- Series: Quick & Simple (Book 1)
- Audio CD
- Publisher: Pimsleur; 8 Lessons edition (November 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743500156
- ISBN-13: 978-0743500159
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 5.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 55 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Pimsleur Irish Quick & Simple Course - Level 1 Lessons 1-8 CD: Learn to Speak and Understand Irish (Gaelic) with Pimsleur Language Programs 8 Lessons Edition
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About the Author
Dr. Paul Pimsleur devoted his life to language teaching and testing and was one of the world’s leading experts in applied linguistics. After years of experience and research, Dr. Pimsleur developed The Pimsleur Method based on two key principles: the Principle of Anticipation and a scientific principle of memory training that he called “Graduated Interval Recall.” This Method has been applied to the many levels and languages of the Pimsleur Programs.
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WHAT YOU ARE BUYING: You are buying a beginning Irish course that utilizes Paul Pimsleur's language system. This is a quick, user friendly form of "total immersion" language teaching in which simple sentences are used to build progressively more complex dialogues. This is very similar to the way the Military and the Foreign Service teach languages (and the way we naturally learn language as children.) It's an excellent system for 99% of the languages on the earth. (But, what about Irish you ask? Well, please read on!)
WHAT YOU GET IN THE COURSE: You get a nice plastic jewel case that holds four CDS with two Irish language lessons each for a total of eight lessons, which start out simple and get progressively more difficult. There is also a small manual and introductory lesson on the PIMSLEUR method of learning. Note: the manual is about how to use the Pimsleur method ONLY! There is NO written IRISH text. This is part of Pimsleur's system, which forces you to memorize quicker. (Note: this is a good method for most languages...but Irish is a bit different.)
Now, you must ask yourself at this point, is this course the one for you? This depends upon what sort of language aptitude you have. Experience has shown me that people learn languages in one of two ways. You are either a "SPEAKER" or a "GRAMMARIAN.'
"Speakers" learn to speak the language first, and then learn how to read and write it. They often care very little for grammar and want to get on with the guts of going out and speaking to people, watching t.v. in the new language, etc. (I'm a Speaker-type, by the way.)
"Grammarians" love linguistics and rules. They learn to read and write the language first and then speak it and often focus upon learning each and every letter in an alphabet and how the letters are pronounced.
If you are a Grammarian DO NOT buy this course UNLESS you already have at least a couple of months of prior Irish instruction, otherwise you will be completely lost. You will want to get it eventually, but you need some background in Irish FIRST.
How about if you are a Speaker? Well, like I said above, Pimsleur is great for 99% of the languages on the earth. Unfortunately, Irish is in that small category where the system doesn't work (UNLESS you already know some Irish!)
Let me explain. You're a speaker and you buy the Pimsleur course and slog through it (kinda like reading my review here, eh?) You're ready to roll. You go out to find Copper Face Jacks in Dubilin and ask where the "Via-Lawn" is. The Irish Garda smiles and points to a sigh that reads, "BIALANN" Yikes! Whats happening? Well, "Bialann" is how "Via-Lawn" is written. (For novice Dublin visitors: yes, you can get food at "Copper Jacks" at the Cavery and the Hotel.)
Irish is a very ancient language, and as such, it sounds like virtually no modern language today. Nor is it spelled like any modern language. My Swedish cousins when they hear me talk Irish think it sounds vaguely like Old Norse (with good reason, the Vikings settled in Ireland and merged with the native Irish.) For a complex set of reasons which we won't go into here, Irish didn't have a functional dictionary until 1959, when Tomas de Bhaldraithe wrote his monumental Focloir na Nua-Ghaeilge. To make matters worse, this ancient language survived in THREE dialects, Munster, Connacht and Ulster Irish. A noble attempt to fix this with an "Official" Language has had mixed success.
Pimsleur's course uses Munster Irish, which I feel is a good choice since it's the hardest one (in my opinion) to understand. If you can figure out how to speak Munster, Connacht and Ulster will be no sweat. (As a side-note, most native Gaelic speakers speak a combination of all three dialects, so don't worry about learning Munster first. As I said above, it's an excellent dialect to begin with.)
Don't get me wrong, you do want to get this course EVENTUALLY. The reason is that the Pimsleur Irish course is currently the BEST Irish speech drill available for a reasonable price. Once I finished it, I was actually able to start listening to TG4 and actually follow the dialogues, albeit still reading the English subtitles, but to be able to follow a complete episode of Ros na Run and be a self-taught Irish learner is quite an accomplishment.
So you do want to get this course eventually. Here's my suggestion when to buy the Pimsleur course.
If you are a SPEAKER: Get a good introductory course, like my favorite, Donall Mac Ruairi and Maire Mhic Ruairi's "Speak Irish with Confidence." Finish this basic course first, then buy the Pimsleur course. Watch what happens. You will suddenly kick start everything into a higher gear. Your Irish will improve and Pimsleur will get you into very complex oral comprehension mode rapidly. BUT you need to finish that basic course first!
If you are a GRAMMARIAN: You definitely need to do an introductory course, which stresses grammar, like Living Language's excellent "Spoken Word Irish" first. Once you are half-way though the course (your course is longer than the "Speak Irish course" mentioned above) go ahead and buy the Pimsleur course and start listening to it as a speech drill to get your oral comprehension and ability to have a dialogue in the target language up to snuff.
If you're going to go to Ireland in a couple of weeks, and have no time to study, well go ahead and BUY the Pimsleur course, but also buy a good dictionary with a PRONUNCIATION guide, like Collins "Pocket Irish" and then go forward with the knowledge that the words sound only vaguely like how they are spelled.
In closing, this course is excellent, BUT, you need to buy it at the right time during your studies, otherwise you might get very frustrated. Irish is a challenging language, but it can be learned. Heck, I did it and Pimsleur helped immensely. But, like I suggested above, I didn't buy the course until I'd already had a year of Irish under my belt. But once I did get the course, it really took my language to a higher level. I watch Irish t.v. now, and listen to the radio and even talk with other Gaelic speakers.
Pimsleur is great, but you need to buy it when you're ready for it.
So good luck with your studies! Slan go foill!
When I first opened the package for this product and found that there were ABSOLUTELY NO TRANSCRIPTS of the recorded material accompanying the four audio CDs of "Irish, Q&S" (Quick & Simple), my heart sank. I thought that trying to follow the recorded lessons of this product without transcripts would leave me in the dust. Fortunately, my misgivings proved unjustified -- so far. As of this writing, I've only gotten through the first four of the eight recorded lessons; so, at present, I can give only qualified praise for this material.
My fear that the speakers on "Irish, Q&S" would speak too fast comes from my experience with some other Irish language recordings, such as those accompanying the aforementioned book "Colloquial Irish" (published by Routledge); but I was very pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to follow most of the material, though the actual dialogues are still pretty fast. These are, in fact, very serviceable recordings of Munster Irish. It certainly helped, though, that I was already familiar with the Munster variety of Irish by way of the old Teach Yourself Irish by Myles Dillon and Donncha O Croinin (see my review of the hardcover edition); the knowledge I acquired from that book helped me on a couple of occasions when I heard some things on "Irish Q&S" that, at first, puzzled me, such as when I heard the word/phrase for 'very good'; it took a few minutes before I realized that "Uh-nuh-VAH" was spelled 'ana-mhaith'.
Though some Irish-grammar reviewers dismiss Munster as some sort of "minor dialect", it is every bit as important as the varieties spoken in Connacht and Ulster (particularly County Donegal), and Munster is reputed to be the medium of an exquisite literary tradition; apparently the Munster variety serves as a considerable part of the basis for much of the Official Standard (Caighdean Oifigiuil) Irish taught in all schools in Ireland, which itself is the basis of modern literary Irish.
So, choosing to study Modern Irish by studying written and recorded Munster Irish is as good a choice as choosing Connemara-based materials. For those concerned about not having written material to accompany the "Irish Q&S" recordings, I can heartily recommend the old "Irish (Teach Yourself)" by Myles Dillon and Donncha O Croinin as a supplementary text. I think they both serve very well as combined teaching materials.
This is a learning resource in Munster Irish, which is, sadly, only too rare, despite Munster being the dialect of a great literature, and the most common dialect among the educated of earlier centuries, (and, some would argue, the sweetest of the dialects).
I like the format for beginners.