Why learn a "minority" language?
The short story is that my ancestors spoke Gaeilge, and learning to speak Irish makes me proud of my heratage.
The long story is that I once met someone from Africa who said that where he came from, all educated people spoke Swahili, but Swahili was no one's first language - it was the "national" or shared language, but everyone also had a "villiage" language. I liked this idea.
am I learning Gaeilge?
My goal is to become a fluent speaker of Gaeilge. That may or may not be achievable at my age (and with the time I have available) but why not try?
To accomplish this I've sought out materials that teach me correct pronounciation (the toughest part of fluency, at least for me!) in the most natural and effective means possible. This means: I've found materials that do as much talking IN Gaeilge as possible and as little talking ABOUT Gaaeilge as possible. Currently, this means the course Buntús Cainte. It can be ordered from the Irish Bookshop in New York if you can't find it locally.
My next challenge is to find people to pratice SPEAKING Gaeilge with. To that end I'm helping to pull together interested learners locally, and am also hoping to set up a "virtual conversation" group using the newly available programs that let you send/receive real-time audio over the InterNet. If you are interested in either of these, please e-mail me.
You didn't think I'd let you leave without links did you?
Sorry! Tom's OnLine/Internet Gaeilge course is no longer on line :( (text and voice!) [Tom's turned the course over to UC Galway but he's expecting them to follow-through and get the site up again, probably with provision for a course fee to be charged...]
Gaeilge-B THE place to pratice writing Gaeilge: an Internet mailing list devoted to those learning Irish!
John T. McCranie's
Gaelic Language site - the most comprehensive list of info and links I've
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