I’m Back Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

I can’t bring myself to leave a lesson only half finished when I’ve been so lax lately already, so here’s part two of Teach Yourself Gaelic Lesson 1, in which I tackle exercise two, which is pretty much the same thing as exercise one, except in reverse. Which I’m afraid doesn’t make it terribly interesting as far as linguistic analysis is concerned. N o new information. I did however have a lot of snarky things to say about the semantic choices made by the textbook’s authors, so that’s fun. The people who write these things really do come up with the strangest sentences to have you translate. If I ever write a language textbook, I cross my heart anything I ask the students to translate will be stolen directly from Garfield or Calvin and Hobbes or something. Quirky stuff, so once they figure out what it means you’ll get a room full of startled laughter. Anyways, enough of my rambling. Just see it for yourself.

A brief review of Byki

So, while I do enjoy my Colloquial Scottish Gaelic textbook, the audio files are (as previously mentioned) not entirely helpful. And it’s difficult to really study the materials without assignments and someone to grade you. So I decided I needed some supplementary materials if I was going to actually retain anything. Thus, I have downloaded BYKI and all the Scottish lists they have to offer.

I’m shocked to announce, I actually find them really useful. The flashcard style and very clear audio are perfect for figuring out pronunciation. I can practice words I’ve heard in context from the textbook without getting jumbled up in surrounding phonemes, so when I find it in a different context later I won’t be confused that it added or took away a sound. And the hold up a card and I’ll tell you what it means method is good for getting it to stick. I certainly don’t think it’ll teach you a language on it’s own, but as a supplement it’s really nice. If you’re interested, check it out here. They have a bunch of other languages available too.

ETA- Another great supplement, which will also help you recognize new words in context without translation, can be found here at the Am Bhaile website. This particular collection is a group of popular nursery rhymes and songs sung in Scottish. There are tons of other videos and mp3s over there though.

A Video, Oh Noes

So, I know it’s been a bit, but I promise I haven’t forgotten about this blog.  Finals week slowed my progress down a bit, but I’m still working.  I’ll be posting something about the last half of Chapter 1 tomorrow.  Tonight, however, I have a special treat.  Here’s a video of me mangling the pronunciation of some “useful phrases” I found on the interwebs.  If any Scottish Gaelic speakers out there want to tell me how I’m doing on actually saying this stuff aloud, I’d really appreciate it.  I know my accent’s atrocious, but there just aren’t a lot of examples out there to base it on.  The people in the learn Gaelic videos all sound so stilted.  So I’d really love some tips from native speakers, or just people who’ve been learning longer than me.  Anyway, here’s the video, laugh away.