Important! Next class meeting has been set for March 6 (Saturday) at 11 am. I assume the one after that will be March 23. Thanks to everybody for your flexibility.
We met January 26, when we:
- got up to date on everyone's activities (doesn't take long these days).
- finished the second half of the second Dineen story. As usual, there was very little that I needed to help with, you guys are all over this stuff.
- did a little sentence-sorting activity on line (THANKS to Maureen for handling the screen shares, I have a tendency to send us off to strange places if a sudden tremor hits), and listened to a reading of a bit of lore, as collected by the school kids in the 1930's.
Next Meeting will be ? Let us know when you are available, that last Tuesday doesn't work for me.
- We're on to the new Dineen, through the middle of page 38, say.
- And you have a writing exercise, creating some new scéalta to share in class.
- We will also do more with that Tuairisc activity we looked at last time.
- And although we may not get to exercises in class, keep looking for English sentences that use "to be" and tagging the ones that need the copula, especially the classification forms. Continuous practice with categorizing English sources will make a bit different to your use of the copula in Irish.
Assorted Resources that have come up in class:
The "oral literature" exercise that we have looked at, and will visit again in February, can be found here on the Tuairisc site.
And Kerry shared a good source of listening/viewing media.
We finished the second Dineen, have started on the third story (bees).
Tryiing to capture things that come up, and thath people might want to be able to find later...
Earlier, Maureen shared some ideas that are worth keeping handy, in book marks and on this page:
- To help figure out pronunciation, Maureen pointed to Abair ( https://www.abair.tcd.ie/en/, or https://www.abair.tcd.ie/ga/ for an Irish language interface). You just type an Irish word or phrase or your life story in the box, pick the tab that's the dialect your prefer, and you will get a synthesized voice saying the text. This is speech synthesis, so it isn't completely natural, but it's pretty good, and I use it for things like surnames that are not in the dictionary.
- Keep in mind that Teanglann.ie (English interface, Irish here) has an excellent pronunciation feature, the last tab over an entry. Teanglann's pronunciations are recorded by native speakers from the three dialects. But it doesn't cover every form of a verb, etc., so Abair helps with those gaps.
- We also talked about Tearma.ie. This on-line dictionary is run by the committee that makes up the official versions of new terminology, so it is a great place to go for new words, or for old words used in new ways.
- Maureen also mentioned Club Leabhar, a free book club where participants read a book each month and discuss them in on-line forums. The book of the month is supported with vocabulary lists and sometimes with author interviews, etc. Here's the (English version) page on Alice.
We also had some discussion on video resources, particularly YouTube. We also discussed TG4 a little, and I have some notes on that below.
Addition: Aistear is the translation site I mentioned, they have lots of tips about little fine points, it is a fun site to explore..
TG4 is the Irish language TV channel, of course. There is plenty to explore there, but it can be challenging because, 1) most programs aren't subtitled and people are rattling on a t a good pace, and 2) many of their programs are talking about Irish affairs that we don't know much about.
But here are a couple of suggestions for using TG4, which you can find in the English interface here.
- To find programs of various kinds, hover over "Watch" at the top of the screen. A menu will drop down, and you want to look at the items under "Genre".
- Under "News", the evening news, "Nuacht TG4", is a daily summary, NOT subtitled. But for "Timpeall na Tíre", a weekly review, you can turn on subtitles in English. (Look for the right square in the lower right hand of the player, that will get you to subtitles, if they exist.)
- For a great activity, look under "Drama" for "Ros na Rúin". This is a long-running soap opera that some of you are already familiar with -- this fall would be its 25th season -- and many people get hooked on it because it has all the betrayal and backstabbing and cheating you could ask for. But try this, whether or not you already watch this:
- First, dip into any episode, making a little promise to yourself not to worry about the story, about who's doing what to whom. We're just going to focus on the words they use.
- Watch about five minutes of the program, no subtitles, just listen and see if you recognize any words. Don't try to pick up too much meaning, just pick off the easy ones.
- Turn on English subtitles and rewatch the same segment a couple of times. As you see the English, think about Irish words that you should be hearing to go along with them.
- Then turn on the Irish substitles and watch some more, confirming your guesses and filling in a few more blanks.
- Again, you're not trying for a complete, perfect transcript. You're just getting practice in picking up words from natural, colloquial, full-speed Irish conversation.
A while back, Maureen mentioned a program she saw "at" Montana, from the Cúla4 "camp" series. Cúla4 is TG4's "brand" of material for children, and the camp series are meant to be instructive, probably even helping educate youngsters who had school initerrupted.
Anyway, these programs are organized around various subjects, and they can be found at the Campa Cúl4 site. The one Maureen saw centers around cooking. She said it was about 25 minutes long, Munsterish, but, as she says, it is divided into sections, namely:
- In the kitchen (part 1, getting the tools together) for about 5 minutes
- A young lad gathers ingredients for a kind of pesto for about 4 minutes
- In the kitchen (part 2, cut-out sugar cookies) for about 8 minutes
- A man gathering wild herbs and greens (the most difficult to understand, I think) for about 3 minutes
- In the kitchen (part 3, about bread starter) for about 5 minutes
"Listen Along" resources
It can be helpful to listen to an Irish speaker reading a text aloud while you follow along, it helps you focus on the sounds of the language and can help you sort out pronunciation questions. Here are a couple of options:
- Teanga Tí is a resource, I believe, to support households that are trying to raise children with Irish. I've only peeked at the site, which is all in Irish, but there's a lot there. One nice section is a collection of children's books, in which they show the pages of the book as they read them. Simple stuff, mostly, so that allows you to concentrate on the sounds. Arranged by age of audience.
- Vifax, from Maynooth, has a series of video clips, reports from TG4 news programs, mostly. Each is accompanied by one or more PDFs (sometimes there are two different levels of difficulty). The PDFs have exercises around the video, but they also have a transcript of the audio. So it's a great place to read along as you hear fluent speakers (and some no-so-fluent) give their reports .
Comments and questions are welcome