Not all those who wander are lost

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: English(N),
Hebrew(beginner, studying)
Irish(beginner, rusting),
Samoan(FSI 4+, rusty),
Tagalog (use daily),
Spanish (rusting)
French (rusting)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2644

Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:32 am

Well Friday arrived, buiochas le dia.
After watching the video on the Galway Hookers, of which I understood a little, but which I loved for the beautiful boats and the beautiful language, I thought I might venture a "beginners opinion" about the Irish dialects. This is mostly just based on sound in that I am too much of a beginner to have an opinion on grammatical differences. Many of the differences are phonological, based on regular phonological processes.
From what I can hear, this is my emotional emotional reaction to the sound of the different dialects.... It probably reflects the voices of the people I have heard speaking them as much as it reflects the innate sound of the dialects...

Munster sounds easy and simple and inviting, and subtily beautiful.

Connacht sounds, well, like Irish, the way it should be. It just sounds normal to me, probably reflecting the language of my first experiences with Irish. It seems like the language of normal people

Ulster sounds wild and exotic, the language of poets and magicians. It loops and lilts and vowels shift in dramatic and beautiful ways.

I have no idea whether this reflects at all the way real Irish people feel about them.

It will be interesting to see if I feel the same way about the sounds of the different dialects after I have enough familiarity with them to actually have an opinion. Now off to supper and then into repeating and shadowing Irish. My anki cards are done for the day....
4 x
listening-reading Portuguese and Spanish
10000 minutes : 330 / 10000

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: English(N),
Hebrew(beginner, studying)
Irish(beginner, rusting),
Samoan(FSI 4+, rusty),
Tagalog (use daily),
Spanish (rusting)
French (rusting)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2644

Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:00 am

I kind of feel like I should shut up about Irish until I accomplish something. I don't want to sound too much like the three year old who announces that she is going to be a doctor when they grow up. :D

I got tired of pounding through beautiful, complete grammar-translation courses. There is nothing wrong with them. Just like every kid who ever had to plow through one, hoping that there is fluency at the end. Just like audio-lingual courses, I think that they are challenging, at least as challenging as FSI.

Anyway, I got tired of the great g-t courses I have been using. I stopped trying to read them and just decided to read them. I raced through TYI and read every word. I didn't learn everything, but I did learn the "lay of the land." Cool, I see where I'm going.

I've been shadowing lately, Buntús Cainte, Progress in Irish, and LInguaphone Irish, so far.

Hey, I just want to move faster and not get bogged down grinding away at single sentences.

I've been watching RTÉ a bunch, I can follow some, but it's pretty hard. There is a lot to be said for listening to the language, if you are not yet able to understand it well. I find myself recognizing more and more of what I hear, even though I don't understand enough to completely comprehend what I am hearing...

I continue to make rapid improvements. Irish is a high mountain to climb. :lol:
5 x
listening-reading Portuguese and Spanish
10000 minutes : 330 / 10000

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: English(N),
Hebrew(beginner, studying)
Irish(beginner, rusting),
Samoan(FSI 4+, rusty),
Tagalog (use daily),
Spanish (rusting)
French (rusting)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2644

Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:25 am

The last couple of days have been mostly shadowing Buntús Cainte and (kind of repeating) Progress in Irish. I have a routine that takes an hour or so; perhaps I'll finally run through to the end of these courses. I have a long way to go on both Irish grammar, and Irish fluency. I continue to swap back and forth on what I do next. I enjoy what I'm doing, so what could go wrong?

For whatever reason, I feel a closer connection to this language than anything since I was learning Samoan and Tagalog. It is solidly the hardest language I've ever tried, since Samoan, and maybe harder.

Who cares, the harder it is, the more fun it is to get it right.

I need to push forward through some hard stuff to get a bunch of this in my head. Irish is hard, but far from impossible.

I just can't wait to inflict my bad Irish on people this summer :lol: Politely, of course :?
7 x
listening-reading Portuguese and Spanish
10000 minutes : 330 / 10000

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: English(N),
Hebrew(beginner, studying)
Irish(beginner, rusting),
Samoan(FSI 4+, rusty),
Tagalog (use daily),
Spanish (rusting)
French (rusting)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2644

Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:57 am

I'm sick today; the usual winter virus, I suppose.

I did get through my Irish; I shadowed from under a blanket. Now I'm going to sleep.

I had a dream in Irish last night. It wasn't a dream of fluent language use; it was a dream about barely communicating in Irish. Whenever I dream in Irish and I speak fluently, if I remember to pay attention, it turns out that Irish is exactly like Spanish...
7 x
listening-reading Portuguese and Spanish
10000 minutes : 330 / 10000

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: English(N),
Hebrew(beginner, studying)
Irish(beginner, rusting),
Samoan(FSI 4+, rusty),
Tagalog (use daily),
Spanish (rusting)
French (rusting)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2644

Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:01 am

Less sick today; back to work tomorrow...

I played around with nothing but _Progress in Irish_ today.

This book is used to teach Irish in Irish courses in the USA. I don't know how much it is used in Ireland. It is a wonderful little book. I wish I knew more about it. It seems to be standard "school Irish", the national standard, which nobody speaks as a native speaker.
It is the national standard, however.

The book has little in the way of grammatical explanations, but it has a ton of translation exercises. It actually has about twice as many exercises as are in _Learning Irish_ and in _Teach Yourself Irish 1961_. There is a supplement produced by teachers that contains a bunch of grammatical notes, and sort of turn this into something like a complete grammar-translation course. Or one can just work through the exercises and depend on the brain to put it all together.

I loved the effect of FSI Spanish on my Spanish, and I have found that with Irish, since there is no FSI course, if you push yourself into a grammar-translation course and drive yourself through the drills and the exercises hard and fast and orally... It gets to be a lot like audio-lingual drills. Laboriously writing out exercises while consulting the vocabulary and example sentences, no. Driving through first one, then two in a row, then three, until you can go through the same section forwards and backwards...then repeat it at increasing intervals...well it can approach FSI intensity. The main problem I see is that you have to have a pretty good idea about pronunciaiton before you can do this.

Do mainstream students hate grammar-translation courses because they don't understand that they need to look on their book as a set of drills to perfect, not as a course to complete as quickly as possible?

Well _Progress in Irish_ is a great little book, and I'm going to pound away at it some of the time, while I build my Irish.

Today was good Irishwise. Now to go to bed early and get up strong for my students tomorrow.
5 x
listening-reading Portuguese and Spanish
10000 minutes : 330 / 10000

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: English(N),
Hebrew(beginner, studying)
Irish(beginner, rusting),
Samoan(FSI 4+, rusty),
Tagalog (use daily),
Spanish (rusting)
French (rusting)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2644

Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:03 am

It is off topic for Irish, but I got to speak Samoan today. The mother of one of my former students, who seemed to be the classic legacy speaker who understand, but refuses to talk, was in our school office, so I decided to try out her Samoan. I think my Samoan vocabulary is probably bigger than hers, but we had a great interaction. People don't expect old white guys to take off in Samoan. It was fun. Wow, my Samoan has declined, but it is still probably B1/B2. I bet I could be back up to full speed after a couple of weeks in Samoa.
But there is still Irish...

I am still very happy and very motivated, but Irish is hard. I don't think that there are any shortcuts, but the language is logical and very regular, and once you learn something, big pieces of it open up.

Let's see...
I still lack a lot of important vocabulary.
I can probably read Irish aloud with my mixed up accent in a way that real Irish speakers could understand, even if it made them chuckle.
I can watch videos in Irish and understand a few words.
I can listen to the news, or other material with predictable topics, and (sometimes) understand it very well.
I can stumble through a simple conversation in Irish.

I am not being humble about this. Irish is hard. I don't think that there are any shortcuts. I am making progress, and I am understanding more and more every day. I remain totally committed to Irish. Even though progress is slow, at least by the standards of me learning Samoan, Tagalog, or Spanish, I am still in love with Irish and Ireland. I keep learning enough peripherally about Ireland that I keep motivated.

I have bounced around between courses, and I now think I am settled into a pattern that will keep me busy for a few months, and perhaps get me to that "magic" A2/B1 level, where I hope I can order beer or shock the high school kids at the fish and chips place.
There is no question that I need to learn Irish grammar before I will ever feel comfortable speaking Irish...
Oh, I realize that native speakers don't learn rules first; they just acquire and then talk. Hey, I know that "Bill" learned fluent Chinese by drinking shots with Chinese folks in Ecuador. I know that Jackie Faasisila speaks the worlds most awesome nonnative Samoan, and she hasn't thought about grammar for the last 40 years...
I love languages, and I want to avoid the time I will waste thinking, "Is that right???"

I'm not sure that plowing through a grammar book all the way is the way to move ahead from this point.

I have mentioned the Ben Madigan books a few times in this thread.http://www.benmadiganpress.com/english/publications.html

These books set off my "my God, they're just like Assimil" reflex. Of course they are not. The first one, Basic Irish Conversation and Grammar (Bunchomhrá Gaeilge agus Gramadach), is way too fast for a beginner. But it does cover the "threshold level" for Irish. The current version is a rewrite of an earlier version, so I wonder it they have not changed since we have the new CEFR standards. Maybe it is just an attempt to cover B1...
Really, it bases everything on doing interactions that meet a standard, whatever it is. The dialog is fast, but anybody with Audacity can slow it down. The other books are no faster, but they do have more complex vocabulary...
The first book is all Ulster Irish accent and, and some Ulster grammar.
I'm going to spend the next 130 days or so charging through the first book. I always thought that I would work through these books when I got good enough, and I think that I am there...

Then it will be summer, or almost, and I will be in Ireland goofing off...
7 x
listening-reading Portuguese and Spanish
10000 minutes : 330 / 10000

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: English(N),
Hebrew(beginner, studying)
Irish(beginner, rusting),
Samoan(FSI 4+, rusty),
Tagalog (use daily),
Spanish (rusting)
French (rusting)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2644

Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:46 am

_Basic Irish Conversation and Grammar (Bunchomhrá Gaeilge agus Gramadach)_ has another feature which I am looking forward to getting to in a few months. You know that point in Assimil, where if you are shadowing, you have finished all of the lessons and then you look at the grammar stuff in the back of the book. In this book, Hughs attempts to teach and drill all of the main grammar points of Irish. Irish has declensions, conjugations, lentition, eclipsis, mutation(OK this is another word for the same things, but it sounds cool).. All of these can be taught by learning lists, and the book provides drills, with audio for all of them. I'm not sure that this will lead to fluent use of all these features, but it may be very useful after a few months of drilling communicative exchanges without much grammar. A month of singing through declensions and conjugations may be a great way of developing automaticity. I don't know, but it seems to cover identical material to the main drills and lists used in Learning Irish and Teach Yourself Irish. Learning Irish contains something similar at the end of its course.

Of course I can still sing though some of my Latin conjugations from high school, even though I don't remember what they mean...

I was just trying out my Irish on my car while I was waiting for my daughter to finish hiphop class (my car completely understands Irish, but it never answers). I'm improving rapidly in simple Irish. I am still at that heavenly place of seeing improvement daily. I would say that I am moving quickly up the mountain, but Irish is a high mountain.
The view is going to be great when I get to the top.

Weirdly enough, I spoke Samoan again for about 20 minutes yesterday. Years with no Samoan, and then two conversations in two days. The family of the woman I talked to the day before yesterday brought Grandpa over to the school to see the freaky white guy who speaks Samoan. We talked about the difficulty of maintaining languages in immigrant communities. We got a little weepy talking about the glory of a moonlit night in the old days. I know that it is all iphones and electric lights now, but in the day...

I bet the mosquitoes are still a pain for young couples :lol:

edited to fix my usual incoherence and typos
5 x
listening-reading Portuguese and Spanish
10000 minutes : 330 / 10000

languist
Orange Belt
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:55 pm
Languages: English (N)
Learning: Mostly, how to procrastinate + French, Spanish, Darija, Russian, Slovak, Circassian, Greek
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7523
x 356

Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby languist » Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:22 am

sfuqua wrote:Ulster sounds wild and exotic, the language of poets and magicians. It loops and lilts and vowels shift in dramatic and beautiful ways.

I have no idea whether this reflects at all the way real Irish people feel about them.



Wow! How flattering! I'm not a native Irish speaker, but I am Irish, and some of my family and friends are native Irish speakers, and the dialect they speak (and I speak, sometimes, badly) is from Ulster. The rest of Ireland calls us the "ditchies" because of how we pronounce hello!!! It's not exactly a compliment, ha!
3 x

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: English(N),
Hebrew(beginner, studying)
Irish(beginner, rusting),
Samoan(FSI 4+, rusty),
Tagalog (use daily),
Spanish (rusting)
French (rusting)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2644

Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:29 am

CRASH AND BURN!

18 days into my shadowing/repeating/drilling through the Ben Madigan books, I realized that I was failing more and more each day. I think that the shadowing which worked so well with Spanish just won't work for me with Irish. Irish isn't transparent enough. With Spanish, even before I started, I had thousands and thousands of cognates from Tagalog and English. While I was patting myself on the back about how cool I was learning Spanish in my late 50's, I didn't realize how much help I was getting from vocabulary.

Irish does have cognates. A few. Some probably borrowed from English, some from Indo-European roots. It doesn't have that many, however. I'm not saying that nobody can learn Irish by simply shadowing bilingual texts; I'm just saying that I can't. At least not easily. I still love the Ben Madigan books. If they were all that I have, I would just keep plowing though them. I'm going to put them into the mix a little later...

I always thought that I would eventually want to work through _Learning Irish_ and _Teach Yourself Irish 1961_. I worked through the beginning of both books, and I read all the way through TWI1961, just to get an overview of Irish grammar. I have made rough decks of anki cards for both books.

The last couple of days, I have been grinding rapidly through the anki decks I made, decks based on the exercises from both books. It is the opposite of shadowing with shaky ccomprehension. I slow down, but I understand what I am answering. The books themselves are wonderful grammar-translation texts. There is nothing wrong with GT texts, just don't expect to be fluent with GT alone. For a language like Irish, for a learner coming from English, I think that GT may help make complex inflection more transparent.

I'm also repeating/shadowing the audio files from the books...

Hey, I also think that it is important to ignore grammar and just work on meaning sometimes. I bought a book in Irish, _Coinnigh do Mhisneach_ that I have made into an anki deck. The book seems to be young adult oriented, a book about the friendship between two high school girls. I can't really say that much about it beyond that. I can't read it. I'm beating my head through it, one sentence at a time. There is a lot of vocabulary and grammar I don't understand, but... I can read the first couple of pages already. I figured out how to get and abair.ie voice to read the book aloud for me using NVDA and audacity. So far so good; let's see it I learn anything that transfers.

One thing that many underestimate is the effect of working through sentences in anki. Whenever the sentences get out to the 40 day (mature) level in anki, they appear very transparent to the learner. The whole idea of the old 10000 sentences "method" is based on this. I don't think that I will speak fluent Irish after 10000 sentences, but I may be able to read Irish (sort of).

I am so enthusiastic about Irish, still. It is weird how connected to this language I feel. I'm not a fool who thinks that he is an American who has somehow "become Irish". I remember when I learned Samoan, how I was ridiculously enthusiastic I was about learning Samoan. I tried to learn Samoan every second of the day. I studied in the bathroom. I considered accents while talking to women in discos (1978,where and when it was hard to hear anybody). I broke down in tears talking to my parents about where the Tui Tonga said, "Ua Malie Toa, Malie Tau Ou te le toe sau i le auliuli tau, a o le auliuli folau O le a le toe sii mai se taua e Toga i Samoa." I was weird.

I'm becoming weird about Ireland. I adore the place. When I first arrived there, in the airport, with a 39 degree temperature from the horrible dysentery I had picked up in Manila, I just sort of looked around and said, "this is the way it is supposed to be..." I don't know why, but it seemed right. The only other new country I can remember feeling as warm toward at first glance was Samoa. Manila scared me. Saipan seemed ridiculous with all of the architecture that looked like bomb shelters (then I learned about 3 Category 3 typhoons a year). Ireland is just right. A history that will keep you busy learning for the rest of your life. It will make you cry also. A wonderful culture in pubs, designed to make outsiders into friends. A bookstore on every block in Dublin. Music... Friendly people... Green hills... Ocean...

As a language, Irish is fun, hard, and beautiful. I've got a lot of work to do. Maybe in a few months I might be able to sort of read a young adult novel in Irish.
7 x
listening-reading Portuguese and Spanish
10000 minutes : 330 / 10000

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: English(N),
Hebrew(beginner, studying)
Irish(beginner, rusting),
Samoan(FSI 4+, rusty),
Tagalog (use daily),
Spanish (rusting)
French (rusting)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2644

Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:07 am

<off topic medical information>I'm slowing down my studies for a little bit. My wife has some health problems that are a little scary. She was diagnosed with stomach cancer last year, and was successfully operated on. It has been a year, and a worrisome constellation of symptoms has appeared again. She goes in for tests over the next couple of weeks. According to her doctors, it is unlikely that the cancer has recurred already, but she does have an unfortunate autoimmune disorder that causes nasty symptoms, and occasionally causes cancer. Probably she is having a flare up of the autoimmune disorder. There are many tests to do. I need to limit how much time I put into language learning a bit. My wife's health may have an impact on our travel plans for Ireland for this summer.<end of medical stuff>
If I have learned anything about language learning the last few years, the one thing I have learned is that the secret to language learning is to perservere over a relatively long period of time. It takes time for the brain to grow new pathways. It takes time for a new language to become second nature. Heroic, short term efforts can lead to rapid improvements, but they need follow up to consolidate. So I'm not to worried about changing my routine to make it lighter for a while. Hopefully I'll be able to step up my study in a few weeks.

So here's what I'm up to for the next few days/weeks:

I'm going to work through _PROGRESS IN IRISH_, another grammar translation text, while I also keep my anki deck going. I'm going to drop back to only doing new cards in my deck made from my young adult novel, _Coinnigh do Mhisneach_https://www.cic.ie/books/published-books/coinnigh-do-mhisneach-leabhair-cloite. I'm sort of shocked about how fast my reading is improving. Of course at my level, there is only one direction for my Irish to go. People who are having trouble breaking into reading their language should think about just making an anki deck out of a book they want to read making L2->L1 cards, and then start learning sentences as fast as they can. After a given card has come up a few times, something pretty magic begins to happen. Over several pages of this book, I now can just read it and understand every word. It's going very fast. I'm happy party because I want to read the book. It seems to be translated from Welsh, perhaps with some place names changed. The first few pages portray a kid who seems very close to some of the girls I see in my classes as a middle school science teacher. I skipped to the middle of the book, and read a page and one of the characters was absolutely driving herself to exhaustion swimming. I am unable to evaluate the quality of the Irish in this book, or even the profundity of the book. It seems to describe real feelings and real people from that group of humans that have been a big part of my life -- my students, people between the ages of 10 and 20.

Hey I think I'll be able to just read it in a few months.

Progress in Irish covers Irish grammar, the flavor of grammar that it presents is the "official standard" which is taught in schools, and which many people speak as a second language. The book has nice, simple explanations. It presents grammar inductively for the most part. I like it a lot. It seems to be used a lot in Irish as a Second Language courses in the US.

edited to fix the many typos...
6 x
listening-reading Portuguese and Spanish
10000 minutes : 330 / 10000


Return to “Language logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Cèid Donn, IronMike and 2 guests