- Paperback: 488 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; First edition (December 27, 2012)
- Language: Irish
- ISBN-10: 1481842382
- ISBN-13: 978-1481842389
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.1 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 48 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Speak Irish Now (Irish Edition) (Irish) First Edition
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Before we get into analyzing what you're getting, it's very important to establish two things: FIRST- what your language learning skills are and SECOND-what your language need level is.
LANGUAGE SKILLS: You either learn a language by being a Speaker or a Grammarian. Speakers learn to speak the language first and then focus or learning how to read and write it. Grammar has little or no interest to them, other than what is needed to speak coherently and correctly. (I'm a Speaker.)
Grammarians learn to read and write the language as they are learning how to speak it. They often have a horrible time with oral comprehension and speaking, but can understand complex stuff like a legal document or written poetry.
Initially the Speakers have the advantage. They have more fun, and get out into the economy faster. But, if they're going to spend any length of time in country, and use their language at a higher level, say trying to buy a car, or read a newspaper, then they eventually need to get some grammar down.
Grammarians, unless they want to spend all their time behind a desk, with their nose in a poetry book, need to learn how to go out, order a beer and tell some jokes.
It's very rare that any language course covers both bases: the Speaking and the Grammar. However, this is one that DOES and it's and Irish course to boot!
HOW THE COURSE WORKS: "Speak Irish Now" covers the needs of both SPEAKERS and GRAMMARIANS by utilizing a very efficient "building block" strategy of learning a language. Deceptively simple dialogues very gradually and very efficiently introduce the grammar concepts. This is a brilliant teaching concept and is similar to the systems utilized by DLI and the FSI.
So, to sum it up, you are learning both HOW to SPEAK IRISH and HOW TO CONSTRUCT IRISH sentences simultaneously! Hence, you begin the book with a very simple "Introductions" lesson. However, by the time you finish the course, (which is 212 lessons, yes, 212) you are dissecting the Irish Genitive Case! (Genitive Case is one of the most difficult subjects in any language let alone Irish!) The lessons very carefully build upon each other to enable you to tackle progressively complex grammar concepts while teaching you to speak in a more and more complex manner. This is exactly how we learn our own native languages as children! And it works!
Unlike a simple phrase book, which just gives you fully constructed sentences for you to repeat in a parrot-like fashion, "Speak Irish Now" is actually teaching you how to think in and talk in Irish. By the time you finish the course, you will not only be capable of ordering food in a restaurant, like a phrase book would teach you, but you will also be able to talk to people in the restaurant, making new friends and actually learning and experiencing your target language's culture in a much deeper and more meaningful manner than simply memorizing stock phrases to order a meal.
LANGUAGE LEVEL YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE: Do you really want to LEARN to speak Irish, or do you just want to get by with a phrase book? If you really want to LEARN IRISH then buy this course and go for it! If all you want to do is repeat some stock phrases, then don't buy this book, because this course will probably take you close to a YEAR to finish!
"All I want to do is order a beer." Ok, ordering a beer is one of the most grammatically advanced skills in ANY language, let alone IRISH. I learned first-hand the pit-falls of relying on a phrase book knowledge of a language. The following is a true story. It doesn't deal with Irish, but it does deal with the troubles of using a phrase book alone. (FEEL FREE to skip down to the PRODUCT ANALYSIS at this point, but if you're still not convinced about not using a phrase book well, read what happened to me!)
True Story: When I was fifteen, my Dad considered moving the family to Kenya to teach at Nairobi university; but to be on the safe side he decided that we should spend the summer there and see if we really liked it. My Dad spoke German, Japanese and Spanish, and my Mom spoke Japanese and some Portuguese. Nobody spoke any African languages, so budding linguist I was, I got the foreign service Swahili phrase book and taught myself Swahili intending to be our translator. Within days it became apparent that a phrase book was not enough! Our car broke down once, and our Kikuyu friend, David Nyamo, who was driving us around, had to walk to the next town to get help. In the meantime we waited for him by the roadside, trying to communicate with a crowd of very friendly, curious onlookers. After a couple of minutes I realized all I knew how to say were phrases, I couldn't hold a meaningful conversation with anybody. David returned with a mechanic. From that point on I asked him to teach me Swahili and as we drove around Kenya, he talked to me in nothing but Swahili, pointing out road side attractions, talking about the weather, animals, politics, sports. As a result, I finally learned my first foreign language: Swahili. It was really worth the time and effort, trust me! So if you really want to LEARN your target language, in this case it's IRISH, then go ahead, bite the bullet and LEARN IT! You will be glad you did this!
PRODUCT ANALYSIS: You get a massive course, and I mean MASSIVE! It's 212 lessons long beginning with simple greetings and ending up with the Genitive case! You also get an Appendix which covers the Irish alphabet, and how to pronounce it, as well as two working dictionaries, one from English to Irish and the other from Irish to English. In addition to this, the entire course segues completely with the Pugnier's free 14 lesson Youtube course! You can find the course at speakirishnow.com but you watch the course on Youtube at Speak Irish Now LLC. I love the Youtube course and the little puppets they use too. Yes, the video course is really fun and cute, and NOT like sitting in a class room. NOTE:The Youtube video course covers only the FIRST fourteen lessons, BUT this will be enough to get you rolling. These free lessons provide a great way of learning the Irish pronunciation system.
The whole course works GREAT on Kindle by the way.
CLOSING THOUGHTS: Don't let the puppets fool you! This course is really sophisticated. It introduces all three Irish dialects (Connacht, Munster and Ulster) BUT does so by incorporating them seamlessly into a spoken form which is how everyday Irish people speak (they use all three dialects.) It also handles the Irish idiomatic pronunciation system deftly. Example: In Dialogue One you may notice that Dia duit is pronounced " Jee-ah ghitch" instead of the standardized official An Caighdean "Dia dit". This is explained in a later lesson because "Jee-ah ghitch" is how people ACTUALLY pronounce the greeting in everyday life! (An Caighdean is the Irish government's somewhat futile effort to develop a "standardized form" of Irish.) This course teaches you how EVERYBODY (even the An Caighdean teachers when they're not in school) speaks. When you get done, you will really KNOW Irish! Trust me! I even had some Irish exchange students tell me my Irish was better than theirs! So don't worry, this course is AWESOME!
If you've go the time to invest in learning Irish, then for a modest $9.99 you can't go wrong!
One last guideline. If your a Speaker, and you buy this course jump in at lesson one right away! If you're a Grammarian look at the Irish Alphabet section first, then jump in. And remember, get that free Youtube course bookmarked into your Kindlefire ASAP!
Slan tamall and good luck in your language studies!
After trying Spanish, French, Greek and Hebrew, I am finally having fun learning a language! And I think this course is responsible in part for the enjoyment. Of course, this is my great-grandparents' language - Westport, Co. Mayo - and only about 2 million people in the world have any knowledge of Irish, while only 30,000 speak it with fluency! Doesn't that make you want to be one of them?
Here's a bonus - the most beautiful good-bye I have ever heard in any language:
Slan abhaile (pronounce it Slawn uh-wah-lyuh)
It means Safe Home.
Extra plus for my Christian friends: It's clean! No bad words or uncomfortable conversations. You talk about innocent things like going to the park, and whether the floor is clean, and do you prefer salad or coffee? If that is important to you, as it is to me, it's a huge plus!