Lewis77
Ma Grandmother called me leodhas as does ma maw, but I can tell the difference!! lol For the most part I get Louie.

Yes, I am proficient in the english language and understand the grammatic structure of it. Nevertheless, that has no relevance to my apprehension of mastering Gaidhlig grammer, as I fear that is what I will struggle with most!!

Therefore is there any angle that one should approach the subject from? A starter piont that would help futher doon the line? Any exercises you would begin with, a book you'd recommend??

All help welcomed !

Moran Taing.

Re: Lewis question

Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:23 pm
by chris-1961
Halò Leòdhas.

Ciamar a tha sibh an-diugh? :D

Tha mi glè thoilichte.

The best way forward for you at the moment that I can think of is to grasp the basics of greeting people and go from there as I had to do.

After that, I had to grasp the basics of talking about the weather, recognising colours, saying that I would like something then go onto asking for services etc, all of which I had trouoble with at first but soon corrected any mistakes I made very quickly.

I hope that you will take my suggestion about going to Telford College inEdinburgh or, at the very least, having a word with the tutor there and asking his opinion about your Gàidhlig studies and where you should begin.

I will send you a private message giving you my mobile number should you wish to contact me and discuss things a bit more.

Mar sin leibh an-dràsta agus mòran taing.

Le durachd,


Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:21 pm
by GunChleoc
Halò agus fàilte ort!

Sorry I'm a bit late in replying. If you want a step by step approach, you could try one of the online courses. If you would like a gentler approach, try BBC's Beag air Bheag, and if you want something more grammar-oriented, try Taic. You can find links to both on our Goireasan / Resources page. Just check out both of them and see which one you are more comfortable with, and if any questions come up, ask here and we'll do our best to help you.

If you are having trouble getting your head around the pronunciation, Akerbeltz is your ticket. They also have various other important grammar points there.

The most important thing is to practice a lot, and always keep in mind that errors are a natural part of language learning.

Guma math a thèid leat - good luck! :D

limited options

Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:57 pm
by Lewis77
As I've said, I have a leg that's smashed to bits at the moment so getting oot and aboot is a wee bit hard!! I was planning going to the Gaidhlig conversation circle on tuesday evenings and will once ma leg is healed, i've heard its a really good place to learn.

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:04 am
by neoni
you're best bet is to just get a teach yourself book and work through it, things should be ordered well in there

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:56 pm
by Fionnlagh
Hello Lewis,
It is good to see that you are interested in learning Gaelic.

Can I ask are you interested in learning to speak conversational Gaelic as native Gaelic speakers use it or as learners use Gaelic?

Do you wish to use it as an everyday language with your family or is it the holiday videos variety you wish? Many general Gaelic courses are translated from English courses which unfortunately leave some learners still speaking English with Gaelic words as an after thought.

Do you wish to learn quickly or slowly or are you interested in learning only about Gaelic grammar. Many who learn Gaelic grammar are able to write Gaelic poetry and even books but are unable to string a sentence together or hold a 15 minute conversation even after 20 years.

A Gaelic accent and Gaelic rhythm learned at the proper speed are essential otherwise few native Gaelic speakers will continue speaking Gaelic to you for long.

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:48 pm
by Fionnlagh
There are many other things you will need to take into consideration and watch out for.
If those around happen to use Tha at the beginning of most sentences then you can be certain they are still tr*nsl*t*ng and thinking in English while trying to construct Gaelic conversation.
It is easy to avoid this but you must attend courses where no tr*nsl*t**n is done.

The conversation class in Edinburgh could well be suitable if it uses TPR as part of its methodology and is therefore able to get meaning across to the complete learner in ways other than tr*nsl*t**n.

IF you wish to pass Gaelic onto the next generation then at some point you will need to consider attending specialist rather than general Gaelic courses as they simply do not go into the language in sufficient detail for use with a child, especially a baby.
Parents need to learn Parentese/Motherese in Gaelic and have a much wider vocabulary in certain spheres than an adult. An adult only requires to know that it is a shoe. When you are with a child you will need far more language like the back and inside etc of the shoe. Usually learners simply don't have the necessary vocabulary.

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:11 pm
by Seonaidh
A Leòdhais,

Some of us here are trying NOT to be "too proscriptive", especially as we mostly realise that everybody has their own best way of learning. I would warn you against those who would say "you must learn it this way or you'll never be any good", or "you must avoid Expression X as only learners use it" (especially when it's patently untrue).

Best of luck with your endeavours - hope the leg gets better ere be long.

Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:17 pm
by Gràisg
Lewis, A long long time ago I used to be a bit of a hippy, fada a-mach dhuine. I managed to learn quite a lot of gaelic 8-) , not sure if I'd get through the Fionnlagh test 100% though. One sentence of advice from a well known hippy icon;
'Don't follow leaders, watch the parking meeters'.
If you want Gaelic go and get it and do what's best for you, no one else.

Gur mat a thèid leat
Good luck :)

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:03 pm
by faoileag
Fàilte, a Leòdhais!

As you appear to be fairly housebound just now, make the most of the online resources mentioned above (the 'Goireasan' in the box top right).

I would suggest you would come to no harm doing the following meanwhile :priob: :

- Use 'Beag air bheag' to revise the conversational stuff and get the sound in your ear and your mouth again.
- use TAIC for grammar, bit by bit.
- listen to/ watch bits of Radio nan Gàidheal and BBC Alba if you can get it (on i-player if not) to get a feel for the language and its rhythms.
- see what Gaelic you can find on YouTube for fun.
- listen to Gaelic music, old or new, and hum along, joining in the little bits you catch on repeated listening. Anything - Julie Fowlis, Margaret Stewart, Runrig, Na Gathan...

Later, if at all possible, go to whatever courses you can afford. Ask around for the ones others have found most effective - on here, or at the Gaelic circle.

And remember, everyone learns differently. You'll find in time what suits you best.

Good luck! Gur math a thèid leat! :lol: