Page 1 of 1

Technique for learning Gaelic

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 1:35 am
by Tae le bainne
Halò!

I hope this is posted in the right place. It seemed the most applicable section of the forum.

I really want to try to learn Gaelic. I'm from Renfrewshire but left in 2015 and am currently living in the US. I have a son who's 20 months and my wife's due to deliver our second any day! The last Gaelic speakers in my family were my grandparents' parents so the language isn't in my immediate history. But I've always had a fascination with our Gaelic heritage in the west of Scotland and would really like to share that with my children, most directly by sharing the very language itself.

But here's the problem. There's no courses available here, and I can't afford to take any of the long-distance courses offered by SMO, etc. I have the Internet, an old copy of Scottish Gaelic in Three Months (without cassettes... and even if I had the cassettes, no way to listen to them), and a lot of free time on my hands (I'm a stay at home dad, I make my own hours!). Which is great, I've read about other learners who've managed to make great strides on their own with self-study.

I just don't know how to study. I'm looking for advice on study techniques for learning Gaelic. I read an older thread where someone strongly urged pronunciation drills. That's excellent advice but how do I drill in pronunciation with Gaelic? The title of this thread is "Technique for learning Gaelic" but it may be better to title it "How to learn how to learn Gaelic?" If you did it on your own, how did you turn yourself into an autodidact?

Tapadh leibh in advance!

Technique for learning Gaelic

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 4:57 pm
by GunChleoc
The way I trained pronunciation at home was to get some music and sing along - less boring than talking to yourself. I also read up on how the pronunciation works - if you have the funds, get the Blas na Gàidhlig book, which explains pronunciation in detail.

I also left the Radio nan Gàidheal running a lot - you can access that via the internet.

Technique for learning Gaelic

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 7:26 pm
by Tae le bainne
GunChleoc wrote: The way I trained pronunciation at home was to get some music and sing along - less boring than talking to yourself. I also read up on how the pronunciation works - if you have the funds, get the Blas na Gàidhlig book, which explains pronunciation in detail.

I also left the Radio nan Gàidheal running a lot - you can access that via the internet.
I'll certainly be setting aside funds over time to get a copy of Blas na Gàidhlig, though it's funny seeing used copies going for as much as a new edition!

Any singers that you would particularly recommend for imitation?

Technique for learning Gaelic

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 8:01 pm
by akerbeltz
It kind of depends on what learner type you are. And it's complicated to an extent by one child being on the cusp of speaking. I don't think it's impossible but you need to move fast I feel, otherwise, if the older child speaks English as the predominant language, the changes of the younger child picking up the language will diminish greatly. I'm speaking from personal experience here, our "weak" language is weaker in my middle brother and weakest with my youngest.

Sooo... I would indeed work on pronunciation, at least the hard basics as GunChleoc suggested. I'd also suggest working through the material on http://www.learngaelic.com , they digitized the old Speaking Our Language course there.

I'd contact the Gaelic Books Council about some of the Book Bug bags (they do like a bag of free Gaelic kids books every year) but I don't know if they send them abroad. You may just have to buy some. Armed with some of those for reading to your kids (which given your current lack of fluency may be a better starting point than ad-libbing), you could at least get them used to hearing Gaelic in some context. The other stuff that would probably help would be to work out a bit of Gaelic every day to teach, well, both of you. Starting simple like "Seall, tha cù beag an-sin" (Look, there's a wee dog). And then work your way up to nursery rhymes and songs, which can memorise to aid your own learning and then do them with your kids (check out the book "Air do bhonnagan a ghaoil")

Overall, raising bilingual kids works better if one parent sticks to the same language, so you'll have to move fast.

You could look into getting some Skype sessions too, there are folk who do that, it may be more affordable than an SMO course and personally I always learn better with a teacher.

Just some thoughts and ideas, not necessarily in order.

Oh, and avoid Google tr*nsl*t* like the plague.

Technique for learning Gaelic

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 8:03 pm
by akerbeltz
though it's funny seeing used copies going for as much as a new edition!
I suspect that's because few people who bought it have shifted it on - those "Used" copies are actually resellers who's model is to buy a new book and sell it on as "Used". Beats me how that works but that's what they do.

Technique for learning Gaelic

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 8:13 pm
by ~Sìle~
Until you can get a hold of Blas na Gàidhlig, the Learn Gaelic website give you an idea of the basic sounds here.

With a young baby, you could try learning the songs at Orain na Cloinne Bige, which is also available as an app. There are more songs to learn here.

Gaelic4Parents has sound files for a lot of children's books, which may assist you when reading to your children.

As for learning, there is one exuberant person who thinks it's possible to do an "immersion" style of learning at home. He sells a booklet for £15 which is a plan for learning Gaelic, via Gaelic (not English) for adults, and claims to have good results. See the Moray Language Centre for details.

Technique for learning Gaelic

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 8:57 pm
by Tae le bainne
Thanks tremendously for the input and suggestions! I suppose that this undertaking is going to be a wee bit hit and miss due to the subjective nature of how people learn. The free resources that are available at Gaelic4Parents and LearnGaelic are fantastic.

Definitely think I'll have to hit the ground hard and fast to do this.

Technique for learning Gaelic

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 9:32 pm
by akerbeltz
Good luck! And you can always come back here if you've got more specific questions, like how to say "yuck, aren't you smelly today" :lol:

Technique for learning Gaelic

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 10:46 pm
by Tae le bainne
Thanks! And I'll be sure to stick around and fire as many questions at you all as I can. Incidentally, has anyone ever digitised the old audio for Hugo's Gaelic in 3 months?

Technique for learning Gaelic

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 5:21 pm
by Níall Beag
Tae le bainne wrote: Thanks! And I'll be sure to stick around and fire as many questions at you all as I can. Incidentally, has anyone ever digitised the old audio for Hugo's Gaelic in 3 months?
I gave my copy to my brother -- I'll ask him if he did.

Technique for learning Gaelic

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 6:10 pm
by Tae le bainne
Níall Beag wrote: I figave my copy to my brother -- I'll ask him if he did.
Tapdh leibh! That’s very much appreciated. :D

Technique for learning Gaelic

Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 8:45 am
by Níall Beag
Sorry -- he says he lost the tapes in a house move.

Technique for learning Gaelic

Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 1:07 pm
by Tae le bainne
Níall Beag wrote: Sorry -- he says he lost the tapes in a house move.
Ach well, tapadh leibh for trying!

Technique for learning Gaelic

Posted: Tue May 29, 2018 7:24 pm
by ~Sìle~
Tae le bainne wrote:Incidentally, has anyone ever digitised the old audio for Hugo's Gaelic in 3 months?
Have no idea of it's legal, a scam, or what, but the audio files appear to be available for download here.

Technique for learning Gaelic

Posted: Tue May 29, 2018 10:40 pm
by Tae le bainne
~Sìle~ wrote:Have no idea of it's legal, a scam, or what, but the audio files appear to be available for download here.
Moran taing! Sadly the links are broken and aren't available, but I very much appreciate your finding it! Not the end of the world. I'll make do with my battered copy and see how well I get using audio from elsewhere to figure out pronunciation.