GC's Gaelic for Beginners

Lesson 1 - Just Listen

I always like to start with learning the pronunciation of a language, because when you read it you always hear it in your head, and it's hard to unlearn your mistakes once you've got it wrong. The Gaelic sound system is quite elaborate. So, let's just start with the language melody. Don't try to understand what people are saying yet. All Gaelic words (except for a few recent imports like buntàta = potato) have their stress on the first syllable. Also, you don't raise your voice at the end of a question sentence. Instead of this, you use special words at the beginning of a sentence to indicate that you are asking a question. We'll see those pretty soon when we start on Beag air Bheag.

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1. Read the chapter Stress Placement and Why Going Up is a Bad Thing at Akerbeltz.

2. Now go to Radio nan Gàidheal. We need to find something where you can hear questions, so you can hear how the voice doesn't go up at the end. Programs you can use for that are "Aithris na Maidne" (a news show) and "Prògram Choinnich" (a talk show). Maybe best of all go to "A' Mire ri Mòir" and forward to the last 15 minutes of the show, where Mòrag Dhomhnallach always has somebody on the phone, and she asks a lot of questions like "How are you?", "Where are you from?" etc.
Last edited: 16 June 2022 07:17:46