Not all those who wander are lost

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sfuqua
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Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:05 am

OK, so far so good on the "health of wife" front.
I don't completely understand why I love Ireland so much. It is even odder how my wife felt the same thing about Ireland, as a Filipina with two decades of living in the States. We should match after 30 years of marriage and I guess we do.

OK, for once I am not going to report a big change in my approach. I'm still working through a deck of Irish sentences from _Progress in Irish_ and another deck of _COINNIGH DO MHISNEACH_. Progress in Irish is "school Irish" and when you make cards out of it, compared to _Teach Yourself Irish 1961_ for instance, you come up with more anki cards. Working through it should give a pretty good introduction to "school Irish," or "An Caighdeán Oifigiúil." It is made up of different pieces of the living dialects of Irish, so it isn't a waste of time for learning the different dialects. Heck, I figure that knowing An Caighdeán Oifigiúil and understanding the dialects would be a pretty good place for a nonative speaker to be. An Caighdeán Oifigiúil does not really specify pronunciation, and my pronunciation is all over the place, partly because it is just wrong, and partly because I have used courses from several different dialects. Whatever accent I have heard most recently sounds the coolest, so I have decided to keep deciding. I'm sure that for the next few months I am more likely to butcher the pronunciatiion of a word because I am making a mistake than I am to use the wrong dialect's pronunciation.
(I also have a suspicion that, if Irish is spoken at all in a hundred years, that most people will speak An Caighdeán Oifigiúil, probably with phonological changes from English)
I have talked about making anki decks a lot and it might help somebody somewhere if I talked about how I do it. Sometimes you can get a pdf of a book, or you can scan a physical book to get a pdf. With good OCR you can get a good copy of the text of the book. By using a good text editor, it is trivial to produce a set of anki cards from some books. Other books involve more creativity, but sometimes all you can get from the book is the L2 text. Often you are left with only a list of sentences or words in the L2 that you want to learn. Then, if the language is supported, you can use google translate to produce cards. For many languages, this is pretty trivial. Put the sentences into a text file and then drag the filename into chrome and hit translate as if it were a webpage. Copy the translated text out and then have fun aligning it to your original text in the L2, putting both into a spreadsheet.

Google Translate for Irish is problematic. A couple of months ago I translated a book to make a bilingual text out of it. It was only vaguely comprehensible, and was next to useless. I just reran the book, _COINNIGH DO MHISNEACH_ through the translator, and it came out much better. Since I make a few cards using Google Translate almost every day, I think that they have made a big improvement in it over the last few weeks, or else my presentation of files to translate has improved somehow. Anyway, don't trust Google Translate, but don't give up on it.

One problem with _PROGRESS IN IRISH_ is that there aren't any complete recordings for it that were recorded by native speakers. While I don't think that my "perfect pronunciation" is being damaged by nonative accents, it is weird to hear places where even I can see that there might be a better way to pronounce a word. I've started listening to my audiobook version of _COINNIGH DO MHISNEACH_. If I'm listening to a part that I have already covered in anki, it is pretty cool to have good comprehension of an Irish audiobook. Maybe that will counteract the nonative pronunciation in the _PROGRESS IN IRISH_ audio.

I study on, but right now I sleep.
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I'm working on a big anki deck of Irish cards from several different textbooks

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Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:08 pm

sfuqua wrote:An Caighdeán Oifigiúil does not really specify pronunciation, and my pronunciation is all over the place, partly because it is just wrong, and partly because I have used courses from several different dialects. Whatever accent I have heard most recently sounds the coolest, so I have decided to keep deciding.


This isn't too different from my experience with English...

I wouldn't worry much about which accent you end up with. I was once told I had a Dublin accent when speaking Irish, despite spending most of my IRL Gaeilge hours in the Donegal Gaeltacht. :?
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sfuqua
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Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:12 am

I'm working hard, but I haven't really changed my approach. In some ways there isn't that much to report, except that what I am doing seems to be working. It is strange how ones comprehension of a given sentence without even doing anything except reviewing it.
Of course, as usual. I am impatient. I have a daily routine now, which I think will lead me through the main points of Irish grammar and give me enough vocabulary to do some simple reading. I just have to be patient enough to let the brain grow into its new shape where it will speak/read Irish.

I have developed a few good anki decks for _Progress in Irish_, _TYI1961_, and _Learning Irish_. All three courses are excellent in their own ways. PII is simplest and is pure "school Irish". TYI is somewhere in the middle, although as I understand it has some extra complexities because of the nature of Munster Irish. LI is a Connacht Irish, and it seems to be the most comprehensive of all of them. LI has a frightening learning curve. I have all of the books in physical form also, of course. I keep getting tempted to switch to a different course. PII does have the problem of having a nonative speaker reading the book for the audio portion.I've got to keep my anki deck building even if I switch in cards from one of the other decks... Doing all of the decks in parallel would slow things down a lot.

Since I'm mentioning decks made from books, let me tell you about how I do decks. I count a deck as "good" if I get most of the content I would want to study out of the book, and if most of the cards I produce make sense. I always get a few bloopers since I mass produce cards using a text editor.

My young adult novel is taking the fairly predictable pattern one might expect. I love it; nothing makes a story interesting more surely than having it half comprehensible because it is written in a language that you are trying to learn...
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I'm working on a big anki deck of Irish cards from several different textbooks

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sfuqua
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Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:33 am

OK, I'm still making slow progress. I'm very happy; my motivation is still good. I figured out how to put one of the textbooks back into my schedule. I am doing more in anki and less with the book. 483 cards today. My wife's health is doing better, although tests continue. I'm hitting anki too hard right now.
I have a scan of _Learning Irish_ that has so many OCR problems that the anki deck I made from it is very troublesome. I'm going to try to rescan the book, so that I can make some normal cards out of it for my anki deck. While I get this thing done; I'm destroying the book to scan it, I am just working through a deck made from TYI 1961. I've rebought LI along with the audio, on tape. It wasn't that expensive, so there are ways to get the book and the audio legally and inexpensively.

OK, results.
I'm developing some automaticity with some of the tenses. I'm going to work through tyi1961 first, and then I'll do LI. I've run into some of the strangeness of Munster Irish. While the living dialects in Irish use grammar isn't a part of "school Irish", but everything in "school Irish" came from some dialect.
I need to keep plugging away. I think a couple of months will make a lot of things fall into place.
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I'm working on a big anki deck of Irish cards from several different textbooks

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sfuqua
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Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:30 am

I continue to push and I continue to make progress. I've started to notice transfer from my _Learning_Irish_ and _Teach_Yourself_Irish_ anki decks to my young adult book. It is wonderful to hit an formerly opaque sentence and suddenly realize "this means that and the tense is... what the heck I understand it!" The young adult novel continues to be very predictable, but it is very exciting to be able to understand something that was meant for "native speakers." Since there are many people in Ireland who know some Irish, but who wish they spoke it better -- I suspect that some books are written for that intermediate Irish learner who is in fact Irish. The whole idea of native speaker in Ireland is fuzzy since there are many Irish people who did not learn as babies, but who speak the Irish they have learned in school. If somebody is Irish, as far as I am concerned they are a native speaker of Irish, even if they learned it imperfectly in school.
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Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby galaxyrocker » Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:52 pm

But everything in "school Irish" came from some dialect.


This isn't necessarily true, to be honest. Several things in "school Irish" aren't used in any dialect. One of the most common is the synthetic form of the first-person present plural.

sfuqua wrote: If somebody is Irish, as far as I am concerned they are a native speaker of Irish, even if they learned it imperfectly in school.


I would warn against this view, at least when it comes to finding quality people to mimic. The vast majority of Irish people are not native speakers, even though they learned it in school (I actually saw a good comment about that: they didn't learn for 14 years, but 5 hours a week for 14 years). They also use a lot of stuff that comes from English, especially idioms and sounds. It's fine to assume that for motivation, but when looking for quality resources, try to make sure they're created by Gaeltacht speakers (and especially feature Gaeltacht voices!) or by trained professionals (i.e. LI and TY)
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sfuqua
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Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:39 pm

I'm sure you're right. I'm just a little uncomfortable with Americans who claim to be Irish based on a little DNA and who read a book and then put themselves up as arbiters of some sort of standard for Irish. I'm not that American.

I just learned something about the synthetic form of the first person plural. I didn't know that; I just thought that I seen it yet in the living dialect materials I've been reading. So I guess "school Irish" is a stranger animal than I thought. Thanks for the tip.

The post I put out last night was a much cut down version of what I first wrote. We're pretty bummed out here in my family these days. It looks like my wife's health may prevent us from getting to Ireland this summer, and a close family friend just had a massive stroke, at only 49 years old. He is a father of my daughter's best friend, and the husband of my wife's best friend. LIfe is short.

I wonder if some of the material that is prepared to help Irish students pass their Junior Cert or Leaving Cert exams in Irish might make good material for an intermediate learner. I see CD audio with workbooks on the bookstore sites.

Of course I'm not intermediate yet.
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galaxyrocker
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Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby galaxyrocker » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:13 pm

sfuqua wrote:I'm sure you're right. I'm just a little uncomfortable with Americans who claim to be Irish based on a little DNA and who read a book and then put themselves up as arbiters of some sort of standard for Irish. I'm not that American.


I totally understand, but the difference in levels, abilities, sounds, etc. is clear (or will become clear, once you get there). It becomes easy to tell who actually speaks good (native) Irish, and it's not most the people in Ireland.


I just learned something about the synthetic form of the first person plural. I didn't know that; I just thought that I seen it yet in the living dialect materials I've been reading. So I guess "school Irish" is a stranger animal than I thought. Thanks for the tip.


So that's part of the problem -- most people will still write it in the standard, even if they never say it that way. It can make it hard to truly see how things are pronounced dialectally. For the feature I was talking about, instead of using the -(a)imid ending that is the standard, all living Munster dialects use -(a)imíd. Not a big difference, granted, but one that makes sure it doesn't reflect any living dialect and which is often not written.


The post I put out last night was a much cut down version of what I first wrote. We're pretty bummed out here in my family these days. It looks like my wife's health may prevent us from getting to Ireland this summer, and a close family friend just had a massive stroke, at only 49 years old. He is a father of my daughter's best friend, and the husband of my wife's best friend. LIfe is short.


Is oth liom é sin a chloisteáil. Tá súil agam go mbeidh chuile shórt ceart go leor agus go mbeidh tú in Éirinn i mbliana!

Also, please note I'm not trying to dissuade you from learning Irish! Just want to make sure you're getting quality resources to learn from!
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sfuqua
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Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:27 am

Thanks for the advice. I'm not discouraged at all about Irish; the dialects and complexities just add to the fun. I still have a steady sense of progress and I have an increasing sense of the difficulty of the challenge. One thing I like about Irish, perversely, is the relative lack of resources. Now, in reality Irish learners have tons of support, but it's not like learners ofi French or Spanish. I waste less time trying to decide what to do next. I have some excellent resources and I just need to put in the time and be patient.

I seem to have had a breakthrough in shadowing Irish. I can do a pretty good job on course based speech, and I can sort of shockingly keep up with my young adult audiobook. I am slowly, steadily getting control of the common tenses and some of the noun cases. I have to believe that some of these things just need to be picked up by habit, that learning big lists would be counter productive. My audiobook is surpising in that my comprehension seems to improve a little bit every day, even though I am pretty lost without a dictionary.

Lately my actual study routine has been learning the language from sentence cards that were made from several books, and shadowing the same material. I'm learning to rattle off sentences with great automaticity when speaking and also produce them laboriously with not model in anki. I feel that it is working well. I'm always surprised how many anki reviews I can get in during the day, if I just fill up my "down time" with a few reviews :P I'm shadowing for about 45 minutes a day right now.
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I'm working on a big anki deck of Irish cards from several different textbooks

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sfuqua
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Re: IRISH: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:05 am

Just a quick check in. I'm continuing with my rather brutal drive through anki, using mostly sentence cards from _Progress in Irish_ and _Buntús Cainte_. I'm building up too many review cards too quickly; soon I will have to slow down and catch up. My wife's health continues to be iffy, and I did 600 cards the other day while my wife was in surgery. We had a few important conversations about how we have to be mature and save money, since she has been sick and money is shorter than we are used to. We decided that we need to save money this summer vacation and not be crazy and go the Ireland... Well, a friend of ours, younger than my wife, died of a sudden, massive bleed in his brain. He had no warning. Some of my wife's results on her medical conditions were a bit less encouraging than we would like, and so we decided to go to Ireland, come Heck or High water. My wife is even more crazy about Ireland than I am, and we feel so free there. Unless there are major changes, two months from now I will be in Mulligan's pub in Dublin. Nobody promised you tomorrow.

I'm shadowing buntús cainte and progress in Irish. I'm far enough ahead with my anki cards, on very similar material, that I don't really need to read along with the books while shadowing. I need to grind along for a while and then I can move on to more reading and maybe some preparation for some sort of CEFR level...
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I'm working on a big anki deck of Irish cards from several different textbooks


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