Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cuid ... demystified

A teacher answered that cuid literally means "a portion of".

Well upon showing the above Rosetta Slide to a friend, she asked me, well how come on the top middle slide the object is plural but the bottom right and left slide, the object is not plural.

This later, and quickly became summed up by another friend who said:

"Cuid" is generally used when you're talking about something that many people may have some of: Money, cows, friends, children, T-shirts, etc. It's even used for certain things about your body, such as blood or hair. When you're not speaking of money or cows or whatever in the general sense, but specifically of that which belongs to you. "Cuid" literally means "share/part/portion."

Cuid is always followed by the genitive singular. So:

Mo chuid airgid: My money (literally "my share of money")

Mo chuid úill: My apples (literally "my share/portion of apple")

Mo chuid gruaige: My hair (literally "my portion of hair")

Mo chuid fola: My blood (literally "my portion of blood")

I was so happy to realize it really is that simple! So when you move on to sentences bigger than the basic to be, or "X is" ... this is good early rule to tackle.

Friday, July 9, 2010

New Developments

The group has been moving along nicely. Many developments have been made and resources become available.

Here is what we have moved on to so far ...

Days of the Week

Wiki explains the days of the week in Irish ...
Historical texts suggest that, during Ireland's Gaelic era, the day began and ended at sunset.Through contact with the Romans, the seven-day week was borrowed by continental Celts, and then spread to the Celts of Britain and Ireland. In Irish, four days of the week (Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday) have names derived from Latin. The other three relate to the fasting done by Catholic clergy.

  • Sunday: An Domhnach or Dé Domhnaigh — Latin Dominica, "of the Lord"
  • Monday: An Luain or Dé Luain — Latin Lunae, "of the Moon"
  • Tuesday: An Mháirt or Dé Máirt — Latin Martis, "of Mars"
  • Wednesday: An Chéadaoin or Dé Céadaoin — Old Irish, "first fasting"
  • Thursday: An Déardaoin or Déardaoin — Old Irish, "day between fastings"
  • Friday: An Aoine or Dé hAoine — Old Irish, "fasting"
  • Saturday: An Satharn or Dé Sathairn — Latin Saturni, "of Saturn"

Feel free to contact me for the sound files for the days of the week. Forvo provides nearly all in native speaker's tongue.

Some resources for learning we have found quite useful for slightly advanced beginners:

The BBC resource is amazingly helpful as it is structured for real exams one may encounter at a school. And doubly helpful as the units are about real situations everyone should know. For example, the first section of the listening unit is testing on listening skills about a car accident. Then has multiple choice and open ended question about the car accident situation you just listened to.

I've kept the name of this school purposefully generic because most of the site is in Irish. The logging in easy enough to decipher however navigation is guessable, but not quite as obvious for beginners.

I love the fact that this site allows you to listen and then record yourself saying the phrase. It teaches useful phrases and also keeps your score, increasing your score as you get better speaking and listening.

We've also all decided to work with
Erin's Web as a starting point for a common lesson plan. We wish we had a native speaker to iron certain terms out but it is fun for all of us to derive how to say things and then later find it's actual presentation online.

I could never imagine trying to learn all this without the internet!

Another development we are constantly striving to help with is trying to make things easy on our blind member. He's smart as a whip and picks things up quickly, even balancing how we say things as he has a sharper ear for repetition. However his reader software for the computer, JAWS, was having difficulty with the Irish words. JAWS may produce an Irish version at some point but we all wanted a solution now.

A member suggested Easy Reader, made specially for reading of the Irish language. The company even allowed our blind member to test out the software with a free full version!

A delightful show was found that produced once a week Irish language lessons. It is supposed to have archives of previous episodes as well.

All in all, I believe our little group is growing interest and has weekly local meetings in Sonoma County, California. We also attend events at the San Francisco UICC chapter.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sharing Resources/Irish Keyboard

Kathleen has emailed me for all of us to share our links and information. I want this information to be privy to anyone learning Irish so I will put it in this blog.

Kathleen wrote:

Seo na seoltaí gach duine sa ghrúpa. Here (are) the addresses (of) every person in the group.

I love how Kathleen writes both in Irish and English to get us used to how it looks.

My email response:

Thank you Kathleen!

Firstly everyone, it's been such a great opportunity to set up this group! I know Kathleen and I are delighted this has come to fruition as I'm sure you are as well!

Seán won't be joining us unless he is in town. He lives in Sacramento and will keep in touch via email. I will be sending him sound files of both my own voice (once I get my speakers fixed) and the files I get from Forvo. I welcome everyone to make sound files for him so he can get to know all of our accents as well as our progressive sound of how we say words.

Does everyone know you can add the Irish keyboard for faster typing of fadas? It takes a little while to get used to, however if we're going to be writing each other authentic Irish emails it would be good for us to use fadas as neccessary for Irish.

If you go to Control Panel/Reginal and Language Options then click the Languages tab, there will be an option to add the Irish keyboard under the details of text services and input languages box. You can then add Irish from there.

The alternative, and easier method is to choose Irish under the default Languages tab and click apply (You can see if you did this correctly by looking at the time and date, it will say it in Irish). It will then add ink corrections as well as the Irish keyboard by default. Then just change it back to English and the ink correction and keyboard for Irish will appear in your options under theLanguages/details.

All you have to do is click the left-Alt and Shift keys (if you kept the defaults) to change between the Irish keyboard and the English one.

Please note this is for the Windows keyboard and not the Mac.

When the Irish keyboard is selected you can test it by Shift-2. Holding Shift and the 2 key will produce the symbol " or parenthesis symbol.

To then produce the fada, or acute letters, hold the Right-Alt and then press the vowel acute you are looking for: á é í ó ú.

If anyone needs further help with this feature I'll be glad to walk you through it. Just give me a call!

Happy Irish everyone!


Email from Kathleen:

A chara,

Déanam dearmad!

I forgot to ask you -If you find the source for the reasons that cuid is used or not used please send it out to me/us. I dont know if the others are interested in getting too deep in the grammar (particularly Jan shes too new at this) but now Im really curious because Ive plumbed the depths of my sources and still dont really know when it would be used or not. Although Im sure seeing it pop up all over, now, in a book Im reading but always with that possessive adjective in front.

Le meas,


Email from Me:

Sure thing Kathleen. Sean and I have been practicing all week. We've got a new 5 verbs down this last week. We tried to do 3 a day but that was just too much. I've been downloading the mp3 native speaker files for those of us interested in learning how to say things more correctly and let me tell you that imeact and oscailt threw us for a bit of a loop with the native sounds.

That's the forum link I found that seems to have worked best so far for learning cuid. It's the rule I half explained last week. I didn't want to go into the mo just yet as no one seemed to really be wanting to learn all rules. I've been reformatting erin's web for easier grammar rules learning for Sean and I as well (and that had us joking we don't remember our English grammar from 3rd grade, so we probably have to refresh on all that as well). And we're setting up a system of me sending him mp3 files recording of how I say things and we'll learn together that way. I asked him, what if I say it wrong? And he expressed that's fine as long as we quickly update each other, as that is what has been happening now.

Basically with cuid, I've been getting the gist that as it literally means "part" or "portion" it actually reminds of coin but of course used differently. Wiki has a good synopsis ...

In addition to its use as a regular noun meaning "part" or "portion", cuid is used with non-inalienable mass nouns and plural count nouns as a kind of measure word after a possessive pronoun or before a genitive.

  • mo chuid leabhar – "my books" (lit. "my portion of books")
  • cuid éadaigh Sheáin – "Seán's clothing" (lit. "Seán's portion of clothing")

It is not used with inalienable nouns like relatives and body parts:

And I have read in other forums that cuid is equated to times when we use pronouns as the closest way to explain it in English, since we don't use anything like it in English.

Otherwise I've put a post in Erin's Web's forum so we'll see what people come back with.

Smiles Kathleen!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Resource for Irish Events and Education
Awesome expat Irish group.

Joined to promote meetings and events I go to in order to meet other Irish language speakers. I loved visiting Ireland so I'd love to help those coming from Ireland while here too.

Aqus Dé hAoine

This is it. After all my networking and talking about learning Irish for years, it's finally becoming a reality.

I've finally got my degree out of the way. I've finally got a handle on my new job. And the house we bought six months ago is finally, finally coming under way. Weekends are usually taken up by that, but I work half days Friday so it begins.

Our first meeting to learn Irish Gaeilge.

I'm hoping to keep this blog to express my frustrations, triumphs, and quest[ion]s along the way.

I've been using Rosetta Stone, Irish level 1 sporadically since it came out. But every time I reformat the computer I end up not successfully saving my file and no one at Rosetta Stone has successfully told me how to export and import the file. So starting over and over again to keep the updates going has been frustrating.

Quest 1: Figure out how to import/export Rosetta Stone user file.

Upon going over some word lists, I stumbled upon a new website. Anyone needing to learn pronunciation for a word in a new language needs to know this website.

Forvo. "All the words in the world. Pronounced."

And what this brought about curiously, was a question I had known to think to ask.

My word is:

cuid éadaigh = clothes

Looking up clothes in google it was indeed "éadaigh". Had to add pronunciation of that to Forvo.

But the guidelines of Forvo stipulate not to add:

- Words with articles (e.g. a car, the car).
- Words with useless prepositions (e.g. at home).
- Conjugations, plurals, etc.
- Phrases, except for idioms.
- Words and names from other languages.
- Numbers in a series: 234, 235, 236...
- Words having no point of being pronounced together (e.g. blue building).

So, adding the word for clothes is fine. But the total translation I've received of
cuid éadaigh I'm not sure should be added.

Upon more research from a forum ...

There's a simple trick I figured out to know if you need "cuid" or not. If you can say, in English, "I have a X" then in Irish you can say "mo X". "I have a car," for example, is fine, so "mo charr" is too. But you can't say "I have a clothes" or "I have a hair" (well you can but it doesn't mean the same thing as "I have hair") so you have to say "mo chuid éadaigh" and "mo chuid gruaige."

I think this is wonderful advice as cuid is not in the English language and therefor can not really be equivocal with anything solid in particular.

This brings me to the point of this blog post. Aqus Dé hAoine, as in we meet at the café, Aqus, in Petaluma on Friday.

Otherwise, I'm looking at an immersion event but don't want to post it until I sign up. I don't want to lose my spot, and I can't afford to pay yet!