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.