Learning Irish, Text, Audio, and Self-Tutor (Boxed set) Pap/Cas Edition

48 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0300084160
ISBN-10: 0300084161
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A better language course than anything else available" -- Dublin Evening Herald

"At last... a teach yourself Irish course that really works" -- American Committee for Irish Studies

Language Notes

Text: English --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; Pap/Cas edition (July 11, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300084161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300084160
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 7.8 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,185,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

297 of 302 people found the following review helpful By Gwilym on February 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Three years ago I decided to learn Irish, and in the next two years I bought three different courses. The first two were simply useless, (that's the obvious reason for my buying new courses) you could learn some phrases, but not construct sentences yourself.
Learning Irish, on the other hand, is an excellent book, which gives you a thorough vocabulary and grammatical knowledge. It consists of 36 lessons, all containing vocabularies, grammar instructions, texts and excercises. The cassets which accompany the course are recorded by native speakers, and gives you the exact pronouciation of the Irish spoken in Connemara and the Aran Islands.
Learning Irish is a very demanding course, but when you have completed it, you will be able to communicate confidently in Irish. (This is the only Irish language course of which I would say so). The different topics in the lessons make sure that you will be able to cope with all kinds of situation in Irish, and will take you far deeper into the Irish Culture than just a basic knowledge.
I went to live in Ireland for two months after completing this course, and I spent a good part of that time in na Gaeltachtaí, the Irish-speaking areas, and I didn't have to use English even once. My nextdoor neighbour was a native Irish-speaker, and the Irish he spoke is exactly the same as is used in this course.
If you are really serious about learning Irish, this course is for you.
(P.S. Do NOT buy only the casettes, they are only intended to help with your pronounciation!)
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126 of 129 people found the following review helpful By S. D Haynie on July 23, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If your intention is to learn the language and not just how to throw out "help-me-I-need-directions" phrases, this is the way to go. Make sure you get the set with the tapes. Irish pronunciation is absolutely unconscionable. Fathomless, I tell you! Why on earth put all those letters in the middle or end of the word if you just already know you're not going to bother pronouncing them?? I digress. This book has one downfall. It teaches a little bit parts to whole. One lesson will tell you the vocabulary word "say" as in "they say." Many lessons later you learn "say" as in "I say." Rather than learning conjugation, you learn the word. HOWEVER, you do eventually learn conjugation (oh, dear, do you ever!), and you kinda hafta know some already conjugated words to make sentences more interesting than "there is a dog." Irish grammar is freakish, even more so than the strange at-the-end-of-the-sentence-is-a-verb German. Sometimes to express an action you use the English "to be" (Ta). This book walks you through it all. I do every lesson, copy the vocab to cards, practice the cards all the time, and listen to the blasted cassettes every time I'm in the car. So, every now and then, I take my husband's car....Anyways, it's really quite intense. Do not enter into this lightly! This is a language in dire straits. You can become a speaker and help to keep it alive.
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107 of 113 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
After researching Irish language courses at my local libraries and on-line, I selected two textbooks for my own study of this language. The two books are Teach Yourself Irish by Diarmuid O Se (1993 edition) and Learning Irish by Micheal O. Siadhail (1995 edition). Before reviewing each one, let me first warn those wishing to learn the rudiments of this language that you may find Irish grammar, spelling, and pronunciation hopelessly complex and illogical. (Fortunately, it uses the Roman alphabet.) Whichever book you chose, proceed in small steps. Read just a chapter a day to keep your frustration to a minimum. I recommend beginning with Teach Yourself Irish, which I found the more enjoyable of the two. Each of its 20 chapters opens with short dialogues, topical as well as interesting. Next comes a review of grammar clearly explained at a very basic level. All of the chapters conclude with exercises requiring the reader to answer in short phrases or sentences. There are also illustrations scattered throughout the book, thus breaking up the monotony of the text. Too many other language books, like Learning Irish, lack pictures to liven up the text for the beginner. On the audiotapes for Teach Yourself Irish the dialogues have been re-created by native speakers who demonstrate, as I understand it, the Munster dialect.
If you want a more thorough grounding in the language, read Learning Irish next. In its 36 chapters it will reinforce what you have learned in Teach Yourself Irish, explain the grammar in greater depth, and expand your vocabulary. Each chapter begins with a laundry list of words. It is followed by a presentation of grammar which I found quite dry and boring. (It will put you to sleep if you are not careful!
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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Mike Wilson on January 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
Irish, the ancient language of Ireland, is still a living language and spoken as the native tongue on the western seabord of Ireland; it is a language extremely rich in culture and literature. Today a revival is taking place in Ireland, and more and more people outside the traditional Irish-speaking areas are once again learning the tongue of their ancestors. The same revival is also taking place abroad - many Irish speakers can be found outside Ireland.
My grandmother, who was a native speaker, emigrated from Co. Cork while still young, but she never forgot her language. I learned quite a bit from her, and have had a burning interested in Irish since then.
When it comes to learning Irish, there is no other book that could match this brilliant book by Ó Siadhail. Indeed, I doubt there is any language course in any other language that equals it. It starts of from the absolute beginnings and take the learner through 36 extensive lessons. After having completed these lessons the learner should be quite confident in speaking an Irish ranging far beyond just daily topics.
Every chapter consists of four parts: a vocabulary, thorough grammar explanations, a text and excersises. The structure is perfectly logic, always building on what the learner already knows. The course advances quite fast, but never makes any sudden leaps. Thus, the learner never feels that he suddenly finds himself in troubbles due to not understanding the words or the grammar. The language taught in the course is natural spoken Irish, so the learner will be perfectly accustomed to hearing natural and idiomatic Irish.
In fact, even for a fluent Irish speaker this course is a catch, since it is so extensive as to be considered one of the best descriptions of the Irish dialect of Conamara. Thus, even after completing the book, the learner can come bakc to it again and again.
I definitely recommend this wonderful book to everyone who wishes to learn this wonderful language
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