Noun genders

Ciamar a chanas mi.... / How do I say...
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Re: Noun genders

Unread post by GunChleoc » Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:09 pm

Well, I'm not keeping anybody from writing doras (m) on their cards as additional info - one would want to learn the nominative form as well in any case - I just think that it sucks as a memorising strategy. We could have something like this:

doras, an doras (m)
a' fosgladh an dorais

dèideag, an dèideag (f)
a' brùthadh na dèideige

This will give you the nominative and genitive forms as well as the gender and a usefull phrase to stick into your sentences.

Oileanach chànan chuthachail
Na dealbhan agam

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Re: Noun genders

Unread post by Seonaidh » Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:00 am

To be authenticer, try using the Gaelic genders, e.g. "an doras (f)"...and you could even use "m" for "mnà" etc. instead of "b" for" boireannach"... I recall once being in an Irish Centre in Newcastle and seeing "FIR" and "MNÁ" on the toilet doors.

When it comes to German, with all its "der die das" and so forth forms, just consider how difficult it must be for German speakers always to remember to use the "right" form for the particular gender or case the noun's in. Do you imagine, maybe, that little Germans are all given a set of "flash cards" or similar when learning how to speak the language? I have to confess that there is no substitute for practice - as in an environment where the desired language is used naturally. For instance, I recently tried learning a little Basque before going on holiday there - not getting very far. Being there and actually hearing folk use it chatting to each other or on the telly etc. was far more useful in terms of setting the environment. It was also quite interesting to observe the locals switching effortlessly between Basque and Spanish, throwing the odd Basque word into Spanish and vice versa.

But it is a sad fact that finding a "natural Gaelic environment" is not easy even in many parts of Scotland, let alone outside Scotland. I suspect this is why so many would-be learners of Gaelic never actually get very far.

Níall Beag
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Re: Noun genders

Unread post by Níall Beag » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:37 am

No German kids don't use flashcards, but then it takes them years to get the articles etc right. As adults, we can employ higher-order reasoning to shorten the time-to-learn, so why shouldn't we?

And as for using Gaelic genders... why? If the gender is there to make learning easier, let's not complicate it by having F for masculine. Clarity should win out over ideological immesionism.

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Re: Noun genders

Unread post by akerbeltz » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:17 am

It may have changed since I left school but in my day, yes, actually we did 'study' gender. Not flashcards cause we didn't have them in those days but we had all sorts of lists and tables dealing with gender in school.

And in a sense, actually yes, we do. We have parents who spend untold hours pointing at shit going 'Oh schau, der schöne Baum' ...

Sure, we'd all LOVE to learn our chosen languages in an ideal situation, immersed on an island of monolinguals with nothing better to do than to let us torture their ears with our attempts at figuring out their language using no grammar or writing whatsoever... but this is the real world and whatever leg up we can helps make up for the lack of that elusive ideal situation.

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